By Emily Swanson
Recorded by Karina Lutz
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Life is not safe.
You will not survive as you are
not even through breakfast.
The cereal will change you.
The cream in the coffee conspired with the sugar.
Your cells are never the same.
This living is dangerous work.
To be fully alive you must risk everything you are each moment.
Living is an entanglement.
An orgiastic engagement.
Everything is changed by everything else.
When something that touched you changes,
You change again.
This is the way of it in an entangled universe.
Glaciers crumble into sea.
Rising waters submerge coastlines with wild intention.
Our lives lay alongside,
on top of,
underneath the lives of other bodies, other intelligences.
Power is not dominion over.
Power is participation.
Power is listening.
Power is choosing to allow,
To be rubbed against,
To die to all you were in order to look again with new eyes
into the face of the living world.
Be willing to forget what you think you know.
Be willing to surrender again and again to the otherness of Life.
To seek it as it seeks you.
Be bird and glacier,
Spoon and table,
Forgotten forest and highway.
Let them converse within the galaxy of your skin, listen to their conversations.
Emily Swanson facilitates experiences designed to support transformational change for people and places. She is a licensed MFT and ecotherapist. Emily works extensively with addiction and trauma as trail heads to transformation and embodied change. Grounded in ecopsychology, Buddhist philosophy and practice, and social, neurobiological and somatic approaches to trauma, she helps individuals and groups to come home to the earth of the body in order to come home to the body of the earth. A writer, reader, mother, dancer and mentor, Emily lives on unceded Coast Miwok land in Marin, California.