Wednesday, January 16, 2019

pocoapoco residency in Oaxaca, Mexico


all photos by Heather Waraksa

I wasn't always a reader, in fact much to my mothers dismay and despair (she's a librarian) I hated reading because it was 'boring.'

I liked to entertain and be entertained - I like to do things with my hands. I like to manifest ideas immediately out of thin air, make something out of nothing.

It occurs to me that flower arranging allows for that instant gratification (as does cooking).

I used to read a little, here and there. Enjoyed some contemporary fiction like DeLillo, Jonathan Franzen, Zadie Smith. The Stone Diaries is a book I remember devouring. But I could go months without reading.


Then I went to Oaxaca to be a part of my friend Jessica's (at that time newly established) residency program. It was winter 2016, and it was right as Saipua was in the early stages of run-away growth. I remember feeling guilty for leaving, and instead of seeing it as a necessary retreat from the stress of scaling my company I took it as an opportunity to broaden my botanical knowledge and expand the potential of our annual upcoming plant sale.

I brought with me an old copy The Secret Life of Plants, a strange book of pseudo-science related to the topic of plant intelligence. It provided me with a constellation of jumping off points into the depths of nature and the occult, more than could fit into a week. Mid week I wrote my therapist a long rambling email full of tenuous connections between the psyche and the natural world. She basically now refers to the residency as the dawning of my golden age.


All is to say that the (now 3 week!) residency at Pocoapoco is therapist approved. You owe it to yourself to at least look at the program here: http://www.pocoapocomx.com/residency Jessica is accepting applications for Fall/Winter 2019 through the end of this week.

I came home from that program and never stopped reading. Read my way through all the science my heart could hold, all the cosmology, quantum physics all the chaos theory, evolution, ecology and feminist theory. I'm often reading three or five things at once and leave overturned books full of scribbles in the margins in my wake. (Below is my current list.)

Everyone needs a creative recharge, stepping away from your small business is like leaving your baby. It's absolutely terrifying. But how are we to bring new insights and ideas to our work and our businesses if we're constantly coddling our old ideas? I think about my mom going to night school - I hated it - I wanted her home with us. But she set an example for me that was invaluable; the pursuit of her own interests and wellbeing was just as important as taking care of her family. As I find my own way through femininity and my work, I often feel this was the best gift.

___

Now reading:

The Coming by Daniel Black
The Death of Nature: Women Ecology and the Scientific Revolution by Carolyn Merchant
Caliban and the Witch: Women the Body and Primative Accumulation by Silvia Federici
The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Like in Capitalist Ruins by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

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