Finding Earth Religion in the Trash
We Will Displace Scarcity
On some level we crave innovation. At the same time we are made to feel so powerless and so ashamed, that we often seem to prefer inaction rather than engagement with the innovation we encounter. Trash is personal like that. When approached as an art form, it’s the most intimate medium I know. Even when you go to very physical arts involving the body or our sexualities, culture, food, fashion—we’re still consciously curating something the whole way through. We’re in an intentional conversation with our parents, religion, society, our oppressors, whoever.
With trash, we are rarely in this sort of dialogue. We are discarding. We are burying. We are throwing away. Trash is a record of all that we consume. Trash tells us everything about the most un-acknowledged parts of ourselves. In this context, I think we attach a lot of shame to it.
Reflections on Parashat Vayeitzei
I am quite terrible at nihilism. To a fault, I’m an optimist, more at home in utopian fantasies and solarpunk daydreams than the bottom of a beer can or staking out my aesthetic from behind the Freudian slip of a weapon. In that naivete, I refuse to believe our solidarity is a scarce resource to be spent on artificial trolley problems when the train itself can still be detonated.
Fruits of My First Season: Seeds Believe in Sunlight
These moments in Laban’s story stand out to me because it often feels to me that in our modern world different religions are exclusively distinct to one another. We have to be either-or-neither something. The idea that we can be both, that we can be pluralistic in our thinking or living or identifying frequently feels dismissed or degraded as this sort of fluffy, feel-good liberal indecisiveness. And while that may very well be the case, the Torah provides a historical reference point for that attitude as well. Laban, for all his character flaws, and for all his teraphim and pagan religiousity, is someone G-d chooses to speak to—through divination, no less!
Hearing Modern Earth in the Ancient Myth of Lughnasadh
One of the affirmations I developed for myself at this time was ‘seeds believe in sunlight.’ As I planted mine—unsure that anything would grow—I put my own belief in self in the soil with them. I prayed for sunlight alongside them. I prayed that we would root and grow from the darkness and isolation we felt at the beginning of the season.
Haunted By Their Eyes, Possessed By Their Goddess
To the ancient Celts, Lughnasadh marks the death of an earth goddess and the beginning of Autumn. With the earliest Earth Overshoot Day ever recorded falling on this day as well, are we also looking at the death of the Earth and the Autumn of the Anthropocene?
When I close my eyes, I see him staring at me from across the gravel lot where his throat is being slit. We never blink, and on day fourteen without any antidepressants, his spirit tugs at my subconscious in every free thought, every passing shadow and pet. The trigger of his bill shaking open to cry, silenced, echoes absently in the mourning doves’ morning songs precipitating tea leaves undeniably in the form of his last life, a duck.