Beholding the Stories of the World: a ceremonial remembrance
July 15-22, 2021
Boulder Mountain (Utah)
Tamarix and Petra Lentz-Snow
reciprocity through gift – details below
As bees are the reproductive organs of flowering plants,
might humans be the song and story organs of the world,
carrying the pollen grains of story around as we fall hopelessly in love
with the nectar of life, moving from flower to flower?
In the long ago, Humans were given the gift of language, the gift of story, so that we might behold the world in all its mystery and beauty and wonder. While most of us have forgotten this, and have been using this gift for all manner of absurd and frightening purposes, there are a few who have never forgotten – the poets and bards, the song and story-carriers of the world.
In the long ago, Humans were given the gift of story so that we might bear witness to the inexhaustible beauty of the world. With our throats and our hands and our brilliant minds, we were asked to give this beauty back, to sing the songs of Life back to itself, to feed the soul of the world with poetry, song, dance, with wild beauty. We were asked to tend the world with our eloquence, our imagination, our capacity for grief and praise. We were asked to Behold the wonders of the world with the fullest limits of our humanness. We were asked to be artists.
The power of language and story is our species’ unique way of being in the world, and it is a powerful magic indeed. What if we were to take accountability for this gift, for this power, and use it for honoring and celebrating the world? What if we were to allow ourselves to truly see the beauty of the world, and be seen in turn? What might happen?
Beholding is an eight day journey into a world of very real magic and wonder, a world in which you are an integral part of the story of the world, and what you do with your gifts – your art, your magic – matters greatly to the entire fabric of Life.
Who is this for?
This ceremony is for poets, bards, vagabonds and miscreants, brush-and-pen-wielders, pot-shapers, spoon-carvers and basket-weavers, song-keepers and myth-tellers, minstrels and wastrels and artists of all breeds and persuasions. Throughout the ceremony, you will be asked to take accountability for your role as a human and as an artist. You will be asked to witness the beauty of the world, and be witnessed in turn. You will remember why your people were given these gifts so long ago, and why you are carrying them now.
If you do not consider yourself an artist, all the better. Know that you will by the end.
What will we be doing?
We will be gathering, camping, and cooking together at a basecamp on Boulder Mountain, and venturing into the surrounding wilderness to ceremonially gather and be gathered by the stories of the world. Upon our return, we will share these stories with our community, as well as witness the stories of others. The week will coalesce around a final day of Beholding the stories we have gathered throughout the week as we weave an absurd tapestry of beauty from the scattered fragments and frayed threads of our human experience and get claimed by our art, our soul, our place in the story of the world.
Due to recent pathogenic happenings, we will be using backcountry covid protocols, which unfortunately includes cooking meals individually or in pods of folks who are comfortable sharing space.
This sounds a lot like Mirroring
For those unfamiliar with this term, Mirroring is an essential part of a rite-of-passage ceremony, a way of witnessing, celebrating, and midwifing stories into the world. Mirroring is an act of tending the rich soils of death and life – compassionately holding the hand of that which is dying in us, as well as welcoming the beautiful story which is struggling to emerge into this strange and terrifying world.
Beholding is a child in the lineage of Mirroring, taken a few steps deeper into animate world. Beholding is applying the magic of mirroring to the nonhuman world, as humans are not the only beings whose stories need to be held, witnessed, and loved.
Do I need prior experience with ceremony, mirroring, or poetry?
Absolutely not. Anyone who might be inclined towards showing up to such a dubiously described event is welcome.
What about reciprocity?
The Oak and Bone School operates on a gift economy. For more details on what this means, please follow this link: https://www.theoakandboneschool.com/soul-of-gift
or contact tamarix for more details.
Participation is limited to ten humans and one cat. Please RSVP by June 1st.
For questions, details, or to RSVP, please follow this link: https://www.theoakandboneschool.com/apply-1
or contact tamarix at
Tamarix belongs to Boulder Mountain and the waters that course these dense forests and deep canyons; the magic of language; water and shadow; the scent of sagebrush; the feeling of sandstone on bare feet; the Oak-groves; his legendary cat Nithi; Grief, Longing, and Death; as well as Love, Belonging, and Life.
Tamarix has been claimed by the traditions of wilderness guiding, bardic poetry, rogue wine-drunk taoism, cat-worship, folk herbalism, and animistic witchcraft, as well as the deep stories of the dark trickster, the hunter, and the death doula.
As a wilderness rites-of-passage guide, Tamarix brings his 10+ years experience as a wilderness therapy guide, his intimate relationship with the non-human world, and his deep trust in both the wisdom of wild spaces and the fasting ceremony utilized by the School of Lost Borders.
Tamarix attended the SLB month-long training in 2017, the Animas Valley Institute’s YLSI (yearlong soulcraft intensive) in 2017-18, and has been assisting fasts for the SLB and the Practice of Living and Dying as often as he can. Tamarix established a rites-of-passage program for Legacy Outdoor Adventures and Juniper Canyon Recovery Center for Women utilizing the SLB model, founded the Oak and Bone School of Belonging and Remembrance, is the senior editor of the Circles on the Mountain journal of the Wilderness Guides Council, and is working to create more ways to bring the magic of this ceremony to his people.
Petra has been Involved in vision fasts and wilderness rites of passage programs for more than 30 years. She is a guide, trainer and active steward of the School of Lost Borders, where she served as Executive Director for eight years and a member and former Netkeeper of the Wilderness Guides Council network.
She holds space in many ways, as woman, mother, auntie (mentor), guide, not-so-fine artist and cancer initiate but most importantly as someone who carries the awareness of death on her shoulder and lives by the grace of a heart that keeps expanding. More about her here.