Tag Archives: urban

On Wild Urban Places

One question I see a lot and and take part in a lot of conversation is people living in urban areas desiring to connect with wild or untamed places. Side stepping the discussion of the human world verse the natural world, there is a part of most people that desires wild places. This desire is weaker or stronger in different people, but it’s there for most.

In a lot of parts of the New World, we’re lucky. I can get to mountain forest on land that’s never been cultivated in about half an hour, to set aside Open Spaces in five minutes, and to trail heads in 45 minutes where I can hike up into the wilderness and see maybe a person a day if that and be approached by none. The wild areas change as the landscape changes, but much of this hemisphere has these wild spaces. Much of Australia, Africa, and Asia have the same. Not every place, certainly, but its amazing how much wind space is left.

But I know most of Europe isn’t that lucky, and same for some of the larger urban areas in the rest of the world as well. It’s easy for people to say, well, drive somewhere, take a bus somewhere, etc, but when it’s an eight or twelve hour or more drive to get to the nearest wild place, this is prohibitive for most people. It costs money and requires time off work which can cost more. Those that can afford such, it’s awesome for them, but many people can’t do that, and need other options.

But the “wild” waits at the edge of the “civilized”, waiting to reclaim.

There are wild places in every city, places where the wild has crept back in. While they might not be untamed, they are re-feralled, if you will. Urban places gone feral. You can find them along waterways, in vacant lots or abandoned buildings, in alleys and access ways, at the forgotten ends of parks and cemeteries. Wherever “civilization” stops maintaining and grooming, the “wild” slips back in, takes hold, and slowly grows.

It’s a different type of wild, but it is wild, Other, luminal.

They aren’t easy to find, but looking with the right eyes, paying attention, really seeing, they are there to be found, waiting in the shadows and unnoticed places.

Dangerous places sometimes, with dangers much different from wilderness areas, for what is wild attracts what is wild. But it’s worth the risk, worth risking the dangers, to those who seek such.

Just be sure to keep yourself safe.

~Lorekeeper/Muninn’s Kiss

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Posted by on March 19, 2017 in muninnskiss


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A Discussion at a Modern Crossroads

They say true crossroads are hard to find now a days because they’ve all been paved.
*chuckle*  Hard to find?  What do they call this?
A “square”.
*puzzled*  Square?  It looks more like a narrow X to me.  Look, from there comes 7th Avenue, and there it crosses Broadway.  And 43rd Street there, 44th there, 45th there, and 46th Street there, all crossing 7th Avenue and Broadway.  How can it not be a crossroads?
They say in the South that only dirt roads can be crossroads.
I remember offerings to you at the paved crossroads of the Roman Roads.
Their memories aren’t that long.  I recall your stone pillars at those Roman crossroads, and that sign there, the giant, phallic, red one with the Coke bottle on it isn’t that much different, honestly, just taller.
Witches were hung in Britain at both paved Roman crossroads and the crossroads of the dirt High Roads, and people came to both to make deals with spirits and with both of us.
And musicians in the South coming to the crossroads to find you to make a deal for fame aren’t that different than those looking for fame by playing at the Hard Rock over there, or that naked cowboy playing his guitar down there.
The money spent, the pilgrimages to this crossroads, the busy energy, the greed for fortune and fame.  They’ve forgotten our names, the crossroads are surround by buildings instead of forests, clearings, and gallows, the roads carry cars instead of feet or horses, the materials for paving have changed, but can’t you feel it?  We’re still worshipped.  They still come to the crossroads to make offerings to us or make deals with us.
From the streets of Athens to the Roman roads, from the streets of London to the High Roads, from the dirt roads of the South to the streets of New York City, nothing really changes.  It’s all the same.  Only the names have changed.  They call it Time Square, but we stand here still, at the crossroads.
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Posted by on October 1, 2011 in muninnskiss


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Spirits of Place, Magic of Place

Lake Marie in the Snowys near
Laramie.  The area around 10,000 feet
I was referring to.  Image from PlanetWare.

In the mountains at 10,000 feet, all alone, crystal lakes, aspen and pine groves, bare rock peaks, thin air, simple white and yellow flowers (the higher in elevation you go, the closer flowers come to only being white, but even at 12000 feet, you can find a few white flowers), a few deer in the distance, on the edge of the clearing. No humans for miles. The wind in my hair. So peaceful, I feel at one with the wind, floating, flying, light as a feather, relaxed. A place of old spirits that don’t really notice humans.

An aspen grove.  Image
from Chomper’s Chatter.

In an aspen grove, nothing but green leaves and white bark. I can’t see more than five feet in all directions. The ground is soft and mossy under my feet. The air smells like new life. I can’t feel a breeze, but the can hear the wind playing in the leaves and branches above me, I can feel their pleasure to dance in the wind that is my heartblood. I put my hand on a tree trunk and she welcomes me and I feel the life of the whole grove, hundreds of trees, from newly spouted saplings to ancient trunks soaring 50 feet above me. I come upon a little stream at the center, crystal clear water over black soil and grey rocks. A slight babble as the water slowly meanders between the trees. I’ve forgot about humans, forgot about everything but the life around me. Many spirits, one spirit, and me in its heart.

