Thursday, May 23, 2013

The One Year Anniversary of the Indigo Vat!

My heavens, the date actually passed me by entirely, so this is a slightly belated but no less enthusiastic note of gratitude to each and every soul who has wandered the deep blue vats, the thimbleberry thickets, the deer skins and elk bones and roseblossom tales of this blog over the last year, since it popped its head above the soil on May 15th of 2012. Magnificent webs of connection have already been spun in this single turning around the sun with individuals far and wide who trot through here and find something that stitches true in their own hearts. It is a pleasure and a joy to share my meanderings, my makings and my thoughts with you here, and I look forward to the web only widening with the morning sun of this coming year!

photo from the Bug Guide
A side note—the above furred wonder is a Western Tussock Moth caterpillar, muncher of coast live oak leaves. I just saw my very first one this Sunday, and it simply blew me away. I have been looking forward to sharing this discovery with you since then! It looked like a whimsical circus-being, some magical messenger of all Night Moths and their occult knowledge, of red stars and oak histories, utterly protected from bird predation, a yellow-spiked transforming wonder; apparently these caterpillars pull out their own hairs and use them as a part of their cocoons. This little one is a magic-bearer, it seems to me. A reminder that all of the wild is—the little and the big— bearing magic to our hearts, reminding us of our place in the family of things.

Blue lupine at the edge of the world, where the fog-bank rolls off the Pacific Ocean and up the steep hills of Mt. Tamalpais
Anyhow, one of the most exciting things to come out of this Indigo Vat for me has been the success of the Gray Fox Epistles, my Wild Tails by Mail project, in which I send subscribers, on each new moon, a retelling of an old myth, fairytale or folktale, rewilded and rerooted in the ecologies of the lands I call home—mixed fir forest, coast strand, chaparral, sagebrush, redwood forest, salty lagoon. These letters are beautifully hand-packaged, wax-sealed, with scraps of leaf and petal in them. I am truly inspired already by the community of ecology and myth lovers that has grown around this project, and it has only been three months!  I am also moved by the fact that the making of Art, both for the love of it and as a (partial) living, can be so straightforward—I write a tale, you ask to receive it in the mail in exchange for a small price, everybody goes away happy. No middle-people (though of course there is nothing wrong with a novel published by a press as well!). Only that it makes me happy that these avenues can exist together.

So in the spirit of this gratitude, and also with the desire to spread the word far and wide about the Gray Fox Epistles, so that this rerooting of old magic tales can drop its seeds further and further afield, I am offering a giveaway! If you share the word of this Gray Fox Epistles project (here is a link to the page with all the details, and another link to an essay I wrote for Dark Mountain on the subject, called Turning Our Fairytales Feral Again), on your blog, facebook, whatever— any kind of description you like!— and let me know in the comments section here, with a link, I will put all your names in a hat and draw one to receive a gift-package. This will include either a hand-felted infinity scarf/ headdress, naturally dyed...

or a set of 2 hand-felted tea-coasters... (depending on your preference)

plus a two-month subscription to the Gray Fox Epistles!

You have until June 1st, when I will draw the names and contact the "winner"!

May the little lemon-yellow birds of spring-summer sing sweet songs out the windows of your heart. Bless you all for stopping by!


  1. Congratulations on your first year! You've created a place of wonderful and many-storied magic here which is always such a pleasure to visit.
    I'd left a comment in your last blog post saying how I hope you didn't mind my linking to your two blogs in my latest blog post. Good to hear you don't! I'm very happy to spread the word about your Gray Fox Epistles - it's a fabulous project. Best wishes for this spring-summer!

    1. Thank you Lynn, and sorry I forgot to respond to your previous comment! I of course was very pleased that you shared the Gray Fox Epistles on your own Beneath the Bracken! Anyhow, many thanks to you. xxx, Sylvia

  2. happy blogversary!! and what perfect timing - i was planning to blog about your wonderful epistles soon anyway!! will come back with linkies after posting. xxo

  3. You have a really beautiful way of putting words together.

  4. I have already shared about the Grey Fox epistles because I think the idea is so wonderful, and I very happy to do so again :-) I've tweeted it (at @knittingthewind) and put it on Facebook (private page so I can't prove it!) I also mentioned it on my blog - - I hope you get business from it. Before you put my name in the draw, be aware that I'm from NZ. If that's too far for postage, then please leave me out. I'm happy to link to your lovely work in any case.

  5. I just linked and posted about your blog and your essay on, dare I say it, Facebook. I can't believe it's been a year. Your blog has been such a respite to me when I am sick of the city! xox

  6. I just shared on my Facebook author page (which feeds into Twitter too). I also told my pen pal in Japan about you - before I even knew about this prize draw!

  7. here's my blog post, which cross-posts to facebook and tweets too:
    thanks for such a generous giveaway!

  8. Alright my dear friends! I've put the names and drawn from a hat, and the winner is Elizabeth Metzger!! Thank you all so deeply for your support. It means the world to me! xox

  9. I am so disappointed I miss this. Oh please tell me you'll do this again someday!