Tag Archives: change agent

The Times After (conclusion)

   [Short story, by Sha’Tara]

For some time, Lon watched Reuben as he disappeared, then a cry from the orphanage made him turn and run to the ramshackle building.  Two of the adults were already there, calming the children and bending over one three year old lying on the ground, the little body thrashing, if feebly.  Sweet little Amri.

“What’s wrong with her, does anyone know?”

“Maybe something she ate.  The children are chewing on anything they can eat.  They’re all in terrible pain, Lon.

“I know, Maggie.  I agree, we need to move, no more delays.  We’ll get started right now, pack what we can, hide what we can’t carry and go.”

“Where?”

“Ruben said he’d go north if he was free to do so.  He walked west when he left, but you know Ruben – he’d do that automatically just to confuse anyone wanted to follow or track him.  I know he’d turn as soon as he was out of sight, but which way?  I wish now we’d gone with him.  We’ll have a quick meeting in about an hour and decide our direction, then we’ll just go.  We cannot stay here, there’s nothing left to eat, and the water is no longer safe to drink.”

Soon the miserable camp was stripped and obliterated of recent human habitation as much as was possible.  The children were lined up and given a rope to hang on to.  The meeting was short: they would go east; no reason why except a secret vote turned up a majority of two for an eastern direction. 

Lon was bitterly disappointed, he’d hoped they would try to follow Ruben, though he well knew that was impossible.  He left his message for Ruben and they began their danger-fraught quest for food and water.  Already Lon had violated one of Ruben’s warnings, to only travel at night.  Adults took turns carrying little Amri and the weaker children.  The rest of the children began to lose some of their listlessness as they noticed changes along the route.

Evening saw the group drop down into a small gully, to hide and for protection.  Kamal, one of the strongest adults, went off in search of water which against so many odds, he did find.  Everybody searched for edible plants and roots and some of the hunger was assuaged for a time.  Night came and the small fire was doused so it wouldn’t create a glow.  The people slept on the ground, in their old rags.  Dried grasses had been stacked to lay little Amri and two other sickly children upon and each had an adult companion to keep them cuddled and reassured.  The stars came out, harsh and bright, flickering like cold, unseeing eyes.  Unable to help himself, Lon who was one of the sentry detail, walked a short distance away from the fitful and fretting sleepers and looked into the sky, turning slowly as he did so. 

“Where are you Ana?” he thought to himself.  “You promised and you must know we are in dire straights now.  We need your help; I need you here.  Don’t let Ruben be right about this.  I’m desperately counting on you.  You know I’m a terrible leader and here I am, leader by default.  This is too much responsibility…”

Morning came early, gray and cold before the sun could rise.  The hungry troop stood up, drank some water, and took to the land again, walking in the general direction of the sunrise.  Everybody, even the children, walked slower, looking for plants and roots to eat.  Hopelessness more than sadness pervaded the group.  Who could blame them? 

Finally the sun was high enough to beam down some energy into their wasted bodies.  Laughter even erupted from some children as they noticed a butterfly.

“Follow it,” said one of the women, “it may lead us to some edible flowers, or even berries.”  There was a bit of a chase, but the children were cautioned not to interfere with the insect’s path.  Suddenly it rose up and they thought they’d lost it but it came down again to disappear behind a dip in the flat ground.  They came to the edge and looked down upon a miracle, a regular feast.  An entire embankment was covered in blackberries, more or less ripe. 

Lon cautioned his charges: “I know you are very hungry but these plants will hurt you terribly if you wander in them carelessly.  We have nothing to bind rips and tears in skin.  Please use extreme caution.  Do not be in any hurry, we will camp here.  There are many green things here, there must be water also.”

Kamal went out on water detail again, he seemed to have a knack for finding it, and he did find potable water – warm but quenching nevertheless.  The blackberries did not give up their bounty without bloodshed but they proved adequate to ease the group’s hunger.  That was a good ending to what had started as a very dismal day.

That night Lon had a dream.

It wasn’t Ana who came to him in the dream, but his older sister whom he had watched being gang-raped and die in one of the hunters’ camps.  She stood on the open ground, away from the camp.  He walked over to her. 

“Hello Lon, it’s nice to see you again.  I’ve missed you terribly.  I’m sorry I abandoned you in the camp but my body wouldn’t hold on any longer.  I knew you had survived and escaped.  How are you?” 

“I’m so glad to see you Nan, you have no idea.  I’m OK, but we’re in a very precarious situation here, the people I mean.  We need help.  The children are weakening; some are sick.”

“I know that, but things must take their course, Lon.  In a way it’s your own fault that things are this bad.”

