Exchange & Mutual Inspiration

In these slightly feral times, the need to build community is clear, but the how is neither obvious nor easy. At least to me. I mean this generally, and also I mean it in regards to specific aspects of life I care very much about. Like the making and sharing and enjoying of creative work.

This world needs poets and artists, so I firmly believe. But how do poets and artists and the world find each other? How do we do that, and learn our crafts, and teach our crafts, and do meaningful work, and and and, while also doing what our global society continues to awkwardly call “making a living?” New challenge, same as the old challenge — plus unraveling economic and political systems, plus at least one world-shifting pandemic.

Bored Wolves, the wonderful tiny publishing house that collaborated with me and Lucy Bellwood to make Tell the Turning in 2021, has been joyfully weaving a “border-skipping” international community based on “exchange and mutual inspiration” — a baseline that I think offers a some inspiration of its own.

“We’re all together building one permeable, border-skipping…community, based on exchange and mutual inspiration.”

-Stefan Lorenzutti, Bored Wolves

The opportunity to be part of this emerging community showed up in my life mainly through curiosity and openness. It’s gifted me with new friendships, new skills, and new interests, plus the ability to make the book I wanted to make (not the book some big, profit-driven publishing house thought would sell). Also wonderful book-gems on my shelves, from authors and artists I’d otherwise never have known. Blessings abound.

As Stefan explains in his latest newsletter over at the Bored Wolves Inn, the “bored” part is really about longing, about a yearning to make and collaborate. I’ve had that longing myself for many years. I’m pretty pleased to be a “Bored” Wolf, collaboratively turning that longing toward all kinds of creative blessing.

And I’m pleased to read this articulation of community: something that we can base on “exchange and mutual inspiration.” I’d like to help bring more of that into our shifting world. The shifting feels like an earthquake sometimes. Exchange and mutual inspiration feel like a move toward solid ground.

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