Image and Design by Stephanie Kellett

Robert E. Livingood shares stories from his experience working with people entrenched in opioid and methamphetamine addiction.

These stories are set in the Selkirk Mountains, of British Columbia, Canada.

Subscribing to this newsletter will provide readers a view into a subterranean world that few outside of it ever see.

Robert’s intention is to create a space where a deeper understanding for people entrenched in addiction can be had.

It also provides a glimpse into his own process while navigating dichotomous spaces of beauty and adversity, and how wild nature can be worked with as a rich source for healing.

Area of Refuge Podcast:

Many stories have an accompanying podcast. These feature an audio essay overlaid on an ambient soundscape recorded using analog synthesizer. The podcast can be streamed or downloaded directly from Substack. It is also available on Spotify by searching, Robert E. Livingood’s Area of Refuge Podcast.

Newsletters and podcasts are released on a monthly basis.


There are two options for subscription: free and paid.

A free subscription gives access to most of the writing and audio sound art readings of the essays. Paid subscriptions also include occasional short video reflections and writing pieces. Moreover, paid subscriptions help support Robert to further his creative work which, in turn, allows him to share more of it with you.

About the Author

Robert E. Livingood a writer, outreach coordinator, wilderness traveller, personal guide, and sound artist.

Originally from the industrial cauldron of Detroit, he now lives in the thriving rural arts community of Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. He holds a biology degree from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Robert worked as a professional wildlife biologist for a decade, with a focus on grizzly bear behaviour and ecology. Though he no longer works as a scientist, he continues to spend considerable time every year in the presence of grizzlies and travels to the Yukon Territory and the remote corners of BC in order to learn from these animals. As a sound artist, Robert has released music on labels around the world and his soundscapes have been featured in public gallery spaces alongside the work of visual artist, Stephanie Kellett. Robert’s outreach work is an outgrowth from his own personal, childhood experience of homelessness in American cities such as Los Angeles, Houston, and Detroit, where he lived on the street with his mother during the recession of the late 70s/early 80s. As a personal guide, Robert leads leads people on journeys of self discovery.

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Robert E. Livingood

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Personal stories from an outreach worker in the rural opioid and methamphetamine crisis.


Robert E. Livingood is a writer, sound artist, outreach coordinator, and personal guide. Originally from the industrial cauldron of Detroit, he now lives in the mountains outside of Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.