hi. I'm Elyria.
I changed my name to Elyria when my mother died. 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 -- a love of ancient places and cultures -- and also to a small town in Ohio that I've never set foot in, though I now live only 30 or so miles from it.
This is my personal website, but as a self-employed person, business and personal always overlap, at least. I have a section set aside on here to talk about 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 to people in any financial situation.
No person is made entirely of work, and I'm no exception! This website is the public side of many of my projects, some of which occasionally feel more like work than work does, but which I, for reasons even I don't understand, have decided are not "work." Those projects include a lot of thinking, and a lot of writing. A robust and resilient understanding of the world depends on careful thinking, contemplation, deliberation, and compassion. Those aren't values or skills that are highly regarded in the world of sound bites, infomercials, and near-instant lead conversion -- and that's exactly why they're so essential. Easy answers are rarely worth finding. I also occasionally collect writing from other people in order to publish anthologies. The best place to read what I write is on my blog, my newsletter, or my book.
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 around the country, I walk and backpack my way into some really interesting scrapes, and I also have a very lively garden that is as chemical-free and as grass-free as I can make it, which probably 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 any good backup planets 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.
Oh, I'm also polyamorous, kinky, agender, and pagan. To my mind, respect for other beings (people, animals, places, and more) is a core value of all these identities, far more than it is 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. 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.