hi. I'm Elyria.
I changed my name to Elyria shortly after my mother died in 2014. I think she would have liked the name, and what it means to me. It's a reference to many things -- my favorite piece of Loren Eiseley's nature writing -- ancient places and cultures -- and also to a small town, now in my northern Ohio backyard.
This is my website. My all-of-me website. My work and personal lives tend to thrive most where they overlap, whether that means loving my work or working for & with people I love. And as an artist and a poet, my quest for wholeness is wholly unsatisfied by most websites.
So I have a few pages set aside on here to talk about my work, including services I offer like home organizing and website design. In all cases, I use a sliding scale and flexible pricing to ensure that my services are affordable and fairly priced. If you value that approach, I also accept tips! ;)
But most of the real work I do is stuff that, for reasons unknown even to me, I have decided not to think of as “work.” This website offers an introduction to many of my projects. Those projects mostly include a lot of thinking, and a lot of writing. A robust and resilient understanding of the world depends on careful thinking, contemplation, deliberation, compassion, and asking good questions that can generate productive answers. Those aren't values or skills or approaches that are highly regarded in our world of sound bites, infomercials, and the culture of “scoring a point” -- and that's exactly why they're so essential. Easy answers are not worth finding, and good answers don’t come at anyone’s expense. The best place to learn more is through my newsletter, or one of my books, or just by reading over my intensely whimsical blog.
I'm involved in a lot of stuff in the non-internet world, and I like it that way. I volunteer with some amazing non-profits like House Kheperu, I hike my way into some wonderfully interesting adventures, and I have a lively garden that is as chemical-free and as grass-free as I can make it, which… drives my more traditional grass-loving neighbors up the wall.
I love many things in this world. People, places, words, ways of thinking, insights, bits of wisdom. That's why I'm a poet, I suppose. There are some ideas we can only share in context, and some contexts demand to be shared. It's also why I believe protecting our home planet is so important. If this one goes, it's not like we have a good backup planet lined up.
Despite all this serious-sounding stuff, I'm a whimsical creature at heart. My sense of humor is my favorite life skill.
I try to be a good friend to the people I care about - supportive, present, willing to disagree and talk about why. I miss the days before smartphones, but I take mine everywhere so I can text myself poem-seeds when I find them. I enjoy good questions, and trying to answer them, immensely.
I'm also polyamorous, kinky, agender, and pagan. Respect for other beings (people, animals, places, and more) is a core value of all these identities, far more than in mainstream culture. If you have questions about what any of these mean to me, feel free to ask.
Michelle Belanger is my life partner, and my muse. I cannot speak highly enough of Michelle's work, which has centered on research, education, and supporting fringe communities for almost 30 years now. Michelle has published more than thirty books, maintains a fantastic YouTube channel, and has occasionally been known to check twitter and facebook -- and offer classes, both online and in person.
That's a rather abbreviated introduction, but never fear! The rest of my website still lies ahead. So read on, friend, or jump ahead if you're ready to get in touch to ask a question, support my writing, or get my help on your organizing or web design project.