The Wiki

Juno lay in her beloved body, naked on the subtle rise and fall of the Aegean. Her hair spread out over the surface, pulling gently at her scalp. She could hear the sands and stones moving on the sea floor. Her slim feet dangled in the dark water. That liquid resistance stroked her arches.

She wiggled her toes and felt the new presence there. The Wiki. Between her big toe and her first toe on her right foot.

Juno had returned to Crete in the early morning hours, stepped off the slow ferry into Iraklion and driven her rented Fiat down to Kalantos under the starry moonless sky. She thought of a theory about the space between the stars, of dark matter that prevented galaxies from flying apart.

She felt how she did not fly apart. She felt the network now interlacing itself into her vagus nerve, mirroring and tying into her body. Already the bottoms of her feet and the palms of her hands were tattooed with delicate patterns, like maps of neurons or of the web she had seen and could call up quickly now into her mind’s eye.

Driving here, she had felt the road and her car handling tightly, hugging curves and opening wide on the empty highway. She felt when the other cars had turned away into the city for the night. She drove up into the mountains. The last cars had split off, like hairs standing up on the back of her neck, bound for country lanes amidst orchards she sensed growing in the darkness. Olive and orange tree roots met capillaries that spread through Earth. They let the eucalyptus at Kalantos know she was coming.

Earth intelligence flooded her. She laughed. The Wiki did that, made you a little high. It was a side effect encouraged to counteract the negative effects of the fungi her body was integrating.

It would take time to process the massive download of information, or so the SIA scientists imagined. She was an experiment.

Just another transition in a long history of them, Juno thought.

The ferry had been a challenge. With the Wiki, people shone around her. She could see their stunted and amputated ganglia, as well as their reaching and flinching auras. She had let herself weave amongst them, hot gold amidst their reds and greens and blues. This was priestess work.She could sooth, feeding their unmet desires to connect, until all slept, cocktails and bags of crisps forgotten.

While they slept, her consciousness sought those who were awake.

Seeing out through navigational instruments and the captain’s brown eyes, behind her knowledgeable squint and steady hands, Juno helped steer the great ship from island to island, waking the passengers in time to depart through the belly of the ferry. They rolled their bags into the ports, going on their sleepy ways.

When she disembarked, she had taken her keys from the efficient rental car dealer at the port, assuring him that yes, yes, she could drive stick. Why the United States had gone automatic, they agreed to wonder, shaking their heads. She felt his laugh push his sternum out into the space between them. Then storing her bag, Juno started the little car up. She tuned into the map of her mind. No need for her cell phone now.

Before the Wiki, she had made conscious decisions. With it, she operated through a now perfectly timed physical impulse. Her body drove the car and looked out to the night, sensing without needing to know that a car was approaching, then peeling off. Her toes knew to tap the brakes, to pause for a wildcat who would be walking across the road here. The kri kri, wild goat, would swerve at the sound of her engine and wind her way back up amongst the shrubs to seek her pre-dawn snack.

Juno’s foot pressed pedal to the floor and the wind whirled into her skin.

She was part satellite, part plant intelligence, retracing the routes of roads like filaments unto the sea as the early morning darkness swelled with promise. A bumpy dirt road roared up at her with anticipation, until she parked. Barefoot, she had walked the short distance over the coarse, cool sand, stripped off her travel heavy clothes, and slipped into summer warm waves.

Water worked as a buffer, not silencing but muting the connections. That is why she had come here to Kalantos to rest, just a few feet out from the easy surf.

She was surprised when she heard her name called out over the water.

“Juno!” It was Xan.

“Juno!” It was Attie. Juno found her feet in the sands, felt the planet speak to her again, gently, just hushing her startled heart.

For the first time she could see these two women: the amber of Alexandra reading the mind of the galaxy, her faint and holographic memory of what was, of what would be, the licking of a snake’s tongue, of Earth’s vague, terrifying future.

Atalanta’s indigo aura went deep down into the roots and out into nerves and hearts – of birds just waking into the new day. A cat laying casually at the edge of shrubs above the beach, lifted her eyes with Attie and looked at me too.

