About, ca. 2015

In 2015 I was living on 40 acres of desert land in Apache County, Arizona, in a tiny yurt+teepee combo I’d built myself – and, just as much, in my 1992 Toyota shortbed named Henry. I wrote this about page back then and am saving it here, a relic from the before time.

My name is Toze Weaver.* Right now I’m sitting in the back of my truck and the wind is blowing thirty, forty miles an hour, making the truck rock a little on its wheels. The sun is low in the west and the grasses and shrubs and cacti, which don’t quite cover the sandy ground, are quivering in the wind and casting long flickering shadows. Off to the east a wide mass of rain clouds is moving northward.

I’m parked at the foot of a shallow hill that blocks my view to the southeast – good, as otherwise I would be able to see the stacks and smoke of the coal-fired generating plant. In all other directions gently rolling terrain makes a carpet to the horizon in variegated greens: mossy green of grass and sage, brighter green of broom, dark green of junipers, the junipers ranged along the hilltops at the horizon.

To my right, an old barbed-wire fence stretches east and west – the poles are limbs of juniper, weathered gray; some still have bark; strips of it flick in the wind. Juniper posts means it’s an old fence. The road I’m parked on is an old ranch access road, hardly ever traveled now. Every time I leave my place and come back, it’s a little more overgrown. Badgers dig foot-wide holes between the two tracks. A mile farther on the road, I was walking once and found a shard of Zuni pottery, right in the middle of the road.

Several times a day and at night I hear the wheels of the trains that carry coal to the power station. Sometimes the engine blows its whistle. Right now, the sound would be drowned out by the wind against the windows of my truck.

Forty acres of this rolling, grassy, sandy, windy terrain are mine. I live here. I’m trying to build my home, my life, here. I want to build a new kind of life for myself, make a place for a way of being that is ethical, authentic, self-responsible, devotional, creative, and – what might seem paradoxical – engaged and active: alive to the needs of my human family and our suffering world, as well as responsive to my own needs and the whisperings of my soul.

I’m alone here, very purposefully so. I’ve been married twice, had my share of dogs and cats and romances. At present it seems important that I be alone for substantial amounts of time. But this degree of isolation isn’t what I need all the time: I make long visits to my mother and to friends’ places, and I probably always will, even when I have a proper house here. When I have editing work, I hang out at the libraries in St. Johns and Show Low, catch up with the friendly people there, and go to movies; I’m taking an absorbing online class on writing, led by Bayo Akomolafe, which is helping me make friends around the world; I participate in a Divine Truth discussion board. I long to knit with the ladies at the yarn shop in Mesa; go to Qi Gong class and meet friends for Chinese tea; see live music in Tempe; hang out at the hacker space in Mesa and learn metal work and electronics. Soon.

When I’m here, I don’t see another human face, unless a ranch hand happens to drive along this access road, a thing that’s happened exactly twice in the past year. I talk to the larks and the lizards and whoever else wanders by. I work on building this place. I read and write. I pray.

My intention here isn’t to encourage people to come out west and buy up all the cheap land – although I do hope to live in such a way that if everyone did what I am doing, this would be a good thing. I don’t believe it’s right for every person to, like me, build a tiny yurpee or live mostly in the back of a truck. I don’t even know what’s right for me, myself, yet. I’m working on finding it, making it. I hope by writing about this adventure I can offer something of value.

*Toze Weaver is my pen name, my chosen, “wild” name. My everyday, domesticated, civilized, legal, given name is Patricia Sanders.

What is.

Birds fly, crickets chirp, I write. Favorite subjects: My place in Arizona. The insects, the colors, the wind. Love and the path to God. Certain books, music, places, art. That a herd of cattle bellowing from afar sounds like bagpipes. Ethics. Sincerity. Humility. Amazement. Not having a cell phone. Not paying war taxes. Taking the red pill. And people! And where we go when we go to sleep. And the human soul – its potential expansion and transformation and power. What love can do. What could be. What is.

Urban Farm article


bigfoot-apricotsGreg Peterson’s Urban Farm U has just published my piece on Peter Bigfoot as “urban farming pioneer” on its blog, here.

Greg started farming in Phoenix forty years ago, and in 1991, when he discovered permaculture, converted his home’s 1/3 acre to an entirely edible landscape. Greg is an energetic proponent of permaculture and urban farming in Phoenix. (more…)

A visitor to Somewhere

My friend Nick Fox visited in September, and he’s written about it here.

I’ve known Nick about eight years, since we both attended writing school at Warren Wilson. Somehow, of the hundreds of memorable people I met at WW, Nick burrowed himself into a particular place in my heart. Meeting him again after, what, six years since we graduated (only that long?), I saw why.

Nick is the guy who would station himself next to the registration table during arrival day at Warren Wilson and personally see to it that every new student felt welcome and supported. He’s a true extravert, and he’s also truly humble — genuinely hail-fellow-well-met. You feel that he engages you because he wants to know you (not because he wants you to know him). He lives from the heart, and writes from it, too.

Slow Fashion October – week 1

FAI’ve been following the Fringe Association blog for years, where Karen Templer writes about knitting, sewing, and fashion from a conscious base of values: sustainability, beauty, craftsmanship, and ethics. She’s certainly helped me develop my knitting skills and interests, but she’s also led me to think more deeply about my choices in the clothes that I purchase, make, and wear. Now she’s organizing Slow Fashion October:

“to celebrate not only our own makes (although definitely that!) but clothes that have been made for us by others; worn over the course of years or decades; handed down or rescued from thrift shops or attics; mended; handcrafted in the small studios of slow fashion designers and/or from ethical fabrics; and so on. I want it to be about responsible and sustainable fashion in all its splendor, in other words. An opportunity to discuss and explore the wide range of topics that are at the core of slow fashion.”



The kind of love it takes for people in power now to abandon their fossil fuel assets.

The kind of love it takes for everyone to work together to find safe havens for those who are now most at risk.

The kind of love it takes to prevent mass extinctions and to save species.

The kind of love it takes to learn how to cooperate with the Earth’s natural systems rather than to destroy and dominate them.

The kind of love it takes to recognize that pure competition is destructive and harmful and teaches all the wrong lessons.

The kind of love it takes not to build bunkers, but to build a living world full of life-granting civilizations – not the death-spreading ones we see today.

Love enough not to consume other creatures for food.

Love enough to not spend one’s life in search of ever-greater accumulations of wealth, but to spend it instead in search of ever-greater reductions of harm.

Love to help the least powerful among us the most.

That’s what it means to love today.

~Robert Fanney (@robertscribbler)

Things that scratch in the night …

Whenever I return to my land after being away for a time, I arrive with trepidation – always relieved when I first see the yurpee from a distance, apparently intact.

I always have three fears. One is that the place might have been discovered and ransacked (as I’ve heard happened to someone’s trailer in the vicinity). This is unlikely, given my location, but possible. It could happen.


Friend, find any way that you can to resist
or escape. If you have to run for your life, for crissake, run for your life.
~ Steve Kowit