Finally, even the middle classes are wincing from their subservience to the domineering script of civilization.
That statement sounds authoritative, doesn’t it? My, how editorial of me.
Actually, I have no way of showing that the middle classes
are indeed wincing. I know I’m feeling a little lighter as I
move one notch closer to my wild side.
About a year ago, I sat in our garage and took a crap in a
bucket. There was a bit of sawdust at the bottom, and I put
the bucket in a little cabinet with a real toilet seat on top (for
free plans see The Humanure Handbook,
by Joseph Jenkins). But still, for that dump, I was unplugged
from the city sewer system. I wiped, pulled up my pants,
and just for a split second – and I’m not stretching the truth
here just to tell a good story – I felt like a cat. I felt animal. I
did my business and walked away with no mysteries behind
me, no “flush your cares away” services to worry about.
The words sound funny when I come out and articulate
it, but I felt I had direct contact with my life. There was no
veneer of mysterious machinery to make my living “easier.”
And, my oh my, was it delicious, you know what I mean.
Anyone who enjoys wind- and sun-dried laundry knows the
feeling of direct contact with life.
I fantasize and say to myself that this is a feral feeling, a
pre-domesticated, full-loaded sensory experience that puts
nature between my fingertips, surges through my taste
buds and animates my heart and causes my eyes to sparkle.
I know this is all enchanty talk. But what is enchantment?
It’s the real stuff. It’s the material goods plus the bonus
meaning added in. The bonus meaning is that everything
is teeming, yes, buzzing with vitality. Throbbing with the
energy of the sun, bulging with moisture from the rain and
the underground aquifers.
I think the miracle workers of old, yes Jesus, but the witches and others too, had
a pipeline to this juice of life. In this issue of Geez, I hope readers get a
sense of this “wildness” that’s so close to us that it is us.
But how can we give that helmet of civilization
(which means disenchantment to me) a shake? Well,
maybe to help you pay attention to life that is more wild, even in the centre
of a city, you may be well served by Lyanda Lynn Haupt’s
“Crash course for the urban naturalist” (page 48).
Really, it’s everywhere. Robb Grace sees it at the birth of his child (page 22) and Sarah Truman felt it riding a bike
down a bridge (page 31). Clayton Dach documents how Vancouverites and others have taken to literally eating wild food,
which is novel but, as he explains, can never be normative anymore (page 50).
I reported on most of this in a letter I sent out to all subscribers.
But, for those who missed it, some highlights:
Section editors shuffle. Board member Eva Klassen is the new Experiments editor; editorial intern Reshal Stein
has agreed to anchor the News section; Kurt Armstrong is now the Reviews editor, and Tessa Vanderhart is on for Culturosities.
Ruth Ann Pszwaro stays with poetry and Emily Summach continues on Letters. I’m happy to welcome Terri
Houdayer as a volunteer editorial assistant (see the masthead
on page 8 for a full list of contributors).
Miriam steps off the board. Long-time friend of Geez, founding board member, frequent contributor and guest
editor of the Body issue, Miriam Meinders is taking a break from Geez to pursue other projects. We’ll miss her formal
presence but will still bend her ear and welcome her wisdom. New civil disobedience section. Former intern and assistant
editor Chris Paetkau has inaugurated this new section (see pages 64-67).
Canadian Church Press awards.
Geez magazine won
top honours for general excellence at the Canadian Church
Press convention in May this year. We received a total of
six awards, including an additional first place for layout and
design of an issue, thanks to designer Darryl Brown in Newberg,
Oregon. Way to go, team Geez!
Lighting strikes our church. Act of God – who knows?
Fortunately everyone survived when lightning struck the
downtown cathedral where Geez has its office, Knox United
Church. At 7:00 a.m. on May 28, 2010, a bolt zapped the
bell tower and knocked off one of the spires. The stone hit
the roof, crumbled the stairs below and finally rested on the
road in front of a parked car.