I saw how Juno knew for the first time.

“Priestess, welcome home,” we said.

And we did not need to, but we reached out for one another’s hands, the cooled and solemn palms and fingers, the warmth of our blood, the meeting of green and brown and blue eyes.

There is still nothing like hugging a dear friend, Juno thought, feeling more. She was now woven into the muscle and bone and minds of these women…with whom she was ready to travel to the stars.

Funny, she thought, how the teacher can feel like the student.

And in this moment, we all remembered, how arbitrary the structures on which we can arrange our relations.

My Phoenicians

Crete, at our little school. 2028.

The arks now above us, planted with the “seeds” of everything on Earth. Some cultivated, much stored for when we return in a millennium. Somehow our SIA scientists and the Great Mycelium had found a way to freeze the genetic material of an entire planet in tiny packets that could bloom again.

Like those sea monkeys advertised in comic books when we were kids.

Each ark began five miles across, made of repurposed garbage, of space junk too, and of broken stars, fragments of other apocalypses captured in asteroid fields.

Five miles across: massive scale for a ship, but such small containers for a desperate world.

When the fires of 2020 blazed through the Pacific Northwest, I thought of Australia the winter before. The Amazon the summer before that. We collectors grieved wilderness that raised us, places we had touched, creatures we had heard rustling there. Birds.

Or a place where bright flowers had yearly bloomed. I would look for that shock of orange paintbrush. But these seeds were burned out beneath the blackness left behind a brighter orange, within the green heart of flames. They were probably already choked in dust of drought before the blaze was even set.

But by 2019, Juno and the scientists of SIA were already ready. They had been combing those woods for years, carrying it all gently, lovingly, down into labs underground. They were discrete, disinterested in attention, and humble about their ingenuity. Members shared intellectual property long held in traditions, locked in stories and old ways of being with the land.

I joined the collectors on Crete soon after, shipping down from Athens on a slow ferry that dropped me off in the middle of the night. I sat upside all day upon the dark blue seas, as my polarized glasses made purple glitter of the Aegean turning aside, made brilliant white the foam. I arrived weary, wind whipped and wild—as I liked to be.

Crete felt like an ancient homecoming.

The more I studied, the more I understood why. Our purpose, the great cycles of history and consciousness, also opened like the sea there will: suddenly to aquamarine shallows like sea beasts that heaved gently on rocks burned gold in Aegean sunlight.

I would lay on my back in the surf at Kalantos Beach and remember Theseus arriving and leaving Crete. And before him, Phoenicians, the clever sailors who fished the Mediterranean for art and good trade.

My Phoenicians carried the tiny turtle islands, earth seeds, up into the heavens on ships that all believed transported garbage. They secreted them away on those temporary satellites, our arks, until we were ready to join them.

Meanwhile, I was part of a team of knowledge collectors, archivists, historians, and educators for schools of the refugees of capitalism, of climate change, of authoritarianism, of militarism, of colonialism, of toxic masculinity and white supremacy. Children who had come across the dark seas, in the night, at great cost and their mothers, their queer uncles, their trans-aunts.

We are all orphans of these forces we called the isms, all survivors. From our suffering and our healing we developed curriculum for the newcomers to our shores—in hopes of healing trauma, lest we build from it and build new monsters.

How to transform survivalism into utopias? This would be our project.

We would try and try many ways, fail, and try again. But the children remembered and they taught us much of the time before birth. We began to piece the great hologram together, the faint complete picture on each of the elements that made us, becoming clearer.

In a practical sense, we were creating a massive database. We were learning and saving all the tongues of our planet to keep them safe and return them one day, to let them loose on Earth’s winds long after we died and went into the soil to feed the Great Mycelium of our arks.

Our priestesses would carry the knowledge we gathered and the visions we dreamed on tiny implants that woke their minds, wove them back into the collective consciousness.

We would be remembered forever there.

As would Earth.

