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Wow, beautifully written. I will look up that Eisler book - coming from my own authoritarian background I can say that sometimes it makes the survivor allergic to authoritarians! The book sounds very interesting. I’m also reading terry tempest Williams book (Erosion) this week and I’ve thought of you and your writing as she talks passionately about nature and public land in the American west. 💛

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I know what you mean! I think you'll find some things of interest in the book (it's a little research-y academic, but not a slog to get through. Not as immediately engaging as many books, but not as difficult as a lot of others).

I haven't read Erosion yet, and am hoping to be able to just read it for pleasure at some point. :)

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Jun 4, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

Another beautiful column on this rainy day in Colorado, thanks for being a ray of sunshine. To move with lightness in the world, yes, one of my eternal goals. Practice, practice, practice.. try for 10,000 years..

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Thank you, Paul. And yes to the 10,000 years ...

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While your essay is about much more than eagles, vultures, and crows, they are such amazing birds! It is interesting, at some level, that our latest essays intersected although mine of course was not really as reflective. We are fortunate to have some nesting eagles near our place and it is always a joy to watch them.

While it is a recent opinion that needs more consideration, I fear that the pivot of politics in the US/Britain with Reagan/Thatcher in the late 70s and early 80s have a long tail of consequence. At some level the embrace of neooliberalism has disconnected democracy and degraded it at the expense of capitalism. I am not sure where it leads but it is a disturbing pattern.

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It is definitely a disturbing pattern. I don't like where it's going, and maybe even less that it's unclear exactly where that is. (Clear in some ways but not always in others).

Vultures really are fascinating birds. I'm glad you know about them! Not many people do.

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I recommend the RadioLab segment about the vultures. Most interesting to me is how tenuous their survival living amongst us humans actually is!

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Their state amongst humans is pretty daunting ...

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I'm about half way through this, which is also much concerned with questions of how we got to this place of grabbiness and greed being seen as not only socially acceptable but inevitable. https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374157357/thedawnofeverything

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Ooh, yes, I read that when it came out. That book is so, so important, specifically for what they did to start dismantling the whole "march of progress" myth -- that inevitability you mention. Didn't they say it was going to be the first in maybe 3 books? I wonder if Wengrow has enough material to keep it going. I hope so. Still sad about Graeber.

Anyway, thanks for connecting these. I hadn't thought of it, but Eisler's book and Dawn of Everything are kind of talking about the same things but from slightly different angles.

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Graeber also wrote a book about pirate kingdoms (both real and imagined), which ticked a whole bunch of SF boxes for me.

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Which one is that? I’ve only got DEBT on my shelf (not yet read). Ticking SF boxes is up my alley!

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Yeah, my bad. I should have put the link in.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pirate-enlightenment-or-the-real-libertalia-david-graeber/1141351134

and by the way, THE SEA BEAST is a fun little movie.

https://www.netflix.com/title/81018682

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Somehow I'd never heard of Pirate Enlightenment. That books looks a treat. As does The Sea Beast -- I hadn't heard of that one and was ready for something new, thanks!

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Jun 1, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

Thank you for writing this. Sometimes I practically get lost in almost meditative thought about the trauma-informed coaching and how, when we really release ourselves from judgement, we can see more clearly the humanity in us all.

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Wow, that’s a powerful way to put it. ❤️‍🔥

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founding

Hi Nia! I'm going to request a copy of Riane Eisler's book today. This piece resonated, as yours always do, in so many ways. Thank you.

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I will very much look forward to hearing your thoughts on that book, Greg! I think you will have a lot of insights into what she's talking about.

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Jun 1, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

I get that eagle feeling in a car - I was rolling along Tuesday afternoon windows down, roof open, blasting the stereo and barely aware I was driving (in the sense that it just felt like an extension of my body), never mind the tons of fast-moving traffic. La la la la, la la la la. Although I can get that feeling in the grocery store when I need to move in a hurry.

