All posts filed under: Non-fiction

Ekostories in narrative or creative non-fiction.

On Whimwhams and Wild Whats: Amy Leach’s Things That Are

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Non-fiction
Sunset Panorama

One of the reasons I took a break from blogging was to push myself to start reading again. But while I had a mountain backlog from great recommendations, I found myself not being in the headspace to explore new stories. For a while, I was worried that I might not find anything to spark my interest again. Then I stumbled onto this skinny, silly, crazy, exquisite little tome: Amy Leach’s Things That Are. As longtime readers […]

From the Tidepool to the Stars: Steinbeck’s Log from the Sea of Cortez

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Non-fiction / Popular Ekostories
Eric Murtaugh Tidepool Steinbeck Sea of Cortez

What was the story that began this journey? That question has been on my mind since I reflected back on the past year of Ekostories. What tale triggered this exploration of nature, culture, and self? After some thought, one story came to the forefront, a surprise contender. It is a work that straddles the boundary between fiction and non-fiction. It is a story that melds science with literature, philosophy with social commentary, art with ethics and […]

George Orwell’s Love for the Common Toad

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Non-fiction
Orwell Thoughts on the Common Toad Wordle

As an aspiring essayist, it shames me to admit that I have only recently become familiar with the narrative and critical essays of George Orwell. While I have read his manifesto on clear writing, Politics and the English Language, I remained ignorant on the bulk of his work until a chance meeting with a shelf in a very comfortable section of the library. It was a joy to discover for the first time, Orwell’s quietly devastating […]

A Plant’s View: Pollan’s Botany of Desire

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Non-fiction
Botany of Desire Wordle

Spring is in full bloom in my corner of the world; it is impossible not to notice the explosion of plant life all around. In the city, pink blossoms burst forth from ornamental cherries, enjoying brief moments of glory before cascading down as a silent snow of soft petals. In the suburbs, neighbourhood lawns and gardens are enlivened by vivid hues of yellows and violets from blooming daffodils and tulips. On nearby trails, star-shaped flowers […]

Tao Today: A Sage’s Take on Modern Society, Part 2

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Non-fiction
Tao Today Part 1

In response to the predicament of his times, Lao Tzu ruminated on the essence of human nature and asked: What can be done to stop the injustice, violence, and greed that inevitably corrupts the core of civilization? According to Welch, the old sage came to the conclusion that a radical operation must be performed on human nature before these systemic issues could be resolved: “First he cuts out desire for superfluous material goods (they only […]

Tao Today: A Sage’s Take on Modern Society, Part 1

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Non-fiction / Popular Ekostories
Tao Today Part 1

If you follow Ekostories on a regular basis, you would know that one of my chief influences is author Ursula K. Le Guin. It was through her work that I first became intrigued by Taoism as a philosophy. Growing up in Hong Kong, my first encounters with Daoism came from ancient tales of whiskery old hermits who sought immortality and strangely robed priests who conducted rituals for the dead. In my adult life, I see […]

Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World

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Non-fiction
Emma Marris Rambunctious Garden

Several years ago, I spent a month volunteering at Koke’e State Park on Kauai, Hawaii. I was there to enlist in the “war against invasives”, learning to identify and remove plants that threatening to overtake Garden Isle’s native ecosystems. Armed with a machete, a foldup saw, and two squirt bottles of herbicide, a group of us proceeded to take out the primary offenders – fields of kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum), groves of strawberry guava (Psidium […]