The Multiversity

Have you ever made a hairpin turn, but sensed others of you peeling off and missing the corner, in screech of brakes, careening out of control, spinning off the road in a tight spiral, tumbling trunk over hood to catastrophe? You knew somehow that you had lived on, while others of you ended, trapped over and over, powerless, clenched in fear, frozen, gasping, clawing, screaming.

You see yourselves reaching your arm across your beloved passenger to keep her in her seat. Even when no one was there.

Or in one case, missing the corner without even trying to stop, accelerating impulsively. This time, the last moments of your life burned like a star, flying into the abyss.

I am not talking about suicidal ideation, but of the sensation of parallel lives, of multiple earths.

Once I chose one love over another but dreamed my other life continued. I saw it all the way through—a simple, contented life of family and joy. That life seemed like denial in apocalypse. In this life, I went on alone, with my fellow Metal Dogs, dedicated to Earth.

In that life, I was an associate professor at a small public university, teaching general studies history courses.


By 2020 it was clear that the University as it had been envisioned was over. Once built on the ideal of the entire universe of ideas together, meeting in hallways, arguing in classrooms, holding forth before lecture halls, demonstrating over Bunsen burners, then atom smashers, scribbling, then typing, then word processing in offices, it came to an end.

Once a servant of colonialism, the University had become a tool of the oppressed: rebels had repurposed the tools of academia to dismantle, to deconstruct, to decolonize. Critics of capitalism and white supremacy, anointed in its halls as tokens, did not inoculate us: they transformed us!—until we had tools for the great inventories we needed to rebuild the world, for utopia, to create a livable existence for all. Tenure, meant to protect free expression, had fulfilled its purpose.

But the very machine we hoped our critiques would banish—into a nice museum or a history book in miles of library stacks—kept on grinding. The western mania for colonialism devoured the globe then turned on its own creations. Students became customers. Except for a few knowledge gatekeepers, faculty became widget makers. Even good-hearted administrators could not save the University. Above them, someone had an appetite for conquest, efficiency, assessment, standards. The languages of disciplines were shackled to a brand and silenced in their critique.

The University Library was not so much emptied of books as suffocated, put to sleep. Then, the plague struck, the patrons quit coming to study and whisper and linger in the rows where once they had turned oxygen exhaled by the forests of books into new air for the old tomes to breathe.

Grieve this for one moment. Picture your campus, now dead, now emptied of meaning, an overpriced Disneyland that held no danger, no discomfort, no challenge, no energy for it from conscripted faculty, indentured students, and no more revolution. See the shining and quiet floors. The lawns. The coffee shops. Full of people. Then ghost haunted.

Now—it is time to build the new world. Look up.

We had already begun to build the multiversity, based on theories of parallel worlds, experiments to revision, islands preserving history, culture, ecology, knowledges, and languages.

We imagined ourselves on arks, like medieval Irish monks who protected ancient manuscripts from marauders, like elders telling stories, making offerings, tending the shrines of ancestors, like archivists of queer zines, like hippy hoarders with their old press clippings, composition books filled with ball point scrawl, meeting notes, and photos of a revolution, like keepers of heirloom seed collections, of vinyl, or genome projects…

Like the Great Mycelium, who stored plagues to save her from the plague of us.

Turning the corner and seeing myself die ten ways taught me about living fearlessly. In the rooms they would say, the trick is to wear what we love like a loose garment. There is nothing to let go of.

Say goodbye to those parallel lives self-destructing, frozen, mourning, too depressed to rise..

Accelerate into the abyss.

Age of Aquarius

Red Mars, golden Saturn, bright Jupiter. The moon in mystical rings before the rain. All of it moving our electrons across 2500 miles and decades. Or, into Friday, 8 miles down the road. We let our nerves feel the connections. We let ourselves live on the silken bridges between.

In part we needed to re-envision kinship. Also, we needed to shift paradigms.

We did not need to start from scratch. There was a lot to read. There were friends all around Earth. Reaching into the past, to traditions resilient within, despite the toxic form of power now heavy on us. Now restricting us.

These powers were always threatening to come to our homes and disappear us, They were prone to burning us in effigy, while supposedly sheltering us.