I don´t get any eagles around here, I get turkey vultures. But I did look out into the yard one day and damn if a sparrowhawk didn´t come flying in doing maybe 70 mph. flattened out its trajectory about five feet above the ground, and zoomed across the yard straight for the purple burberry bush the sparrows like to hang out in. The sparrows scattered in all directions except for one that took off at full speed the opposite way from the hawk. The sparrowhawk flew through the bush (thorny!) and was hot on the sparrow´s tail for another 150 yards or so before they disappeared behind another house. The whole thing was a blur, took maybe ... 4 seconds for the whole scene to play out.

¨ On psychologist Else Frenkel-Brunswick’s “F scale” that measures an individual’s compatibility with fascist rule¨

I had forgotten what I scored before, took both versions of that test I found on the web: 24% & 25% fascist. 13% less authoritarian than the average person. Woo. I spent 6 years in an authoritarian household, or maybe 6 years living under brutal authoritarian rule (not much rule of law going on there & then); it seems to have acted as inoculation against that kind of crap. 🤷🏻‍♂ Or I´m an American of an older school.

elm

the real problem is that then i want to fight these guys all the time

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There were lots of turkey vultures where we lived in upstate New York, and they were very cool to watch. A friend of mine was writing a book about vultures. Until I read parts of it, I never knew how essential they were to ecosystems all over the world, and how at risk due to how humans relate to everything else (poisoning from consuming dead cows in various places--I think she wrote about Israel and South Africa in particular).

I've never seen a sparrow hawk in motion! Cooper's hawks a couple of times trying to get into friends' chicken coops. That would be neat to see.

Are there places where you can just take the F scale test online? That would be an interesting if worrying mass population activity. (I want to fight them all the time, too.)

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The Washington Post had a fascinating article about how some folks who grew up homeschooled in very fundamentalist Christian families are now refusing to raise their own children that way because of what they now see was often an abusive, stunting system. What struck me about those parents was their ability to overcome their own trauma and somehow see outside the little box that they'd been raised. Seems like it takes pretty extraordinary people to do that.

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That is so true. I've known quite a few people who grew up like that, and the strength it takes to find a way beyond it and commit to not raising another generation like that is astounding. Where I live, it isn't uncommon to meet people who were homeschooled in fundamentalist Christian families. I have so much admiration for the ones who are struggling to overcome the damage it inflicted. Especially when it can be really hard to overcome that trauma -- many people never do, and learn more to manage what it's left -- but to live with it and refuse to pass it on anyway. (I still really recommend Stephanie Foo's book "What My Bones Know" because it's the first thing I've ever read that does a good job describing the kinds of complex and confusing damage that childhood abuse can leave.)

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May 31, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

This really resonated with me. I experienced authoritarianism at home, at school, and incorporate life, and my rejection of it defines me and informs my work. But I fear for every one who defines themself in opposition to it, there are ten who don't question it. I feel another essay!

Thanks for mentioning Riane Eisler. I meant to read her work some ten years ago and never did. Added to my list!

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Eisler's book really gets into that. I'd never read her previous work, though I know her story and why understanding authoritarianism is so important to her. There's so much in there I'd like to see discussed more widely, especially as conversations about fascism are becoming more common.

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Jun 6, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

Reading Eisler on dominator cultures deliberately destroying partnership cultures and getting complete clarity on what Desantis is doing.

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YES. And a lot of others, but yes.

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Jun 7, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

So many others, yes. Thanks for pointing me at this book. I'm really feeling that we're at an inflection point where things could go either way.

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Honestly, I am with you. I should probably just reread that book, there's so much in it and I need to reground myself in it.

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Jun 7, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

I confess I skimmed it a little. She makes one point, she makes it repeatedly, and she backs it up really well. It's not hard to extrapolate right up to today. It brought me a lot of clarity.

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May 31, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

I feel we're at such a crossroads right now, where the commons are both more needed and more under threat than ever. Our public Iands, waters, schools, libraries, benefits, even our bodily autonomy are vulnerable to a new round of clearances and enclosures, or "privatization" as they call it.

