Ephemeral, naturalistically-inclined being

I grew up on fifty acres in the mountains of NC in a house that my grandfather designed, with a nod to the sensitivities of Frank Lloyd Wright. A gravity flow system of spring water (by my chemical engineering grandfather) kept me growing well despite occasional attempts by spring lizards (salamanders to outsiders) to use the pipes as a water slide.  My grandmother regularly tossed me outside in search of the infamous escaped Pink Goat-and these excursions led to more than one story sewn from the imagination of a child thankfully left to wander/ponder and play.  On weekends when Mom didn’t work, we played in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which was really more like an extension of our family property (see “Slidability” on my YouTube channel, SEEthnobotany).

     After a circuitous path as an adult and having spent way too many years playing, I returned to school in 1992 and finished up three degrees as soon as I could, given my predilection for the pursuit of stories.

     Through formal degrees, I am a plant physiologist, botanist-but the label that fits me best and has comprised most of my training is ethnobotanist. Studying science, I was frustrated by the lack of inclusion of humans.  I mean, aren’t we also a natural organism?

     Having come from a blended ARTISTIC : SCIENTIFIC family, I am really interested in process-how humans have figured out how to do things, what meaning we take from it, what value we derive and how we teach others about it.  This means I get to play a fair amount with my hands-trying to figure my way through old and new uses of plants.  On occasion, I get to explore my artistic side, too. I am always seeking ways to stretch my knowledge and experience. Pretty. good. life.

     On a personal note, I was lucky enough to find a someone to share my life with who makes most of it possible-through unwavering support, tremendous insight, communication without words, occasional shared hysterias and continued forward movement.

© Karen C. Hall, 2010