Cities are great places for nature writing
The living world is always around us, even in the grittiest parts of a big city like Berlin.
You can find plants and animals growing and thriving amidst concrete, asphalt and heavy traffic. It's easier to remember that when you have some kind of regular mindfulness or sensory practice.
Nature writing combines elements of both. By cultivating curiosity and observational skills, it shows us the other beings with whom we share this living planet, and invites us to reconnect to embodied experience through sensory awareness.
Try nature writing with me!
I'm excited to share that I'll be teaching a series of nature writing workshops this August in Berlin. They will be held at studio nagelneu, which is a community space belonging to the Prinzessinnengärten community garden that I adore so much.
There will be 4 workshops over 2 weekends, at the following days and times:
Saturday 12 August, 15.30-20.30
Sunday 13 August, 11.00-16.00
Saturday 26 August, 11.00-16.00
Sunday 27 August, 11.00-16.00
I've been wanting to offer a nature writing course for a while now, but it was the practicum requirement of my garden therapy training that pushed me into actually doing it! Both for that reason, and because salon nagelneu is a community space, I am offering the workshops free of charge. (I am hoping that participants will make a donation to the Prinzessinnengärten.)
If you would like to sign up for these workshops, or let me know you would be interested in later sessions (either in-person or online), please use this form.
About my nature writing course (aka the official blurb)
In our busy, often technologically-mediated lives, it’s easy to get disconnected from nature as well as from our most authentic selves.
Nature writing invites us discover the lifeworlds of the wild and wonderful beings just adjacent to our own. We will discover edible weeds, healing herbs and multi-dimensional creatures that defy our notion of the individual. We will also attune to the ghosts of vanished lifeworlds and lost ecosystems.
Our goal throughout is to uncover fresh perspectives on the problems that bedevil us now, from the climate crisis unfolding across the planet to the erosion of non-commercialised space within our interior lives and relationships. In the process, we aim to locate the sources of authentic expression that are alive in each one of us.
Our writing will take various forms. From short reflections to extended explorations, we will use writing as a tool for inquiry and critique as well as to play and have fun on the page. While participants are welcome to use formats they are accustomed to (i.e. poets can write poetry and essayists can write essays), I would also encourage you to try out new formats and ideas.
We will use sensory journeys, mindfulness exercises and a variety of hands-on techniques to activate our capacity for self-reflection, insight and creativity. Weather permitting, we will do some of our sensory journeys and meditations outdoors. Short field trips may be added to the schedule depending on participant interest.
This course is open to all levels of experience. I will be teaching in English, but you are welcome to write in the language of your preference. (Note that although we will have regular rounds of sharing to exchange our experiences, the focus is not on reading work aloud/workshopping written pieces.)
Spaces are limited: Sign up today!