Every time I read one of your posts I want to write a book!

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YES. Both to the "commons are needed, commons under threat," and more books!

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May 31, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

And by the way "Landed" was amazing. Tracing my Scottish ancestors from the 1600s I can see them move though all these systems of land stewardship and the events that triggered them, from the Jacobite uprising to the Clearances. Wester Cardno, a township where the earliest was born, is now a family farm. I felt as if I was listening to my own family's history. This could be a book, maybe in installments! I hope to visit next year. Turns out it's just five miles from the village of Pennan where one of my favorite movies "Local Hero" was filmed.

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I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I did, too. I thought they did a strong job of getting into interconnections and complexity. Also, my mother-in-law LOVES "Local Hero." I've seen it so many times!

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May 31, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

That's so funny that your M-I-L loves "Local Hero". I watched it first for the music as I'm a big Mark Knopfler fan. It's a little corny, and its treatment of women is cringey, but the combination of the music and the setting really got under my skin. I fell in love with what I saw and heard. So to find out that my family's from five miles down the road was a bit special, let's say.

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Both my spouse and MIL are big Mark Knopfler fans so maybe that's something to do with it! My MIL always got such a kick out of the Texas accents. And the setting is *beautiful.*

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May 31, 2023·edited May 31, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

Thank you for bringing Riane Eisler to my attention - I just checked out the book you mentioned and it looks amazing. Congratulations on starting yours! Starting is no small accomplishment.

I have often wondered if there is an inverse relationship between our grasping need to own and possess stuff (the culture of "mine"), and our blind spots and disavowal of ownership when it comes to our own trauma and unresolved baggage. It seems like the one thing we don't reliably want to possess is our buried pain and personal truth.

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That is something I never really thought about before but whew, what an insightful observation.

I think you'll get a lot out of Eisler's book. I never actually read her first one, "The Chalice and the Blade," so I don't know if this will have repeat themes of that, but I certainly learned a lot from it.

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May 31, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

For me, it has been practice, only doing it over and over that has lessened my resistance to addressing my stuff. It was helpful to hear the phrase - turning my baggage into luggage - and I keep that in mind when I feel scared. The process of creating that transition is as scary as

what happened. But I must if I am going to be true to myself. Something about integrity.

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I've never heard that phrase before. That's a super useful image for me, separating things from bodily reactions.

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May 31, 2023·edited May 31, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

Maybe there's a difference between owning something, and bringing it along with us on the journey. In this sense it's not just baggage into luggage, but the difference between possessing things outright and being accompanied by them.

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Nia you are such an amazing soul! We are all better because of your words we get to see thru your writing! ❤️❤️

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That is so sweet, Val, thank you! 🧡🧡🧡

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May 31, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

Hi Antonia- Is No Trespassing going to be published, and if so, do you have an approximate publish date?

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Good question! And the answer's a bit convoluted. It will *not* be published through a traditional publisher (my first book, "A Walking Life," was published with Hachette). I did go through that whole process with my agent, and had conversations with a few editors. The enthusiasm was encouraging, but in the end no publisher took it, in part, I think, because it's a huge idea and I am not, to put it mildly, any kind of household name in the world of big ideas writing. Which is a shorter way of saying that they liked the idea and writing but couldn't figure out how to sell it.

I wrote another proposal with my agent (similar themes but more personal) but stopped short of sending it out because I literally couldn't get away from this idea. It kept me up at night. It wouldn't let me *not* write it, if that makes sense. So here I am, publishing it chapter-by-chapter on Substack. Which will take I'm thinking a couple of years at least. That's how long my first book took to write. I will be starting writing the first chapter next week (it's 8 or 9 chapters), but the Introduction is currently with beta readers and I'll be putting it out here in June, I hope. So I'll publish the chapters here as I write and finish them.

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May 31, 2023Liked by Antonia Malchik

These are valuable thoughts to examine again and again. Thank you.

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Thank you! 🙏🧡

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