Slime Mold Can Map Out the Entire Tokyo Subway System

It’s not a plant, animal, or fungus. It’s just one, giant cell.

This is not a sentence I ever thought I would write, but… slime mold is amazing. It’s a single cell organism, and it can do so much. It travels in exploration, and it can find the most efficient route between food sources. We don’t really know how.

Slime mold can also solve mazes.

It doesn’t have a brain, and this seems to indicate that there are multiple ways to have intelligence. We can learn from forms of nature, including slime mold.

Enjoy this video.

Our Expanding Universe

We have never once —
not even one time! —
charted a path that has been taken previously.
Nope, never.
Not even one time!

In the history of our lives,
In the history of humanity,
In the history of the earth as we know it, and
In the history of our solar system,
We have never repeated the same rotational pathway.
Not even once.

We have never resided in the exact same physical space we inhabited
two minutes ago,
two years ago,
two millennia ago, or
two zillion millennia ago.

Our universe is expanding.

The earth is not traveling the exact same path,
year by year, around a static sun.
We are charting new pathways on November 15, 2021,
which are entirely different
from the pathways of movement and physical space
we forged collectively on November 15, 2020.

The sun is not standing still.
It has never done so.
It is shooting forward
(as if we could know in the cosmos which way is forward?)
through the Galaxy,
in an ever-expanding universe!

So tell me again. . .

. . .why do we think our lives cannot change and adapt?

. . .why do we think we have to stay in the same rut?

. . .why do we think “But we’ve always done it that way!” is an accurate or appropriate argument?

Perhaps, grounded to this very earth,
with our eyes to the skies, and
with our feet firmly planted,
we might just accept that our personal universe

Renee Roederer


Image Description: A tree with roots partially in view. A green, leafy forest is in the background.

Each of us is unique and particular, distinct and differentiated,
(and these are great gifts)

But in every moment,
each person is a We.

Every single one of us is a Collective —
we are Plural
not only in a myriad of
memories, and
each as plentiful and contradictory as the next —

but also

We represent internalized others.
We are a nexus of relationships, embodied.

Who is always rooted in Whose.

Whose —
not possession or ownership.
not fate or determinism.

Whose —
collective calling,
sacred possibility.

Sacred actuality.
We only need to awaken to it.

Renee Roederer

Let The Trees Speak to Our Roots

Image Description: Four trees with bright orange leaves.

I had a total geekout about these trees.

When I walked out of the gym, I just stood there, stunned that so many gorgeous fall leaves were present in one place.

Beyond the worthy geekout, however, these trees also remind me of something. I think they’re a valuable symbol, especially if we feel fatigued or on edge during this season.

Every autumn, trees reveal their vibrant colors
when their energy is shifted toward their roots.

All spring and summer, leaves gather energy for sustenance and growth through their photosynthesis process. When the autumn begins, leaves don’t really turn red, orange, yellow, and brown. They are revealed to be red, orange, yellow, and brown. In preparation for winter, deciduous trees stop their photosynthesis process. As a result, the accompanying color of green recedes, and we see the revealed colors of these leaves. This process prepares for the winter season in which roots can continue to thrive and grow.

When we see the vibrant colors of autumn, we might also make analogies and ponder our own rooting process.

As we think about the present moment we’re living, and the future we want to live,

What forms of energy do we need to shed?
What forms of energy do we need to pursue?

To what and to whom are we rooted?
With what and with whom are we connected?

How can a sense of groundedness reveal beauty?
How can rootedness help us see the worth and value of the people around us.

During autumn, when we see the trees (and potentially, have a geekout) perhaps we can ponder these kinds of questions. As I watch trees make these changes, I like to imagine that their energy and focus is moving into the ground — into the most foundational parts of being — and I find myself wanting to do the same.

What do we need to bring inside ourselves toward the most foundational parts of ourselves?

in the midst of divisiveness?

in the midst of strife?

in the midst of cynicism?

in the midst of violence?

in the midst of anxiety?

Let’s ponder these when we see the leaves.

