Dumbo Feather5 min letti
The Cycles that Sustain Us
The notion that time happens in a linear way, from past to present to future, is relatively new in human thought, and is most common in western cultures, where time is also seen as measurable, usually in dollars. In industrialised societies, time is
Dumbo Feather5 min letti
Daring To Be Still
In 1975, I was invited to accompany a film crew on an expedition to Ladakh – a remote and ancient kingdom on the Western edge of the Tibetan Plateau that had only just been opened up to the outside world. Crossing over the mighty Himalayas, we arrive
Dumbo Feather1 min letti
Dumbo Feather
Berry Liberman Nathan Scolaro James Rewell Jasmin Daly Miranda Campbell Bayo Akomolafe, Jo Buick, Erin Castellas, Monique Dimattina, Lydia Fairhall, Lauren L. Hill, Catherine Ingram, Jane Hone, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Dan Palmer, Deborah C. Stewar
Dumbo Feather3 min letti
Nothing Left Unsaid
In the closing monologue of the 1970 film I Never Sang for My Father, the lead character said, “Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship.” Those who have lost an important person in their lives know well the simple truth of that statemen
Dumbo Feather3 min letti
Editor
Dear reader, I’m often gobsmacked by how much my thinking has been shaped by the culture our dominant systems impose. While working on this issue, I’ve been unpacking my own (largely unconscious) relationship with rest, and realising how dismissive I
Dumbo Feather5 min letti
Minding My Mothers
The living world moves in pulses. Gusts of wind are punctuated by relative stillness. Musical notes resonate within the padding of silence. Rest and motion require one another for balance, beauty and life. Yet somehow we’ve built a culture that deman
Dumbo Feather5 min letti
We Need a Break
I often imagined him wearied from the act, beads of sweat embroidering his forehead, average-Joe sleeves rolled into blue collar folds just above his forearms, his knees weak and awkward, a gentle sigh filtering through his white flowing beard. I can
Dumbo Feather3 min lettiBiology
Cycles of Growth & Rest
The seed of a deciduous tree falls from the branch of its mother. Destined, like her mother, to become a female tree, she lands and rests upon the earth. Depending on seed and circumstance, she might rest there for years. If and when conditions are f
Dumbo Feather4 min lettiPsychology
The Restorative Function of Dreams
A dream is first an encounter, a new experience, a range of imagery. Our dreams bring us beauty, surprise, strange happenings and sometimes terror. The dark forests of the night hold wise babies and strange old ladies, birds without beaks and winding
Dumbo Feather3 min letti
In the Mind’s Ear
Virginia Woolf was on the money when she said a woman needs 500 pounds a year and “a room of one’s own” in order to write. I absolutely cannot write music with rabid wolves at the door, nor with jackhammers, committees or children in the interior. Th
Dumbo Feather23 min letti
Sarah Wilson Goes To The Edge
SUBJECT Sarah Wilson OCCUPATION Journalist, TV presenter and author INTERVIEWER Berry Liberman PHOTOGRAPHER Rob Palmer LOCATION Sydney, Australia DATE October, 2020 A few months ago, in the middle of particularly dark times on the Internet, a friend
Dumbo Feather21 min lettiPsychology
Rhonda V. Magee Transforms Injustice
SUBJECT Rhonda V. Magee OCCUPATION Law professor and mindfulness teacher INTERVIEWER Lydia Fairhall PHOTOGRAPHER Supplied LOCATION San Francisco, US DATE October, 2020 Lately I have felt a deep calling in my waters; like the moon and its relationshi
Dumbo Feather8 min lettiPsychology
The Nectar of Rest
When I think about rest, my breath slows and my nervous system settles. I feel my belly relax and the edges of my eyes soften. Something deep inside of me becomes heavier and more grounded. Internally, there is a realignment from wherever I have been
Dumbo Feather10 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Looking In
Sometimes called the “wandering nerve” because of the way it meanders through the body, the vagus nerve is a cranial nerve that begins in the brainstem and winds its way through the face, ears, back of throat, muscles around the heart and digestive t
Dumbo Feather20 min letti
Zenith Virago Is A Deathwalker
SUBJECT Zenith Virago OCCUPATION Marriage celebrant, deathwalker and facilitator INTERVIEWER Nathan Scolaro PHOTOGRAPHER Paul Bamford LOCATION Byron Bay, Australia DATE October, 2020 There’s a quote by the writer Anaïs Nin that seems to make time st
Dumbo Feather16 min letti
Temuera Hall Invests In Connection