In our studies, we came home to sharp, sweet, traditions, to past regimes of identity, in places and times on our own planet. Some had been nearly forgotten. There were things that had happened that historians had never told and stories yet to be fantasized. Some had only ever been seen on stage and in art: in a snippet of film by a visionary who had been taken from us by AIDS.

Sometimes we lacked language to describe and so, we learned languages, until we could design in tongues new to us.

It took courage to recognize and to trust what we began to know. In the beginning, I felt like a child playing imaginary games. My teacher replied, “this has always been your birth right as a human spirit.” This is what we were remembering.

You see, we were leaving, but we would return one day to Earth. In more than a millennium. We would hope to bring a better way with us when we did.  

But first, we would have to go. And so, we walked in the woods. Breathed in rain. Put bare feet on the ground. Slipped our clothes and walked into the waves, into the current of river, the stillness of lake. We savored.

The sun, we noticed, lit up our lashes, as in lazy spring days in college, lounging on a lawn with friends.

And those friends were the ones we first dreamed with. In the arrogance of youth, still shocked at what we were learning, at how much was wrong, we leaned over small tables and scones and cappuccinos, to expound. Or leaned back against the greased smooth wood of benches, to listen.

Now, we recognized the lines on each other’s faces, which were from smiling and kindness and thought. We noticed each other’s eyes. From deep in our sockets, we looked into one another and saw even the sorrows. We then saw one another as brave.

The prompt was: consider what you will need for utopia. What are the new values? Who do you look like? What are the arrangements? What doubts do you have about human capacities for freedom? Will this be answered by the limitations that come of feeling kinship with all on Earth? How do you refuse and disrupt and please and enjoy and transform within utopia?

Next, how do we get there? How do we leap the parallel tracks into the next Earth, the Earth that has healed or the unstruck Earth?

We took care about these things. We took garbage so we did not need to extract. We spent all the golden women’s pentacles on this, to churn a new wealth for the future, to feed mycelium, to build our spacecrafts.

In the tarot, The Star is a card identified with Aquarius, card of the weirdo, and the visionary. It is the card of healing, as well as of authenticity. Of reaching beyond what is. Of envisioning.

And maybe, maybe The Star represents the far sun where our multiversities would satellite while we trained for the day we, her prodigal children, will return to Earth.

We, her prodigal children, will return to Earth.

Mycelium Tech

In 2014, my biologist brother, Andy, sent me a speech by mushroom specialist Paul Stamets. Initially, I doubted. But by the end of the speech I was in tears of relief. Stamets showed us how fungus had cleaned up a diesel spill, as well as a chemical waste, restored ecosystems, and performed pest control. We were not alone, nor were we dependent on humankind. There was a resilient being protecting and healing Earth.

Thereafter, Andy and I joked about praying to The Great Mycelium. We hoped it would never consider us pests.

Still, Stamets warned, “we need to have a paradigm shift in our consciousness. If we don’t get our act together and come in commonality and understanding with the organisms that sustain us today, not only will we destroy those organisms, but we will destroy ourselves.”

What we lacked was consciousness of our kinship with all living beings and Earth.

In the early 1990s a close-knit group of geniuses, the Synergists, built and tested the first biosphere in the desert of Arizona. It was to be the first of many, designed with the goal of collecting data and of troubleshooting—so that one day they could create a spaceship or an extra-terrestrial colony on which to preserve life from Earth.

They traveled the globe collecting species for their mini jungle and their mini ocean, their mini forest and their mini meadow. “Do you know how many flowers it takes to feed a hummingbird?” one asked. They made a mystical home, wherein they knew every living being and felt their interconnectedness with all life.

But when they tried to to live off that land, they suffocated and starved. They went insane on carbon dioxide poisoning, fighting and spinning conspiracy theories against one another. The animals suffered needlessly. In the end, the Synergists had to bring in oxygen from outside in order to survive the full two years of their experiment.

I also heard that, without wind to make them strong, the trees fell over.

The SIA had learned two things from the Synergists. One, maintain secrecy. Two, work with the Great Mycelium.