“How can you say that, Nan?  How dare you!  I’ve done everything I could to help here…”

“From your point of view, yes, but did you listen to those who may have known more?  Did you listen to Ruben, or were you so worried about his wild streak, his atavism, that you refused to trust his better survivalist judgment?  Didn’t he counsel to take the group away several months ago when the drought started?  Didn’t you think he’d know where to take you all if you followed him?  Did you think that he was trying to gain control of the group and were jealous of him?  Weren’t you afraid he would break your rules when he deemed necessary to save lives?   I know you Lon.  You mean well, but you have never really mined those deeper aspects of your nature: the fearful, the coward and the user – those aspects of one’s personality that become the controller; which reside in your subconscious.  It’s those things that killed Ana, and have brought you to these straights.”

“What do you know of Ruben, or Ana?  How can you possibly know what’s in my subconscious?  How can you know anything if you accuse me of killing Ana?  I loved her!”

“Of course you did.  You never realized you loved her too much under the circumstances, and you strangled her.  She didn’t know because in her own way she loved you too, but you choked her those many times when you insisted she come away from her duties to be with you.  She was conflicted; didn’t know where to stand between your demands, and the needs of the people.  Oh yes, you killed her.  She was an empath, Lon.  If you had allowed her full freedom to live her nature she’d still be here, with all of you, and she’d be laughing with you tonight.”

“It’s a dream, just a dream,” said Lon in the dream, “isn’t it?”

“If you want, but it is much more than a dream.  I’m here to help, Lon, but you must do as I tell you – exactly as I tell you – when you wake up into your real world.  You will abandon any idea of leading this little group.  Someone much more suitable is going to appear during the coming day.  Your hopes for the group will be fulfilled, but not the way you hoped they would be.  When help arrives, this is what you must do: walk away north, into the wilderness, by yourself.  Do not turn back, do not come back.  Your own redemption or your death, await in the young re-grown northern forests.  You will meet some people there and they will teach you about real love which is compassion.  I will see you again, Lon.  Goodbye.”

He watched her fade in the pale moonlight and woke up drenched in sweat.  Immediately he began to shake violently.  He got up, stretched and went on a short run to warm up, all the while thinking about his dream.

“That’s not a dream, that’s a nightmare!”  he thought.  Then he saw the possibility that it had been a vision.  “Morning will tell, tomorrow will tell.  I’ll wait until help arrives, I’ll see.”

Strange times call for strange events.  By the middle of the next day, as most of the people were busy gathering berries, eating, hauling water or keeping the children in line, the very first event of Lon’s dream came to pass: Ruben returned from his quest.  He approved of the stopping place with a few nods.  Always somewhat taciturn, he was even quieter than usual.  Lon queried him.

“What brings you back so soon, and how did you find us?”  Ruben frowned, then started talking:

“A blind man could have tracked your group Lon.  Haven’t I taught you anything at all about being circumspect?  What’s all around you, any idea?  What lurks out there?  What’s watching?  What’s scenting the air?  What’s listening?  Anyway, I saw your sign, and read your message at the old camp.  Also, I smelled your smoke – it travels a long way in this light breeze.  But that’s no longer your concern.  I’m taking over guiding this little group, for however long it takes before we get the help we were promised.”

“Say that again?  The help we were promised?  What do you mean by that?”

“I had a vision.  Saw a woman who claimed she was your sister.  She said that Ana had sent her.  She explained about your, well, character defects.  I already knew that, it’s partly why I had to leave, see?  Anyway the vision woman asked me to return to the group and be the guide until Ana and her people are ready and able to rescue and relocate those of the group who want it.  She said they’d all been waiting for you but you wouldn’t see it, so they decided to violate a bit of “prime directive” by contacting me.

You know me Lon.  You know I would not make this up – I don’t believe in any of this.  Somehow though, that woman, your sister, was very convincing. 

“Now you have to go.  Sorry, but it’s got to be short goodbyes.  Take whatever you want, or think you might need and head north.  She said Ana will meet with you when you’ve been gone long enough.  North, Lon, north.  It’s all waiting for your there.   Once my stint here is done, I’ll be tracking up myself – I won’t be going with Ana’s people, even if they’re only relocating the people to another part of this earth.  This, this land, this continent, is my world.  I belong here.

“I still don’t believe this, but irrational as it all is, I understand.  It’s not about belief, it’s the flow, just as in the wild.  All anyone needs to do is walk in the great flow of things.  The only time we must struggle is in opposition to those who do not walk in the flow of life.  That’s what gives rise to endless conflict.  I sensed your need to impose change and values.  You can’t wish, desire or impose non-violence anymore than you can stop a meat grinder by sticking your fingers in it, Lon. 

“I know this is harsh for you at the moment; you’re hurt and angry, but  you’ll learn.  The loneliness and the wild will teach you; the north, with its cold and its pristine snows will cleanse you and change you.  If you’re worried about food or shelter, observe the animals and the birds and learn: they’re the best teachers in the wild.  I’ll see you again, in the spring.”    