Renee Roederer

I Had to Run Away From Bats

May be an image of nature, tree, sky and twilight
Image Description: A sunset with hues of orange, pink, and deep purple amidst trees.
Photo, Renee Roederer.

It’s the one year anniversary of this story, so I thought I’d share it again — Ha!

I was finishing up my daily walk as the sun was setting, and I snapped some beautiful photos with deep purple in the sky. Ahhh… So nice.

And I saw a bat. Ooh, cool!

Then another. Then more. Then lots.

And I ended up running out of the woods (and laughing at myself running) because too many bats were flying near me. It was a funny scene. I screamed once. I chuckled. But mostly, my heart was racing.

They kept swooping down near me for bugs. Don’t do that!

Once I got out of the woods, I also laughed imagining the scenario that I’ve been this cautious about COVID only to get rabies.

“Renee was the most disciplined person we knew about not getting COVID, but sadly, she got rabies, refused water, and died.”

Thankfully, I hightailed it out of there.

Renee Roederer


Smuggling Grace

Image Description: A person is holding seeds in their hand and planting them in a row in the soil. Public domain image.

Today, I’d like to share a poem I wrote. It was commissioned by Northminister Presbyterian Church in Endwell, New York. It is based on Matthew 8:31-38.

He speaks to us in parables:
Very truly, I say to you,
Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,
it remains just a single grain;
but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

At once, we easily feel
the weight of this,
the fear of this,
the loss,
the decay,
the bereavement.

Yet the very one acquainted
with all of these in his body,
knows his Body —

the Community,
the Family,
the Kin-dom
that we are.

We are the fruits
of his love laid down.
We are the fruits
of his love lived forward.
He speaks…

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The Resurrection Plant

There’s a plant in the Sahara Desert that can regenerate itself long after it has died. As much as 100 years later.

I recently watched this video in total amazement.

And it makes me wonder what could still be possible —
what could still take shape among us too —
we who are still living,
we who can choose, and
we who can become utterly surprised
when the unthinkable and the seemingly impossible presents itself.

Movements in Murmuration

File:Starling murmuration.jpg
Image Description: A murmuration of starlings in the air. The sky is a light orange color. There are bare trees with no leaves beneath the murmuration. This image was taken from the Geograph project collection. See this photograph’s page on the Geograph website for the photographer’s contact details. The copyright on this image is owned by Walter Baxter and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

“Starlings’ murmuration consists of a flock moving in synch with one another, engaging in clear, consistent communication and exhibiting collective leadership and deep, deep trust. Every individual bird focuses attention on their seven closest neighbors and thus manage a large flock cohesiveness and synchronicity (at times upwards of over a million birds).”

-Sierra Pickett

“My dream is a movement with such deep trust that we move as a murmuration, the way groups of starlings billow, dive, spin, dance collectively through the air — to avoid predators, and, it also seems, to pass time in the most beautiful way possible. When fish move in this way, they are shoaling. When bees and other insects move in this way, they are swarming. I love all the words for this activity.

“Here’s how it works in a murmuration/shoal/swarm: each creature is tuned in to its neighbors, the creatures right around it in the formation. This might be the birds on either side, or the six fish in each direction. There is a right relationship, a right distance between them — too close and they crash, too far away and they can’t feel the micro-adaptations of the other bodies. Each creature is shifting direction, speed, and proximity based on the information of other creatures’ bodies.

There is a deep trust in this: to lift because the birds around you are lifting, to live based on your collective real-time adaptations. In this way thousands of birds or fish or bees can move together, each empowered with the basic rules and a vision to live. Imagine our movements cultivating this type of trust and depth with each other, having strategic flocking in our playbooks.”

-adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, page 71.

Deep Care For the Reactions

May be an image of one or more people and text that says '"TRAUMA COMES BACK AS a reaction, NOT A MEMORY". -BESSEL VAN DER KOLK'
Image Description: Within a blue and white, splotchy background, the quote reads, “Trauma comes back as a reaction, NOT A MEMORY.” — Bessel Van Der Kolk

Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn,
Inability to get out of bed,
Difficulty being with others,
Difficulty being alone,

Post-Traumatic Reactions —
They all deserve care. 💜

Renee Roederer