From ‘Belonging’ by Toko-pa

“The problem with convenience and efficiency is that, in the effort to make the shortest path between us and the things we want, the privilege of accountability is lost.

If you consider the time it takes an individual to gather raw materials, which are often living organisms, the honour & grief that is felt in their losses to our ecosystems, the lifetime courtship of the tools and material’s ways, the apprenticeship to the land which enables it all, then you have a life which is interwoven with its art.

You have a person who is beholden to their place in the world and you can trace a path across their wounds and wrinkles to their love of a thing, which they will protect, and which will feed you with its long history, beauty and richness. A person like this thinks twice about ‘developing’ an unblemished piece of land.” – Dreamwork with Toko-pa

Excerpted from the forthcoming book on “Belonging” © Toko-pa Turner 2017. To read more, sign up for Toko-pa’s free newsletter here:

New Year’s Invocations by Toko-pa

Dearest Dreamer,

I’ve heard it said that when your heroes die, it is a call to step into their empty shoes and walk in such a way which demonstrates what you’ve inherited from them.

The heroes we lost this year were living examples of unabashedness. They expressed themselves without filters, accentuated their differences and flaunted their eccentricities. I certainly aspire to this kind of expression in art, but also in life.

For me, this year has been about stepping into personal power. We are in this pivotal time in history when many of us find ourselves standing on opposing sides of a dangerous disagreement. We are learning about taking a stand for what we believe, even when it makes us unpopular. While there is always wisdom in listening to different viewpoints, some moments call for us to be unequivocal.

Joseph Campbell once said that the thing all heroes have in common is their willingness to die for what they believe. I would just add that in that willingness, we become truly alive.

My 2017 invocation for you, dear Dreamer, is that you recognise with increasing vividness that you know what you know. May this year find you less and less inclined to self-doubt, meekness and hesitation. May you be willing to be unlikeable, but in the process be utterly loved. May you be impervious to the wrongful projections of others, and may you deliver your no with precision and grace. May you see with the consummate clarity of nature moving through you that your voice is not only necessary, but desperately needed to sing us out of this muddle. May you feel shored up, supported and reassured as you venture into the next year with your precious offerings and bold choices. May you know for certain that even as you stand by yourself, you are not alone.

All my love for a wickedly wonderful year ahead,


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