Getting Down – with Dmitry, Derrick, and Teddy K

[I wrote this post on February 27, 2017, shortly after having the relevant dream.]

The other night I dreamed: I was on an upper level of a multi-story structure; I needed to reach the ground. Descending a winding exterior stone stair, I stopped short at a great gap. Was there any way I could safely jump to the next step? No, there was not. I would need to try something else.

Then I was indoors, on what seemed like a lower level of the same structure, still seeking a path down. How about that thick rope, just beyond a railing? Or the rope ladder a few feet farther away? The rope, in both cases, looked like jute or hemp – light brown, furry, likely to fray. Someone I’m inclined to trust on such matters (a builder from Earthaven) assured me the rope in the ladder would hold my weight. Still. Either I simply wanted additional options, or the risk seemed too great. I ventured further into the building’s interior, seeking another way. Continue reading

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Swing low, sweet war machine – and let me out!

Last night’s descent dream: I was on a plane, heading to Idaho. Looking out the window, I saw water. Green-black waves. Not that far below. I figured the plane had malfunctioned, lost altitude. The pilot made an announcement indicating he had a backup plan. The plane reached land, and glided briefly over a scrubby grassy area before touching down on a gravel drive. I got out, and started home on foot (though I knew home was many, many miles away). A bit later, I encountered a family playing croquet. They remarked on the strangeness of my presence, but didn’t seem to mind my traversing their yard, or interrupting their game. I walked on. Continue reading

The Dream of Descent

Last night I dreamed about descent – again. This time I was in a cylindrical elevator, with six other people (three adults and three children, none recognizable from real life), on a high floor of a steel-glass tower. I knew we had enemies within the building, whom we’d had to elude to reach the elevator, who might yet prevent us from reaching ground and getting out. Yes, the doors were closed – we were safe for the moment – but it was a long way down. Continue reading

Excerpt from Mating in Captivity – Chapter 1: Interview

[Update: My Kickstarter campaign to fund publication of Mating in Captivity: A Memoir ended April 10, 2017. However, until further notice, I am still willing to honor all reward levels listed on Kickstarter. If you would like to pledge directly, you may do so here, using your PayPal account or a card. Any additional funds raised will be used to promote the book, throw a launch party, expand the initial print run, and/or defray the costs of a book tour.]

I began spinning a fantasy about Zendik mating the night I arrived.

Cross-legged on the living room floor, a metal bowl nestled in my lap, I watched a short, round woman with buoyant ringlets burst in from the kitchen, bowl in hand. Another woman called to her, across the room: “Are you having a date tonight?”

Between them lay a sea of Zendiks; maybe two-thirds of the Farm’s sixty-plus members filled every chair, couch, and patch of rug. The lemon scent of Murphy’s Oil fused with the glow of standing lamps to bathe us in resinous incandescence.

Forks clanged against stainless steel. Chatter rolled past me like delicate thunder. Continue reading

War Machines Make War. Not Butterflies.

[I wrote this post on November 23, 2016 – three months ago.]

Did we really think we could build a war machine that would not make war on us?

It is heartbreaking to hear the reports from Standing Rock, from the undeclared war on the water, the land, their human protectors. And I wonder: Haven’t similar scenes been unfolding in other countries, and in American inner cities, at the behest of our war machine, for decades (at least)?

It is not that the mercenaries in North Dakota are doing anything out of the ordinary; it is just that they are doing it here. And, in my world, personal connections to people at Standing Rock are far more common than personal connections to those dying in our nation’s murderous raids overseas. Continue reading

Beyond Bounded Choice

Let’s talk about bounded choice.

Years ago, on my way out of Zendik, I read a book of that title (subtitle: True Believers and Charismatic Cults). The author, Janja Lalich, had become a sociologist, specializing in cultic studies, after ten years in a political cult that dissolved when the followers lost faith in the leader. In the book, she draws on her own experience, as well as her research into other groups (Heaven’s Gate, in particular) to show that cult members are neither stupid nor mindless, that they do think and choose for themselves – it’s just that great swaths have been removed from their field of possibility. So they operate within an extremely narrow range.

This last election, and its aftermath, have confirmed for me that yes, industrial civilization is a cult, and yes, its true believers experience, and act from, a condition of bounded choice. Continue reading