On Silence, Solitude, and the Courage to Know Yourself

“In much of your talking, thinking is half murdered. For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.”

Something strange and wondrous begins to happen when one spends stretches of time in solitude, in the company of trees, far from the bustle of the human world with its echo chamber of judgments and opinions — a kind of rerooting in one’s deepest self-knowledge, a relearning of how to simply be oneself, one’s most authentic self. Wendell Berry knew this when he observed that “true solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation” — the places where “one’s inner voices become audible.”


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The Healing Power of Gardens: the Psychological and Physiological Consolations of Nature

“In forty years of medical practice, I have found only two types of non-pharmaceutical ‘therapy’ to be vitally important for patients with chronic neurological diseases: music and gardens.”

“I work like a gardener,” the great painter Joan Miró wrote in his meditation on the proper pace for creative work. It is hardly a coincidence that Virginia Woolf had her electrifying epiphany about what it means to be an artist while walking amid the flower beds in the garden at St. Ives. Indeed, to garden — even merely to be in a garden — is nothing less than a triumph of resistance against the merciless race of modern life, so compulsively focused on productivity at the cost of creativity, of lucidity, of sanity; a reminder that we are creatures enmeshed with the great web of being, in which, as the great naturalist John Muir observed long ago, “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe”; a return to what is noblest, which means most natural, in us. There is something deeply humanizing in listening to the rustle of a newly leaved tree, in watching a bumblebee romance a blossom, in kneeling onto the carpet of soil to make a hole for a sapling, gently moving a startled earthworm or two out of the way. Walt Whitman knew this when he weighed what makes life worth living as he convalesced from a paralytic stroke: “After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, love, and so on — have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear — what remains? Nature remains; to bring out from their torpid recesses, the affinities of a man or woman with the open air, the trees, fields, the changes of seasons — the sun by day and the stars of heaven by night.”


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The Cosmic Miracle of Trees: Pablo Neruda’s Love Letter to Earth’s Forests

“Anyone who hasn’t been in the Chilean forest doesn’t know this planet. I have come out of that landscape, that mud, that silence, to roam, to go singing through the world.”

“Today, for some, a universe will vanish,” Jane Hirshfield writes in her stunning poem about the death of a tree a quarter millennium after William Blake observed in his most passionate letter that how we see a tree is how we see the world, and in the act of seeing we reveal what we are: “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way,” he wrote. “As a man is, so he sees.”


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A Prophetic Prescription for Course-Correcting Away from Ecological Catastrophe and Toward Human Happiness

“The final and absolute test of good government is the well-being and contentment of the people — not the extent of empire or the abundance of the revenue and the trade.”

The polymathic British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (January 8, 1823‐November 7, 1913) is best known as the man evolution left behind. While Wallace arrived independently at the theory of natural selection and while the paper about it he jointly published with Darwin in 1858 fomented the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859, it was Darwin — who had kept his controversial ideas under wraps for years, until Wallace gave him the courage to go public — that took the laurels of evolutionary theory. But Wallace holds a different, long overlooked distinction, the cultural impact of which might well shape the evolution of this planet’s living future more profoundly than the evolutionary history of its past


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The affective turn – theorizing the social

“The innovative essays in this volume . . . demonstrat[e] the potential of the perspective of the affects in a wide range of fields and with a variety of methodological approaches. Some of the essays . . . use fieldwork to investigate the functions of affects—among organized sex workers, health care workers, and in the modeling industry. Others employ the discourses of microbiology, thermodynamics, information sciences, and cinema studies to rethink the body and the affects in terms of technology. Still others explore the affects of trauma in the context of immigration and war. And throughout all the essays run serious theoretical reflections on the powers of the affects and the political possibilities they pose for research and practice.”—Michael Hardt, from the foreword.
In the mid-1990s, scholars turned their attention toward the ways that ongoing political, economic, and cultural transformations were changing the realm of the social, specifically that aspect of it described by the notion of affect: pre-individual bodily forces, linked to autonomic responses, which augment or diminish a body’s capacity to act or engage with others. This “affective turn” and the new configurations of bodies, technology, and matter that it reveals, is the subject of this collection of essays. Scholars based in sociology, cultural studies, science studies, and women’s studies illuminate the movement in thought from a psychoanalytically informed criticism of subject identity, representation, and trauma to an engagement with information and affect; from a privileging of the organic body to an exploration of nonorganic life; and from the presumption of equilibrium-seeking closed systems to an engagement with the complexity of open systems under far-from-equilibrium conditions. Taken together, these essays suggest that attending to the affective turn is necessary to theorizing the social.


