Posts that got my attention this week. A reminder that humans are animals and a part of nature; fatphobia; the birth of Witch Lit; the power of stories.
Humans are animals too
The Decolonial Atlas shared a map with the distribution of all the great apes, including humans.
This is a simple map showing the current ranges for the eight living great ape species. It’s otherwise unremarkable except for the inclusion of the forgotten ape – us. Seeing ourselves as part of a wider biological group – from hominids, to animals, to part of the biosphere – we begin to undo the false sense of separateness. If we are to save Nature, we must realize that we are in fact Nature defending itself.
And that includes trans people
If your concept of nature doesn’t include all of nature, which includes LGBT+ people, then annihilate your concept of nature and let Nature in! A great post by Ryan Cronin in response to the latest medieval thinking from the Vatican.
Humans are not outside of nature. We are nature. We grew from the earth, evolved with it, we were not placed here by a god. Thus, anything humans do is natural. Our cities and technologies are no less natural than a bird’s nest. We have more power and so more responsibility, but we are – like any other animal – a part of nature.
Trans people exist. People are a part of nature, so therefore trans people are a part of nature. Being trans is natural. If your concept of nature cannot accommodate that, then your concept of nature needs to be annihilated, to make way for a new and expanded concept which allows you to see and appreciate the great diversity of nature, including human nature.
If a concept of nature does not, cannot, include all of nature in all its wonder and complexity, then it no longer serves its purpose.
A disturbing post about a woman who went into therapy for her anorexia nervosa and was fat-shamed by the “carers”. This post is all kinds of triggering, but people who routinely fat-shame others need to read it to understand some of the extreme effects that fat-phobia and fat-shaming can have. It’s also a fundraiser for further care.
That program nearly destroyed her.
I don’t say that as an exaggeration. I say that as someone who listened helplessly on the other end of the phone, filled with rage, shock, and horror at everything my friend had to endure.
A guest post from Laura Perry at Nimue Brown’s blog recounts the birth of a new literary genre, Witch Lit. Hopefully this genre will also include LGBTQIA witches and welcome marginalized voices such as BIPOC and disabled people. And let’s not forget that men can be witches too. But a big yay for me about strong relatable female characters. I bet it pretty much automatically passes the Bechdel test, too.
As the conversation continued, the term Witch Lit acted like a magnet. What is Witch Lit, exactly? Does it have to be fiction? What about non-fiction that helps us appreciate and encourage the magic in our lives? What about poetry and songs that celebrate that magic and witchy-ness?
Yes to all the above.
It turns out, Witch Lit answers a need/desire a lot of people have to bring some magic into their lives via the stuff they read. Especially when that stuff involves strong, relatable female characters and maybe a touch of humor.
The animism of stories
A fascinating channelled post from Beith at Anima Monday channeling Gwenhyfar from the Arthurian mythos. Many writers report that their characters seem to be alive and to insist on changing the plot. The idea of story worlds as real has also been explored by Cornelia Funke in her Inkheart trilogy and by Jasper Fforde.
A story is a reality. It is a world. And once a world is created, it starts to live and evolve, even without conscious human interaction. It will be a fountain that other storytellers can dip into to enrich their understanding of the story. The more often this happens, the more the basic structure of the story-world gets consolidated and the more energy there is left to create the details and the persons within it.
I have a friend who is a storyteller and he says the story is different each time it’s told because of audience interaction. I think he’d be very open to intervention by deities too.
He tells stories to and for adults. Too often, traditional live storytelling is regarded as only for children, when it should be for the whole community.