A zoo noticed that many of its animals were getting sick, depressed, and not performing well. They built a special veterinary clinic and hired the best doctors with all the most advanced methods and treatments to fix these underperforming beasts. The doctors discovered that placing the animals in environments that closely replicated their ancestral ways of being quickly brought about drastic healing. As soon as they were determined healthy, however, they were immediately sent back to the zoo, where they would eventually become sick again.
Tamarix received his training in treating sick animals from this clinic, and was able to study the effects of domestication and wildness on the human animal for over a decade. There was a problem though – after a while, Tamarix started to ask questions, questions like: Why must we send the animals back to the zoo? Why is wildness only appreciated/tolerated in small, regulated doses, just enough to coerce the animals back into service? Why does the zoo exist and why arent we attempting to destroy it?
These questions led Tamarix to begin trying to sneak animals out of the back door of the clinic, telling them, “Go, be free! You were born wild! You werent meant to live in a cage!” The clinic owners did not appreciate this, as they did not want wild animals – they wanted good, well-behaved, domesticated animals.
Sadly, Tamarix found it harder and harder to work in the clinic, even though he had learned so much from his time there and really loved many of the people and practices of the clinic. Tamarix had to leave, and in so doing, has decided to continue his path of rewilding, resistance, and remembering what it means to be a human in a world almost fully infected with civilization.
Tamarix is inviting others to learn alongside him, to share in this journey. To this end, he has begun the Oak and Bone School of Belonging and Remembrance and has set his roots down in the deep canyons of the Colorado Plateau, on the southern slopes of Boulder Mountain.
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 and 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, is the senior editor of the “Circles on the Mountain” journal of the Wilderness Guides Council, founded the Oak and Bone School of Belonging and Remembrance, and is working to create more ways to bring the magic of this ceremony to his people.