A rain forest in Oregon very
similar to the one I was remembering.
Image from 123RF.

In a dense forest in Oregon, the canape soars two hundred feet above my head. It is dark as twilight down here at their roots. The underbrush rise above my head, with smaller trees that love the shade rising above these bushes, reaching for the douglas fir above. Ferns and other plants are at my feet as I walk silently around them. I lean over and pick sweet clover and eat the leaves, so energizing, so strong, so unique. I can’t hear or feel the wind. The air is so still. Birds sing above me. The air is so moist you can taste it. My skin shouts for joy as it drinks deep. I can’t see far through the underbrush, but the soaring pillars and the vault high above bring to mind a cathedral in England, with the same awe and sense of huge space. But in the cathedrals in England, you feel man reaching for God; here, all you feel is God, nothing reaching, just presence. There are more spirits than you can count, all playing, all interacting, but slow, timeless, for there is no time here.

A pool and tree in the canyon
oasis I was talking about, Nacapule
Canyon.  Image from

In the hills in Mexico, in the middle of the desert. We walk up the narrow canyon and turn a corner and it comes to life. Not the brambles and cacti of the land below, but bright greens and blues, like the feather of a peacock. The palms tower above us, but are dwarfed by the rock above.  After the dryness of the desert, the moisture is suffocating in this desert heat, but I revel in it. The spirits here are quiet, sleepy, waiting. We are intruders, but they aren’t concerned. Humans come, humans go, but the spirits remain.

The glacier just below the Lower Saddle
in the Tetons, where I slept the
night before attempting the summit
of the Grand.  Image from
jcross’ personal site on MIT’s server.

On the great rock saddle that connects the Grand Teton to the Middle Teton, way up here at probably 11000 feet. There is no plant or animal life up here, just the rocks and the humans camped here. I look out one way across Jackson Hole,. way below me, like I’m on the edge of a canyon. It seems so remote, so far away. I walk a hundred yards and look out the other side, toward Idaho, and it is just as remote. On my left and right, the mountains, so severe, so massive, rise above me. There is nothing here but rock and wind. The night before was dark as pitch, but the sun now is so bright. The thin air is so clear. I breathe heavy, but I’m not out of breath. I feast on the clear clean air. I raise my hands and become one with the wind. It’s chilly way up here, even though its July, and the night before was frigid. It had been warmer when at the end of the day, in the last stretch before the saddle as we hiked through the glacier that is now below us on the Jackson Hole side. Soon, we will head on up the Grand Teton. Up here, all is ancient. No tree feels as ancient as these rocks below us and above us. The spirits here are unconcerned by our presence.  We are gnats that they could flatten easily, but why bother? We’re not that important.

A canal with swans in Salisbury.
All our pictures of that trip aren’t
digital, but this looks a lot like
it, but wider.  Image from Trip Advisor.

Sitting by a canal in Salisbury, England. The man made banks rich with bright green grass, rolling down to the crystal water in which the ducks and swans play. To the south, an old wooden water wheel on the side of an old wooden mill, so rustic, like something off a post card, but it’s not famous enough for post cards here. The groomed trees rise above us in a perfect row, spaced so the leaves almost touched. This small city has existed far longer that the United States has, let alone towns in Wyoming, and it has had people here for much longer. There is no separating nature from man here, for man has been here way to long to do that. But the beauty is breathtaking, the balance of human and nature. I am at peace and relaxed.  We sit here for a while before we head to the cathedral. This spot, not on any tourist map, and unknown to even many residents, has captivated us for now. The spirits here are playful, more active than a forest or a mountain.  They are at harmony with us, not from indifference or not noticing us, but because humans are such a part of their world. The spirits laugh in the wind and play in the swiftly flowing water, glad for life, glad for this place to play.

Time Square in New York City.
Image from the midweek post.

I stand in the middle of New York City, in Time Square, cars fill the
streets, bumper to bumper, all rushing to their destination. The buildings
tower above me, the sun reflecting of their windows. Everywhere is movement and sound. My pulse raises, matching the flow of humanity. My heart beats the rhythms, in my mind I see the ever changing patterns dancing across the map in my head. There’s no nature here, but there is life, a fast paced, roaring, torrent of life, pulling at me, filling me. I vibrate with it.  The spirits here rush about and revel in the energy. They’ve known humanity for so long, they are humanity, the spirits of humanity, of technology, of progress. The movement, the stress, the rush, the flow of humanity is worship to them and I feel them in my bones as strongly as the spirits of the mountains or the forest. The life of this place, so different than that of the wilderness, is still its Twin, the balance of the life of the wilderness. There is magic here, but a different magic, a roaring magic and moves fast and ever changes.

Where do you find magic?

~Muninn’s Kiss

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Posted by on July 3, 2011 in muninnskiss


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