Archive for March, 2008

Deaths in the Family

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Well I reckon I am not a very good blogger, I will try to keep this a bit more up to date, though I’m not sure if it’s that interesting or if anyone reads this.
This has been a hard winter, as far as important male figures in my life. My father, at 85, died of brain cancer on January 23. I miss him, especially now as I sit in my old bedroom on Long Island, New York. Good-bye dad, I miss and love you.

Michael Moore, the herbalist, died of kidney complications on February 20.  I wrote a tribute to him here.
This is only a small bit about how I feel about Michael. Like all relationships, it is complicated. Fourteen years after initially studying with him, it is obvious how important his impact has been on my life as an herbalist. For me, he was a major permission-giver. That is, after being in a classroom and watching how others reacted to him, I realized I can be more myself in a classroom, with little pretension. Of course I am no Michael Moore, but I feel that I can contribute a little something to the way we practice herbal medicine in the United States. And cursing all the way through.

7Song Teaches at Local High School

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Today I will be teaching at the local high school, for the ‘special needs’ kids (my kind of people). I did this once before for this class. The teacher wants me to come in to talk about wildcrafting and herbal medicine in general because the students are reading a book "Where the Lilies Bloom" which features a character gathering plants. So I am there as the modern-day continuation of this character. I like doing the class. I will be bringing in lots of show-and-tell items, my first aid bag, just-gathered branches of Prunus serotina, Hamamelis virginiana, Rhus typhina, Betula lenta, and a Salix spp with catkins just emerging. Last time, the item that got the most attention is my old friend, a large cleaver, whom I named Pinky. Pinky, you may ask, what a name for a cleaver! Ahh, but as may be construed from such a name, is that I in fact did chop off a piece of my pinky (and ate it, but that’s a story for a latter time) with this cleaver. And you can imagine the students getting a kick out of this (and perhaps you too not-so-gentle reader).

So I will come in with branches and chopping tools and a bag of herbal medicines and see what we can learn from each other with such an array.