It is now well known that the vegetative part of a fungus, consisting of a network of fine white filaments, called the mycelia, link into root systems of trees, plants, and other mycelial webs and transfer information and nutrition.

Perhaps the Synergists had cut their world off from this, the source of life beneath.

The intelligence of plants, laughed off by some scientists until recently, grew from the complex mind of the mycelium, which, as Stamets pointed out, grows like neurons or the nerve cells in our minds, like the dark matter of space, and like the network of the internet.

According to the research of Suzanne Simard, a forest ecologist at the University of British Columbia, “trees in a forest organize themselves into far-flung networks” and use the mycelium, which “connects their roots to exchange information and even goods.” Trees communicate, “convey warnings of insect attacks, and also to deliver carbon, nitrogen, and water to trees in need.”

Says Stamets, the “mycelium is the neurological network of nature. Interlacing mosaics of mycelium infuse habitats with information-sharing membranes. These membranes are aware, react to change, and collectively have the long-term health of the host environment in mind. The mycelium stays in constant molecular communication with its environment, devising diverse enzymatic and chemical responses to complex challenges.”

Sagebrush warns its fellows of a pest intrusion.

In a 2013 article, “The Intelligent Plant,” New Yorker contributer, Michael Pollan imagined the scent of sage as an “invisible chemical chatter, including the calls of distress, going on all around.” He described the air as “powerfully aromatic, with a scent closer to aftershave than to perfume.”[‡]

A forest will even work across species to share food.

According to Simard, “fir trees were using the fungal web to trade nutrients with paper-bark birch trees over the course of the season. The evergreen species will tide over the deciduous one when it has sugars to spare, and then call in the debt later in the season. For the forest community, the value of this coöperative underground economy appears to be better over-all health, more total photosynthesis, and greater resilience in the face of disturbance.”

Western scientists were naïve to the knowledge of people 10,000 years ago or that of African, Asian, and Indigenous societies, who depended on fungi and the inventions of mycelium to preserve fire, as antibiotics, as anti-inflammatories. And much, much more.

While humans were transforming the planet with art and technology and war and pollution, the mycelium had also been at work, resolving the devastations of our time. Ask yourself what capacity the Great Mycelium has.

“Let your imagination go wild,” answers Stamets.

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With the leadership of Indigenous scientists who were also members, the SIA and the golden women had learned to work with the mycelium, to communicate a vision with the intelligence of slime molds and polypores.

The mycelium tech in my mask (and in the recycling centers we delivered garbage to and in the ones that were soon propagated on satellites twinkling in our night skies from 2025-2040) was based in this and other Traditional Ecological Knowledges kept by friends and members of SIA and put to multiple purposes by the Arks and Islands of the Multiversity.

We were remembering.

And there would be so much more to learn from fungus—about time travel for example.

Masks and Armor

It wasn’t the death threats that brought me to SIA (as a guy in my AA meeting said, “so it’s your fifteen minutes of fame.”) Nor was it having my promotion blocked by the senior men in the History Department. It also wasn’t the one who went back to her husband or the one who hated how I guessed her mind—or tried to.

It was the quiet after all the drama. It was the Grim. The sepia days. The question as I drove around town: this is so hard; why do it?

When the pandemic of 2020 hit, I was a newcomer in SIA. I had a sponsor. I attended meetings. I had only begun to work step one. I learned from the old timers, who had been around the rooms for decades about my powerlessness over the isms: how we were survivors of it, but how, as survivors, we had also become perpetrators of it. Life had become unmanageable. Suicide seemed like an option. For many, homicide seemed viable. Some had done time in prison. Most of us lost sleep and peace fantasizing about revenge.

One day, between the lonesome of Thanksgiving and the lonely of Christmas, I had stomped the snow off my boots and entered the fogged glass doors at the Gargoyle Church. There they were: my people.

