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This website is not a safe space. It presents ideas that may be triggering, disturbing, challenging or traumatic for some readers. If Tamias tried to provide a safe space for an unknown audience, its website would be boring and non-existent. Please take care of yourself.
I've heard that I'm living in the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of Tla'amin Nation. While I acknowledge and deeply respect that, I don't think it's the be-all and the end-all of my relationship with this land. Actually, if I acknowledge what I've heard about Tla'amin people's relationship with this land, and then consider my land acknowledgment complete, I risk objectifying the land as well as tokenizing Tla'amin Nation.
I'm working on de-objectifying the land by consciously tending my evolving relationship with it. I'm thinking of this land as a living being in the present moment, and also as a community of beings, seen and unseen. I intend to write more soon about my relationship with this place where I'm living, gardening, writing and parenting.
Tamias frequently talks about itself in the third person, partly to help people get used to its unusual preferred pronoun and partly to experiment with alternative ways of thinking about itself.
My third person and first person modes of thought correlate with zworb and migi, respectively, but the difference is subtle.
From there, Tamias's writing about itself could get really odd. It doesn't exactly identify in the singular, nor does it fully identify as human.
I'm well aware that my body consists of a whole community of microbes, physically supported and sheltered by human cells. We humans are basically lichens.
I'm aware that my mind has dozens of parts (in the IFS sense, more or less) which compete for my attention as well as for the use of my voice and limbs. My thoughts are all memes that I'm recalling and recombining with almost no awareness of where they came from.
If I take something mind-altering like coffee or ibuprofen, which I rarely do, it dramatically changes which parts and memes I have access to. Am I then the same person I was half an hour before?
I have great respect for lichens, by the way. I'm enjoying the thought that I am one. I believe some of my gut bacteria and mutualistic viruses are essential to my survival as a human-lichen, and others influence the way I feel, think and behave. Others are just along for the ride. A few have what Min and I call "not helpful visiting manners," and I admit to arranging for their deaths, in a spirit of mutual respect, just like I would do to a mouse if it moved into my house.
Speaking of small mammals, "Tamias" means chipmunk. I came across it in Mammals of BC, the year I came out as genderqueer. Guessing that it came from Greek, I wondered whether it was masculine, feminine or neuter in its language of origin. Then I thought, "Hey, that's the kind of word I need for a name. I want people who see it in writing to be unable to categorize it immediately according to gender." My Mommy started calling me Tamias as soon as I suggested it, so it stuck.
For years, Tamias tried to be invisible on the Internet. That didn't really work. A search for "Tamias" tended to result in pictures of chipmunks, but a search for "Tamias Nettle" would usually turn up some outdated website about some event that Tamias barely remembered participating in.
This storytelling website marks the beginning of a new approach: Tamias is claiming some agency in how it shows up on the Internet, rather than whether it shows up at all.
Tamias is dreaming of making enough money with its storytelling to get off welfare, and it's curious to connect with people who really like what it's writing.
Thanks to Neocities for hosting this site, and for providing links to resources on how to build a website.
Thanks to Ann Hoffmann for setting me up with the basic structure of this site, and for patiently doing it my way while supporting my meandering process of deciding what my way even was.