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Aging Our Way

Aging Our Way follows the everyday lives of 30 elders (ages 85-102) living at home and mostly alone to understand how they create and maintain meaningful lives for themselves. Drawing on the latest interdisciplinary scholarship on aging and three years of interviews with the elders, Meika Loe explores how elders navigate the practical challenges of living as independently as possible while staying healthy, connected, and comfortable. While most books on the subject treat old age as a social problem and elders as simply diminished versions of their former selves, Aging Our Way views them as they really are: lively, complicated, engaging people finding creative ways to make their aging as meaningful and manageable as possible. In their own voices, elders describe how they manage everything from grocery shopping, doctor appointments, and disability, to creating networks of friends and maintaining their autonomy. In many ways, these elders can serve as role models. The lessons they have learned about living in moderation, taking time for themselves, asking for help, keeping a sense of humor, caring for others, and preparing for death provide an invaluable source of wisdom for anyone hoping to live a long and fulfilling life. Through their stories, Loe helps us to think about aging, well-being, and the value of human relationships in new ways.


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Resistência e Participação em tempos de pandemia

Observatório criado por movimentos feministas, antirracistas e de Direitos Humanos denunciará retrocessos, fará pressão política e fortalecerá redes de solidariedade. É um caminho para enfrentar ofensiava antidemocrática do governo.

A participação social no desenho e na execução de leis e políticas públicas é um pilar da democracia, previsto na Constituição de 1988. Os movimentos de mulheres e feministas sempre foram ativos e atuantes em diferentes frentes. No legislativo federal, por exemplo, são décadas de monitoramento e incidência para a aprovação de legislações não discriminatórias. Estivemos presentes, por exemplo, em debates e votações, apoiando a construção de uma representação coletiva das mulheres parlamentares, que se concretizou na Bancada Feminina no Congresso Nacional.


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Como o Estado violenta as meninas e mulheres

Apenas 42 hospitais realizam procedimento legal no Brasil, enquanto há 500 mil estupros por ano. Grupos religiosos propõem punitivismo — mas solucionar violência estruturante exigirá ensino de sexualidade e igualdade de gênero nas escolas.

O caso de uma menina de 10 anos que engravidou em decorrência de estupro trouxe à tona mais uma vez o debate sobre o direito ao aborto e sobre o enfrentamento à violência sexual no Brasil. O contexto foi bastante cruel: violência sexual cometida no âmbito doméstico durante anos por um homem da própria família.

O Brasil tem, há mais de 80 anos, uma legislação que garante o direito ao aborto em caso de gravidez decorrente de estupro e risco de morte para a gestante. Em 2012, por decisão do Supremo Tribunal, o direito ao aborto foi assegurado também para o caso de fetos com anencefalia, uma má-formação do cérebro que inviabiliza a vida extrauterina. Subsequente ao Código Penal, há um arcabouço de leis, como a Lei 12.845/2013, que dispõe sobre o atendimento obrigatório e integral de pessoas em situação de violência sexual, e diferentes normas técnicas do Ministério da Saúde que tratam da violência sexual e regulamentam o acesso ao aborto legal. Alguns exemplos são a norma técnica (NT) que versa sobre a Prevenção e Tratamento dos Agravos Resultantes da Violência Sexual contra Mulheres e Adolescentes – 1999 e reedições atualizadas, e a NT de Atenção Humanizada ao Abortamento – 2005 e reedições. Além dessas, há toda a legislação que salvaguarda os direitos de crianças e adolescentes, a exemplo do ECA – Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente, de 1990 e reedições.


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Violência contra as mulheres: o passado ressoa no presente

Até aparentes avanços têm origens machistas: garantia ao aborto em caso de estupro, nos anos 40, era para proteger moral da família. O viés machista da Justiça precisa ser enfrentado. Um manifesto pelo direito à vida das mulheres.

Neste 25 de novembro, Dia Latino-Americano e Caribenho de Combate à Violência Contra as Mulheres, lembramos dos desafios que ainda estão colocados para que meninas e mulheres, cis ou trans, vivam uma vida sem medo de serem violentadas, agredidas ou assassinadas.

O aumento do número de casos de violência doméstica e sexual durante a pandemia é um triste retrato de uma sociedade que nos impõe o medo. Dia após dia, os noticiários nos lembram que pais, padrastos, tios, avós, são potenciais agressores. O lar pode não ser um espaço seguro, uma realidade que contradiz a necessidade de isolamento social que ainda temos.


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Acquisti compulsivi nel disturbo da accumulo

Quale relazione c’è tra attaccamento, acquisti compulsivi, intolleranza al disagio e tendenza ad antropomorfizzare gli oggetti confortanti?

Il disturbo da accumulo si caratterizza per l’incapacità di scartare beni e dal disordine conseguente che arriva a compromettere l’uso della propria abitazione (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).


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