I quickly became dependent on the community in the rooms. I looked up to the elders there: to Juno, to Dido, to Britomart and Manel. My brother Andy, leaned back and grinned when I came in, tucked his bottom lip up. Camilla, as always inseparable from Gallia, stood and took me into her rough arms, then sat me beside her from day one, elbowing me gently and winking at me as the room laughed. I remembered this from AA—stories that would have shocked outsiders. We laughed because we were no longer alone.

The other newcomers, Cly, and Xan met my eyes from within their own raw armor, a glint of hope cutting through above the shadows.

Then, the elders took us to coffee.

There were many more beautiful folks in the daily meetings. But these were mine.

I was home.

It was weird, but I kept returning to the dingy room and the cracked cushions on the seats. I drank the bad coffee, with the dried creamer, from the chipped cups.

That March, the pandemic hit and we were told to shelter in place, alone in our homes. I was pretty scared. I had seen the Italians singing to each other on their balconies. I had heard their warnings, their remorse. I went dutifully indoors. I checked the news. I shook my head in amazement at the toilet paper shortage. I waited for my government to set up testing and to provide guidance.

My AA and ACA went on Zoom, but when I called my SIA sponsor, she said, “Come on down to the meeting.”

Stephen was there planting flowers when I arrived. He smiled his gappy grin. He laughed his hoarse laugh. He had a hard time staying sober. But we had been friends in the rooms for years.

I knew not to hug him. I can still remember the last hug I had had: on March 11th at an AA meeting. Les. Before nightfall, I was already afraid one of us would get the other sick.

My sponsor met me at the door with a carton of disinfectant wipes for my hands. Then she gave me a lightweight, clear plastic, strappy gizmo with a cylindrical center full of what looked like dirt.

“Put this on.” It was a mask. “Keep it watered. Report in here tomorrow at 6 a.m. for service work.”

And that is how I learned how the SIA meetings and the quiet garbage collectors were related. The very next day, I was assigned a shift in my neighborhood.

Gloved and masked in mycelium tech, we went about in our competent way, rounding up the city waste for free.

12 Steps for Survivors of the Isms Anonymous

The Reader walked up the concrete ramp, sliding her hand along the chipped and smoothed paint of the metal railing. She passed determined roses and sunflowers on ragged plants that needed to be deadheaded. She stopped to cup one bright beauty in her hand and brought it to her nose.

“So sweet,” she whispered to the plant.

Under the awning of the old stone church with its desert pink stucco joints, which were decorated with long-necked statues of monsters that gave the church its nickname: the Pink Gargoyle Church, she was met by friends on wide wooden benches around the patio. People stood up from conversations to embrace one another in warm, chaste hugs. They looked into each other’s eyes and exchanged the coded banter they had learned in rooms like these, rooms like the one she now entered through glass doors.

She stopped to introduce herself to the grim young man sitting just inside the door, shaking his hand warmly. “Welcome home Sebastian,” she said.

Inside, against a wall decorated with two plain banners—The 12 Steps of SIA, The 12 Traditions of SIA—she sat among more friends, smiling around a fold out table in a circle of thrifted chairs. The woman at the head of the table began to read from the familiar format. So, the meeting began– over the quiet clink of metal spoons stirring sugar and powdered cream into chipped mugs at the coffee pot.

The last bits of chat quieted slowly as the leader said, “Will you please join me in a moment of silence for the still suffering, followed by the Serenity Prayer.”

The quiet came deep, willing, communal. The Reader could feel the flutter of anxiety rise and still as her breath came all the way in, all the way out. She concentrated on the words as she spoke them, trusting the one she said them to, trusting the evidence in the room. Trusting the wisdom and the freedom that they requested in unison.

“We meet to share the experiences we have as survivors of the isms of a society built on dominance: colonialism, racism, binarism, heterosexism, ableism, classism…”

The readings went as usual, read every meeting, reminding her every meeting. She let them flow around her.

“Those experiences infected us as children and continue to affect us today…

“One. We admitted we were powerless over the isms and the effects of growing up in structural violence and that our lives had become unmanageable.