     

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World Bridger (a Vision)

              Dreams and visions.  They come to those who seek them; who seek understanding in all the places where society, civilization, the System, the Status Quo or “The Matrix” insist there can be no understanding except through blind belief and blind obedience.  It insists that everyone must follow the pattern laid out by the Powers that Be, from “God” on down.  Anyone can own a piece of the puzzle if that piece is handed down from those in authority.  If it isn’t then it’s illegitimate, illegal, blasphemous, immoral – take your pick: you are not supposed to have it and must destroy it, or hand it back to the authorities to be destroyed (or hidden in their underground vaults).  If you insist on keeping unauthorized information you place yourself in danger of the “Inquisition” – and be certain that said Inquisition exists within every form of totalitarian power, whether it be religious, scientific, academic, political or financial.  Those who have stood against the Inquisition know what I’m writing about.  Take Galileo; Julian Assange, Joan of Arc, Salman Rushdie, Chelsea Manning… and speaking of “whistleblowers” – check out the list on Wikipedia.  So many others who spent their lives in prison, were executed and tortured to death because they held to a truth that was denied by the System.  Also, if the subject interests you, read up on how the biblical prophets were treated in their days as they pointed out the error of the ways of Israel… errors which caused many a terrible conquest and diaspora; errors which are being repeated today by that same nation and which will have the same ends, for ways not changed means of certainty that history must repeat itself for Earthian humanity.  

                                        World Bridger  (a vision)
           (from the files of    ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara)

          In the darkness, I heard a deep voice echoing.  It said: “You are Tara, daughter of Earth, you are a Planet Bridger…”  As I peered into the dark, which was the dark of space, I saw two planets orbiting.  Then the voice continued: “In the depths of space, two twin worlds move slowly towards each other through the eons of time… Soon they will come close enough to each other for a bridge to be formed…” 

          I looked at these two twin worlds.  One was pristine, beautiful, green, lush, full of life.  Its waters were blue and clear.  Everywhere was a sense of pure joy.  The other was the opposite: it was blighted, polluted, desecrated.  Smoke swirled around it, and on its surface people ran here and there aimlessly.  There were wars being fought, and famine was rampant.  There were plagues and diseases of all kinds.  Pain, misery and death marked the passage of time there…

          When these two worlds approached one another, at some perfect timing, a ball of reddish/golden light appeared between the two planets.  Inside this ball of light was a being apparently sleeping.  Then, I found myself there: I was that being, Tara, the Bridger.  I awakened from my sleep and began to stretch myself.  As I did so, I emerged from the ball of light and it vanished. 

          In space, I stretched my feet towards the pristine world and I saw them enter the soil and become a part of the landscape.  I could feel the well-being of it, the invitation to share in its bounty.  I stretched my head to the wrecked and wretched planet, and when I touched it, my hair, which flowed in abundance, entered that soil like millions of roots, and I became a part of that world.  I felt the burning of it, an unwholesome uncomfortable feeling within my head. 

Now, there was a bridge between two worlds.  Soon, people from the blighted world began to walk upon my flesh; to wonder at, to ponder, this phenomenon.  Some, recognizing the bridge, gave thanks and in gratitude, quickly made their way to the waiting Edenic world.  Most, sadly, were afraid of the consequences of trusting in this new thing, and chose to just wander around a bit, then returned to their miserable existence.  Another type of human came to explore my body: the ‘gold diggers” or resource seekers .  These brought the same tools they had been using to destroy their planet.  They proceeded to cut up my flesh, looking for treasure.  Finding nothing of interest to their blighted senses, they too returned to their world to continue in their pointless existence.

          In time, when the two worlds were again beginning to orbit apart, all those who were upon my body left.  Most opted to remain on their old world, afraid of the future presented to them.  They could not believe that this new world was ‘real’. 

          When I was completely clear of traffic, of human life, I pulled myself free of the old world.  My hair tore out of my head and remained in the soil there.  I pulled my legs away from the new world, and my feet remained in that soil.  I rolled myself into a ball… and died… or so it seemed.  I became non-living, in the sense that we know it.  My body also vanished in space.  Then the voice came back and said: “In time, when this cycle is complete, you will again return to bridge these two worlds, for you are infinite, you are life.”

          By choice, and by whatever means given us over time upon time, some of us become world bridgers.  Our calling and our choice may never be known by anyone, but as my “new age” friends were fond of mentioning, we are anchors.  By our presence and by our thoughts we “anchor” certain energies within worlds and these places of power often remain untapped for millennia.  Then we come back and we find these ancient treasures that belong to us, and we learn how to use them and expand them.  Sometimes they can give us enough power to rise up into public awareness and create waves of changes.  Think Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. – individuals with charisma, with the power of compassion: such doesn’t just happen, nor does it happen overnight.  Long, long planning and many lives go into building such awareness.  Does it make any difference?  It can, for those who observe, listen and act on their own wisdom as the above vision demonstrates.