Somatic Lessons from Plants + Animals. 16

Thinking, All Over Yer Body.

“They are very good at diffusing the same function all over the body.” You can remove 90% of a plant without killing it. “You need to imagine a plant as a huge brain… diffused everywhere.” – stefano manusco in the guardian.

All sorts of creatures ‘think’, or make sense of the world – brains or no. Making decisions, sensing, and so on – happens across many levels of life, including cells, plants, people. When I see plants move like this, I remember this. And I play around with feeling inside of my flesh, to feel what I can feel about how all of these cells of me are making sense of this world.

source: the guardian; the new yorker, video.


Somatic Lessons from Plants + Animals. 15

there are a myriad of ways to talk about how “we are all related”. and, too – visual learner that i am – it blows my little human mind to see us together on this same, interactive family tree.

too, there are so many horrendous ways that people have been likened to animals to foster eugenic-racist agendas. and the presence of grave harm being done via racism and ableism is still very much here, present. one, among countless, injuries that such oppression causes, is that it fosters the human-induced-sever between us-people and all of our nature-kin.

i think about these two realities and usually do not find words to use, to hold them both, to speak about them both. when i see us on this family tree i am reminded that this sever and these harms are also related, of the same piece, not separate injuries.

Somatic Lessons from Plants + Animals. 14

like marie kondo talks about, putting stuff into like-piles that go together can be very helpful. at the same time, remembering that these categories are just one way to group ‘stuff’, that we could take a different perspective and group them in a different way – this is so important!

these buddies in california reminded me of how exciting – and how not concrete – this category game is. some scientists in california just ran into a group of somebodies and the scientists don’t know what category to put them in.

molecular biologist cédric feschotte notes, “even the more mundane interpretations show how little is known about the categories of genetic diversity in nature. It highlights a need ‘to start thinking about different genetic entities [on] a continuum…
the boundary between these different genetic entities is actually fluid’…

on the gradient or continuum of these elements, banfield’s team ‘may have found something that’s a little bit intermediate between, say, a chromosome and a virus,” or a chromosome and a plasmid.’

too, along with thinking about different categories, it’s super fun to feel. like, where do i feel like “i” end? where else in nature, in life, do i feel continuums?

thank you, buddies.

Richard Feynman, “Nature does not care what we call it, she just keeps on doing it.”

Somatic Lessons from Plants + Animals. 13

as a long-term childhood thumb sucker, as a former chain smoker, and as an adult who currently, regularly imagines how soothing it would be to have something in my mouth whenever i get stressed-anxious-excited, i find this to be 7000% relatable.

mental note: mind-storm about what sort of passifier i could use and could pass as “an appropriate adult thing.”

Somatic Lessons from Plants + Animals. 12

vocalizing. sometimes after a social interaction, or sometimes just to express some feeling – making a noise or words makes me feel 100% better in that moment. really letting the sounds just flail or fall out of me.

learning about this mouse the other day reminded me about how good it feels to howl or swear or whisper and grunt.

Somatic Lessons from Plants + Animals. 10

“But I want to reach a certain goal by a certain deadline!”.

As usual, my eyes are bigger than my goal-plate. I just cannot comfortably digest as much goal-food as I want, as my society tells me I should.

When a person is pregnant their belly swells over the period of some nine months. Still, if you watch them, you cannot see their belly grow. It is too slow.
And yet!
the speed at which it grows is SO fast that it can leave speed-growth scars on their skin.

That is how slow we humans change. It does not match the demands of most contemporary societies. We are amazingly, wondrously slow creatures. Not even as fast as an evening primrose.

video posted by NancysBrother.

Somatic Lessons from Plants + Animals. 9

sideways + crooked trees.

it’s kinda hard to see in the photo – there is a section of this tree that is growing straight up, while the main trunk of the tree is simultaneously growing rather horizontal and looks dried out.
whether or not i am able to have such resilience in any given moment, seeing this trees’ feat brings forth a wallop of *inspired* inside of me.

Somatic Lessons from Plants + Animals. 8

Long live floof!

“This sheep [Shrek, they call ’em] escaped a farm and spent 6 years in the mountains, during which time he grew 60 pounds of wool. Wolves tried to eat him, but their teeth could not penetrate the floof. You don’t have to turn hard to survive the wolves, just be really, really soft and fluffy.”
– Sami Abdul Aziz