my forest child

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❀ ""I am rotting to grow.
I am rotting to transform.
I am rotting to bloom
into something greener
than emeralds and brighter than the sun.
—Grace Briarwood, untitled

❀ "It’s easy to love a deer
But try to care about bugs and scrawny trees
Love the puddle of lukewarm water
From last week’s rain.
Leave the mountains alone for now.
Also the clear lakes surrounded by pines.
People are lined up to admire them.
Get close to the things that slide away in the dark.
Be grateful even for the boredom
That sometimes seems to involve the whole world.
Think of the frost
That will crack our bones eventually."
—Tom Hennen, Love for Other Things from Darkness Sticks to Everything

❀ "After all, [the world] is on my side. That is, I’m a part of it. Not separate from it. I walk on the ground and the ground’s walked on by me, I breathe the air and change it, I am entirely interconnected with the world."
—Ursula Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

"I don't feel particularly proud of myself. But when I walk alone in the woods or lie in the meadows, all is well."
—Franz Kafka, Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors

"i crawl in the moss. it is easy to find god.
she is a cluster of eels beneath my palms.
i ask of her, am i doing any of this life right?
and she, with her many mouths,
says nothing."
—Kitchen Mckeown, Outbreaks

"What goes too long unchanged destroys itself. The forest is forever because it dies and dies and so lives."
—Ursula Le Guin, Tales From Earthsea: Dragonfly

"It wants our bodies,
the landscape does, and everyone runs the risk of
being swallowed up. Can we love nature for what it
really is: predatory? We do not walk through a passive
—Richard Silken, Landscape with Fruit Rot and Millipede

"There is something waiting for us at the edge of the woods, and it is our fate to meet it."
—Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves

"You will find the way, daughter of the forest. Through grief and pain, through many trials, through betrayal and loss, your feet will walk a straight path."
—Juliet Marillier, Daughter of the Forest

"As I pondered a pronoun change I began to think of gender less as a scale and more as a landscape. Some people are born in the mountains, while others are born by the sea. Some people are happy to live in the place they were born, while others must make a journey to reach the climate in which they can flourish and grow. Between the ocean and the mountains is a wild forest. That is where I want to make my home."
—Maia Kobabe, Gender Queer

"I confuse instinct for desire—isn't bite also touch?"
—Natalie Diaz, Wolf OR-7 from Postcolonial Love Poem

"There is no mystery in this association of woods and otherworlds, for as anyone who has walked in woods knows, they are places of correspondence, of call and answer. Visual affinities of colour, relief and texture abound…Different aspects of the forest link unexpectedly with each other, and so it is that within the stories of forests, different times and worlds can be joined."
—Robert Macfarlane, The Wild Places

"A forest is what exists between its trees, between its dense undergrowth and its clearings, between all its life cycles and their different timescales … A forest is also a meeting place between those who enter it and something unnameable and attendant, waiting behind a tree or in the undergrowth. Something intangible and within touching distance. Neither silent nor audible."
—John Berger, Into the Woods from The Sublime

"Be my mother, I said
to the trees, in the language of trees, which can't be transcribed,
and they shook their hair back, and they bent low with their
many arms, and they looked into my eyes as only trees can
look into the eyes of a person, they touched me with the rain
on their fingers till I was all droplets, till I was mist, and they said
that they would."
—Emily Berry, Canopy

"Real magic can never be made by offering up someone else’s liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back. The true witches know that."
—Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

"you didn’t know your name until they named you. didn’t know your teeth were fangs until they tried to pry them from your pliant skull, didn’t know your hunger was so unclean. so you learned to grow in the dark as darkness grew in you."
—Sam Sax, It's Alive

"Know this:
I live beast days. I am a water hour.
At night my eyelids droop like forest and sky.
My love knows few words:
I like it in your blood."
—Gottfried Benn, Threat translated by Michael Hofmann

"Not every girl survives the forest.
Sometimes she becomes it."
—Catherine Garbinsky, The Princess & The Thorns from Even Curses End

"Place your hands into the soil to feel grounded. Wade in water to feel emotionally healed. Fill your lungs with fresh air to feel mentally clear. Raise your face to the heat of the sun and connect with that fire to feel your own inner power."
Victoria Erickson

stylized deer


Consider the God of Salmon, thestuffedalligator

The CryptoNaturalist on tumblr or twitter

Dark Earth Suggestions on tumblr

Aesthetic Experience in Forests, Holmes Rolston III


Nature Held Me Close zines

Apology to a Forgotten Forest, Laura K. Watson

i cannot return to normal, Sam Beck

reasons., taishe

I wonder what will come of us, Kiel Murray

dream about a haunted forest, joan tierney

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, Meg


emo about lichens again, taishe

excerpts from a zine, ezra

wolf pack


note that some of these works may only touch on these themes while others have been more influential in fleshing out these feelings. my favourites are marked with an asterisk (*). those that i've been told i should check out but haven't for whatever reason are at the bottom marked with a caret (^).

*Firebird Suite [Fantasia 2000]
*The Last Unicorn

^The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World
^Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
^The CryptoNaturalist podcast
^Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures
^Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

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