Cunning & Grace

A Monthly Audio Series with Laura

“We live a cheerful mediocrity. Yet in quiet moments we may feel a distressing call to the dark rooms hidden in the dungeons of the psyche; the doors are locked, bolted, chained, and long rusted shut. In the unknown darkness behind the door something nameless longs for the arrival of one with the cunning and grace to gasp the key...the initiatory journey begins the moment we open that door.”

- Daniel Deardorff

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Wilder Intelligence for Uncertain Times

This is a monthly audio series for those of you who inhabit the wilder fringes of culture. You, the outliers, the shapeshifters, tricksters, and the dreamers who know there is another way to live and lead. You who knows there is an irrevocable link - secreted, all too often hidden, between earth and human, between soul and service, between impactful leadership and creative artistry…between the inner and outer arcs of our lives.

In a world full of clamoring choice - amidst countless online programs, blogs, podcasts and videos…I have chosen this format intentionally. Firstly, because it has been requested, and secondly - and more importantly - because it draws upon the oral tradition where knowledge and story is passed through evocative narrative - informed by place and time. It is meant to be a simple offering - one that may feed the hunger of the soul, and stir the passion of the heart. One that hopefully, will arouse the deeper streams of wisdom that live in all of us in a time where our fullness is requested.

In this series I muse on a curious, emergent edge I am tracking in my work with social innovators, creative entrepreneurs, and itinerant artists who wield both cunning and grace to meet the challenges they face. Cunning wisdom includes the capacity to creatively transgress upon socially sanctified patterns in generative ways, to hold paradox and uncertainty, to apply an aesthetic eye to complex challenges, to commune with unlikely characters, and to assume the rare, but-needed, trickster role of cross-pollinating between the dark fringes of possibility and the center of culture. This same edge is one that I am exploring in my doctoral work, through deep conversation with my own soul, and in relationship with the canyon land in which I live.

For many us, the conversation begins with a longing to show up as our whole, authentic selves in all areas of our lives. It voices itself through our love and our fear - for this wild earth and how we are (or are not) in relationship to it, and for the future ones whose presence many of us feel acutely. It begins when we recognize we are looking, as Linda Hogan says, “for a tongue that speaks with reverence for life, searching for an ecology of mind…a language of that different yield. A yield rich as the harvests of the earth, a yield that returns us to our own sacredness, to a self-love and resort that will carry out to others.”

The Terrain

The map is never the landscape, but here are a few topics the muse has been whispering to me - threads to follow that will hopefully take us down a path of deeper understanding, and into a part of ourselves and the world where we might reclaim our grace and our cunning - the wilder intelligence that lives within our great feeling hearts.

  • Webs of relatedness and an animate earth

  • The power of the wryd - language, myth and story 

  • A wilder intelligence - weaving all our ways of knowing

  • Aesthetics, process and creative tension - what artists have held at the cultural fringe

  • Uncertainty, ambiguity, paradox and primal trust in the unknown

  • Soul-making - genius, daemons and human ripening

  • Ritual, creative transgression and culture change

  • And other stirrings from the margins…

The Details - Join for only $13/month on Patreon

To join this wayward band of traveling minstrels, simply click on the button below. You will be redirected to Patreon, a content site that allows you to enter your information and a credit or debit card for a recurring (monthly) payment. Once your checkout is complete, you will then have access to a unique RSS feed link where you can listen in or download Cunning & Grace on the podcast platform of your choice.

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To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wildness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace.
— Terry Tempest Williams

Recorded Sessions

January 2019 - “Foxy”

In this session I define grace and cunning, tell stories about my encounters with fox, and begin to explore pervasive symptoms of a culture that yearns for a deeper life, like a longing for community, authentic connection, and belonging.

February 2019 - “Poet”

In this session we explore the multi-faceted and many ways we that know, including the wisdom of the body, the feeling-sense, and the deep imagination. We talk about how modernity’s rejection of these intelligences disregards the interiority of soul at great consequence and how we can embody a difference way to live as a transgressive act.