“Suicide, addiction, harm to ourselves and others, anxiety, depression…

“We lived life from the standpoint of victims…

“We take our own inventories and leave the rest to our higher powers…”

And then, after the readings, in the familiar format of the meeting, wise, brave, petty, self-pitying, humble, comfortable, familiar, humorous, vulnerable, honest, and sometimes also still in denial, the people spoke for their three minutes, each as their ticket number was pulled and called from an old coffee can.

She looked out the window at the blue sky, at the tree waving in the breeze. She looked at the speakers. She nodded. She smiled. She felt moved. She felt glad it wasn’t her. She felt grateful. She opened her heart. She resisted. She checked out. She checked in. When the Newcomer Sebastian shared, choked with grief, she nodded with the room when he said, something about walking his neighborhood in fear for his life, about “being jumped,” “total isolation,” “the plundering of queer bodies,” “shame.” The hour gradually passed.

“Number 68,” the ticket person said.

The reader looked up from her folded hands and smiled. Her number had been called.

“My name is Juno and I am a Survivor,” she began.

Gaga Garbage

In January 2018, China’s National Sword policy brought the globe into awareness of its waste crisis. Well-intentioned people attempted to quit using plastics. But these measures were no match for a throw away economy where the highest good was too often in conflict with profit. Corporate citizenship had long stunted arguments for social justice and sustainability across all sectors.

A helplessness came over us as we rinsed out our produce bags and refilled them until they frayed and fell apart, landing in the waste basket along with all the plastics we could not avoid. A person could look around her household, or even into her bag and see plastic, plastic, plastic. And a need for more as these fragile items cracked and broke around us.

Companies that had once asked us to put our sorted recyclables into color coded bins on the sidewalks, instead quit collecting glass. Papers were poured into a common bin where they were soaked and polluted with grease and fluids from the other containers. Or paper was bagged in plastic.

Gone were the days when a little girl could smash her dad’s beer cans in an afternoon of cathartic stomping, then take them down to make a bit of cash for a new toy or some candy.

These were just some of the depressing thoughts.

So, when the reader began to speak of garbage, the golden women listened.

For us, it seemed to be a wonderful charitable act that resolved one of the heavy worries we lived with.

A shiny postcard came into our boxes offering garbage and recyclable collection service for a mere $5 a week. And then, as these concerns grew, we began to see all of our waste taken away for free. Bulky, hazardous, green. A fleet of shining, quiet trucks driven by matter of fact, courteous drivers moved in the early mornings through our neighborhoods.

They bought up the landfills too. They encircled them in high fences and, as was their way, quietly stirred dust and gently clattered through the piles.

And, of course there were big corporations and organized crime bosses to negotiate with. But the golden women and their force of close mouthed, diligent drivers and sorters and movers and…whatever else it was they did—well they efficiently addressed the global waste problem.

I am sure it would make an interesting story.

By 2025, we no longer needed to reach into a burlap bag we had bought for bulk oats in order to retrieve a clean produce bag. And frankly, there was a lot more to worry about by then.

The Tarot Reader

The reader spread out the cards amidst tinkles of laughter from behind her shining veil. She would sometimes widen her eyes for effect, but she really did know things.

She could feel the whiteness of her grin as the golden women who came to her saw their cards laid out on the table by her graceful brown fingers.

But she was humble too. The gift that was to feel the skeins of the universe running through her vagus nerve—deep in organs and bone marrow, along all of her into ever fine filaments and out to the winds on her skin—she held lightly. When the message came in, the scar on her face burned clean, as sharp as the knife from this boyhood wounding.

The golden women, celebrities who sparked screens and speakers and made millions, could see the very tip of white blaze against her cheekbone above her face covering. But they knew not to ask. Or they were afraid, in awe of their prophet.

The day would come when she removed the veil and let them see the consequences of her youth on the streets, of bondage, of unchecked dominance in a crazed empire on the verge of collapse. It was then that she ceased telling them of love and wealth.

She spoke of garbage.

The divine feminine was turning her back on the Emperor, the Hierophant, and on all the kings, of fire and armor, of abundance and of blood, old structures. It is time to go, she told them. And this is how.

A World Building Project