Braiding Sweetgrass

Patch of young growth, Averill Park NY, November 2019

“Weep! Weep! calls a toad from the water’s edge. And I do. If grief can be a doorway to love, then let us all weep for the world we are breaking apart so we can love it back to wholeness again.”

A friend and colleague recommended Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass a few months ago. It has been my audiobook companion while cross-stitching, and I’m now coming to an end. And many beginnings, it is clear. Kimmerer incisively braids together her indigenous wisdom and scientific knowledge, all the while acknowledging directly the deep losses brought with invasion, genocide, extermination, “progress”. Like in this project, grief is always present, inseparable from love. I have nothing to add to Kimmerer’s call above. Read the book, mourn the losses and then get to loving the world back to wholeness again.

2 responses to “Braiding Sweetgrass”

  1. Although I only listened to a small segment of this with you (I will buy and read on paper, my head’s too noisy for audiobooks), I loved that Kimmerer reflects on her teaching experiences as a narrative device. She gives us her perspective but also the varied and sometimes surprising, to her and us, responses to the young(er) people she’s working alongside doing field research. We’ve spoken a lot about the importance of our teaching practice – and it is a practice, always evolving as we do, through our own reflective practice and research – and that our students are in fact the most important audiences for our research. I have more to say on this, but I’m about to get of my bus. Perhaps a longer post topic, soon. X


  2. […] one humanity. When we accept the emergency, the viability of national borders begins to crumble. Robin Wall Kimmerer writes about becoming indigenous to place, a more productive way for us to simultaneously consider […]


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