SUBJECT Temuera Hall OCCUPATION Funds manager INTERVIEWER Erin Castellas PHOTOGRAPHER Lottie Hedley LOCATION Takapuna, New Zealand DATE October, 2020 I met Temeura Hall about a year and a half ago on a trip to New Zealand. He opened a meeting as a M
Dumbo Feather20 min letti
Lucy Peach Is A Period Queen
SUBJECT Lucy Peach OCCUPATION Folk singer and writer INTERVIEWER Berry Liberman PHOTOGRAPHER Liz Looker LOCATION Fremantle, Australia DATE July, 2020 I’m embarrassed. I’ll say it up front. I didn’t know that I needed to have a conversation about my
Dumbo Feather2 min letti
Editor
Dear friend, When we set out to make this issue on all that has risen to the surface in 2020, it wasn’t clear exactly what to say. As I write this, immersed in the incredible reflections and learnings from this year that fill these pages, I am even l
Dumbo Feather3 min letti
Fortunate Errors
True story. David Foster, one of the world’s most successful music producers and winner of 16 Grammy awards, had been working late into the night with singer Michael Bolton in a Hollywood studio. It was 2am when they finally left, and Foster headed h
Dumbo Feather3 min lettiDiscrimination & Race Relations
Our Commitment to Indigenous Australia
At Small Giants Academy, the organisation Dumbo Feather belongs to, our work is to lead our communities towards empathy and the Next Economy – one that supports human flourishing while living in harmony with the natural world. We understand that as w
Dumbo Feather2 min letti
This Error Is The Sign Of Love
This error is the sign of love,the crack in the ice where the otters breathe,the tear that saves a man from power,the puff of smoke blown down the chimney one morning,and the widower sighs and gives up his loneliness,the lines transposed in the will
Dumbo Feather3 min letti
The Work We Have to Do
On 17 July 2020, the United States lost two legendary freedom fighters, the Rev. CT Vivian and US Congressman John Lewis. The two men were brilliant, disciplined and courageous leaders in the struggle to expand democracy in the United States. To desc
Dumbo Feather7 min letti
Political Hope
I have distinct memories of New Year’s Eve 2019 in Manly. I was very conflicted that we had the fireworks, because we’d had such a long bushfire season and already terrible air pollution. I’d just been to all of the end-of-year ceremonies at local sc
Dumbo Feather6 min letti
Truth In A Confused World
I remember the day that Kevin Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generations. It was a sunny afternoon and everyone at work had gathered around the radio. I recall looking out through the plate glass windows to the cloudless sky with tears in my eyes. It 
Dumbo Feather7 min letti
On Healing
In 2016 my partner and I bought a wooden cottage on 10 acres of land, on an ecotone where the woodlands meet the foothills of the mountains. The area had been logged relentlessly in the 1950s. One by one, the tall trees of the old growth cedar forest
Dumbo Feather2 min letti
Keeping the Smoke Hole Open
In Siberian myth, when you want to hurt someone, you crawl into their tent and close the smoke hole. That way God can’t see them. Close the smoke hole and you break connection to the divine world. Mountains, rivers, trees. Close the smoke hole and we
Dumbo Feather23 min letti
Jess Scully Is A Leader With Vision
SUBJECT Jess Scully OCCUPATION Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney LOCATION Sydney, Australia DATE July, 2020 Jess Scully is the embodiment of hope. Every time we connect, the conversation expands immediately into a bold, audacious vision of what more we c
Dumbo Feather20 min lettiOccult & Paranormal
Bayo Akomolafe Seeks Bewilderment
SUBJECT Bayo Akomolafe OCCUPATION Poet, philosopher, psychologist LOCATION Chennai, India DATE July, 2020 In the space of a few weeks, four unrelated people sent me interviews and writings by Bayo Akomolafe, all with a subject line that went someth
Dumbo Feather6 min letti
The Great Pivot
This is a time of enormous change. We can no longer deny the impact we are having on our shared home, and how lacking many of the systems we live in actually are when it comes to what matters most. We’ve been reminded of the incredible restorative po
Dumbo Feather8 min letti
The Million Jobs Plan
At the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in Australia, a powerful and committed group of people came together to create solutions for one of the biggest economic shocks in the country’s history. What they identified was 1.8 million jobs in clean
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