I know, this has been a slow re-entry. I’ve been a little sick, but there is something more going on than just that. I want to talk more about the Viridis Genii conference, but I find myself at a loss for words over it. I am having a very hard time finding the words to describe how satisfied I was with the conference. There is more that I could wish for, no doubt, but I have simply never been to a conference that encompassed so much of what I care about.
It was vitally an American affair, in the richest sense of the term, the sense that dissolves its usual connotation as ‘U.S.’ into the transcontinental mix that encompasses North, South, and Central Americas. This is a deeply hybrid affair, one that includes quimbanda, curanderismo, immigrant ties to homelands across the ocean, psychedelia, and more.
It is what I’m after when I try to point out a deeply spiritualist vein in American culture. I’m not pointing at some specific strain of practice but some more indeterminate disposition toward which they are all oriented, from which they derive their capacity to speak to each other. I want more of it like I want fresh air or clear water, like I want well-seasoned food and well-played music.
Are there places that nourish this cord of American spiritual life on a perpetual basis? If so, I want them close, even more diverse and vibrant. I want the New World, an other way of being taking root within the old. How to get there, eh?