Feel invited to join one or more of the 3 new writing(with)plant sessions early February.

The world can look dark, especially in January for the people who live in the northern hemisphere. The days are short, the winter holiday decorations and cosiness fade away. Nature seems asleep or dead, except many humans, always in a rush in this accelerating society. We get tired, isolated, stressed.

In 2021, I started to organise virtual roundtables, first on rooting and belonging, both in Flemish and English. I invited always a plant to be part of these online circles of wisdom. Towards the end of the 2021, the writing(with)plant sessions grew out of these circles. These are small moments of community, creating female and posthuman texts. In the meantime, we had already different writing(with)plant sessions, programmed when my intuition and body has rested enough. We invited peonies, hemp, holly, hogweed… and now in the first two weeks of February, we will organise 3 circles and invite 3 new plants.

Writing(with)plants – what is this?

Last year, I wrote some thoughts about dating with plants, plant companions and then we organised some writing(with)plants sessions. Please find here some thoughts about phytographia or writing (with) plants we wrote in winter 2021. Often we underestimate the power of plants. We, humans, think often that we are the only stewards or helpers of the earth, but plants can be our allies too. Therefore, we organise virtual circles where we can remember their roles and our relationships with these plant – through some creative practices of knowledge and healing. These practices create meaning. The space is open for everyone. The beauty is that not only the plant, and the theme, leads to very different dynamics and even (artistic) outcomes, but that also the human participants, with their own masteries and wisdoms and experiences and memories and stories, make it always different. In a session on hemp, the circle became very political with thoughts on taboo and social change, while the session on night-blooming jasmine started with confusion and then got infused in the end with thoughts on the dark feminine and tricksters. There is always a core of 3 humans (Vitalija, Sugir and me). We welcome people who only join once and who join when they can and want. There is no obligation or expectation that you attend every session. These sessions are for free:

Our 3 guest plants in February 2023:

SNOWDROP and the theme: Returning after wintering

The snowdrop… which plant can be a better host in the time where the first light, first milk, and first flowers are arriving in the northern hemisphere. The plant can be a poison, but also a cure. There is a lot of folklore around this plant, as well as scientific facts. Please join us if you like to get to know snowdrop and want to reflect on returns after wintering.

Vanilla and the theme: Sweet violence

Many people might associate vanilla with its sweet taste. Often it is used as synonym for normal, innocent. However, the story of vanilla is also the story of hidden violence. This will be a session where we will reveal the ugly and the violent, but we will also talk about guilt and shame when we realise some of our consumption choices lead to violence and exploitation of other creatures (humans and nonhumans) elsewhere.

An epiphyte and the theme: co-dependence – just before Valentine’s day

There are thousands of epiphytes, but we have not selected which one who will be our guest. We might invite mistletoe, a semi-parasite who is considered by some as epiphyte, by others are parasite. In the days before Valentine, we are often bombarded with advertisements targeting coupledom. Coupledom itself is not bad, unless singles are treated as less because they are not part of a couple, or when people stay in toxic relationships. We will reflect when a relationship is more epiphetic or more parasitic. What can plants like mistletoe teach us when we are in questions on our singledom, coupledom or any co-dependence we want to examine, because something feels off?

Here are the dates and the ZOOM links. This is Brussels time.:

  1. Wednesday February 1st, 15.00-17.00: The snowdrop –  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89401824356 
  2. Tuesday February 7th, 19.00-21.00: Vanilla – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88395272800 
  3.  Monday February 13th, 15.00-17.00:  An epiphyte – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85135107097

We are also talking with an illustrator to join these sessions in 2023 and make visual draft/notes on what she hears. This is materials for a possible scientific paper (in 2024) on the method.

The next writing(with)plant sessions will be in April.

This event is organised by Health Gardens Brussels, International Forest Therapy Days and Woodwebstories. We have also a googlegroups where you can find same-minded humans.