Tag Archives: dreams

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #54

Wow… as Bob Crachit would say, “I am behind my time…” Indeed life has been crazier than usual and apart from a bit of blogging comments, I’ve had little time for the blog and particularly for the Manifesto.  But, here’s blog post #54, and more to come.


… As a true T’Sing Tarleynan female would answer she replies, “What I think no matter.  Men, they decide.  Woman think?  That is waste.  Eat, sleep, make love, train to fight and kill.  That is fighter woman do.  Think waste energy; mix up in head.  Make weak, stupid.  I be strong soon, strong and fast.  I train good.  I live long.  Maybe you like me, you take me.  Hold me, make love.  Be lover, be friend.  Be family to me.  I train with you, huh?”  She pinches my muscles on my tight stomach.  “You like old skin, strongest of fighter woman they say.  Desert Beast, huh?  Proud I be slave to you.  Teach me strength you do.  I fight for you.”

[end blog post #53]
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[begin blog post #54]

Chapter 25 – Measuring Times by my Losses

And so begins another episode.  Seems I’m now measuring my times by my losses.  While I remain awake, having now cradled this new child between my legs and in my arms and lulled her to sleep, I keep thinking of Deirdre.  I feel my emptiness and the suffering of my heart is worse than what I suffered in the dungeons of the inquisition.  Especially do I rue the fact I could not say goodbye.  That hurts more than anything.  Did she suspect during those last hours?  She would have known something was going on.  She would have felt it, sensed it.  She would also have known that the discovery of it would cause us great pain and thus would have kept silent. 

‘Ah, Deirdre.  Soon you will wake up on a world I hope is beautiful to behold.  A world that will cause you much less pain than this one.  I would have invited you to find your way to Altaria, as I did for Tiegli, but that would have been a violation of my “contract” with the Koronese.  They saved you because they need you, girl.  They hope to discover the source of your miraculous empathic nature.  Perhaps they can isolate those genes and clone truly empathic Cydroids?  Perhaps a child from a Koronese father who will have your strange nature? Please help them, Deirdre, for to that it seems you were called.  For that we met and your physical life was saved.  Take care.  I shall love you forever…’

Tiki turns and sighs.  I look at the small sleeping girl-woman in the pale light of Albaral.  I vow not to become attached to this one.  And how am I going to go about avoiding that?  I’m not made that way here.  Something’s changed from the mind I had during the Melkiar wars.  The very paucity of love here has made me want to become pure love to these children.  Looks like I’m heading for another compromise that is going to peel another layer of protection from my heart and make me bleed internally even more than externally.

“Teach me strength you do.”  she said without any doubt I could do so.  Damn right I will ‘teach you strength.’  I will make you like the rock of this place.  I will give you all you need to be as happy as any child can be in such circumstances.  I will give you all the advice and training I’m capable of.  I’ll make you into a superb T’Sing Tarleynan fighting machine – the best of their own they’ve ever seen, though I’m certain not a one of them will be able to appreciate your talents or skills  All you will remain for them is someone, no not someone, but a thing, to perform indignities upon, to damage, defeat, destroy and finally, to kill.’

Maybe, now that my mind is clearer, I will find a way to give this being a “soul” – a mind implant, a gift of some long-forgotten goddess that will change her into a born-again human.  As long as I’m measuring my times here by my losses, I can afford to lose another dream.  I can dream, no one can take that away from me.

And in this dream I must also discover, not the nature of evil, but the final path to its source from which it can be defeated.  Evil, you are my ultimate enemy. 

When Tiki sleeps peacefully against me and the ache of losing Deirdre has dulled to a tolerably manageable level I will perform this exercise.  I will exorcise from myself the power of that dormant monster; of all the evil that ever touched me, that I have touched and that I have worked with.  I will remember the feelings that it gave me. That horror that I buried deep in my subconscious so long ago, the parts of it that thrilled me when I refused to consider alternatives;  those I killed in turn after they had killed all that I loved.  That source of evil within myself I will expose to the light of what I have become in this place.  Thus I will bring forth the rest of the knowledge I need to complete my task here, by “faith” in life and by example for others. 

The process:  Access, study, feel, understand, delete.  Yeah, I should have been a Cydroid.  For it is one of our truisms that we, human and Avatari alike, cannot delete our past; cannot disown it.  We can but dis-empower or empower it according to our present need and understanding.

And in my sleep I dream of the constant we call “evil” but it is a sweet dream, not a nightmare.

[end blog post #54]

Dreaming and Past Life Remembrances

[thoughts from    ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

When I first started on the path of awakening to self-empowerment I began to dream strange new dreams. I filled pages of records of dreams I made it my task to interpret for myself. I had been dreaming before, of course, since as far back as I could remember but these new dreams were teaching dreams, many having nothing to do with Earth or this life.

From these strange dreams I became aware of memories from past lives. As I worked at developing my new nature and a topsy-turvy different understanding of life and a possible purpose in having become a participant in it, those dreams began to subside in proportion to how much I entered into past life remembrances and adapted what I remembered to my current and ever-changing circumstances.

Was there a connection between increased past life awareness and the negative effect on my dreaming? Being the curious type I wanted to know why past life remembrances should negatively affect quantity and quality of dreaming.

Obviously the first question was, why do we dream anyway? What’s the point?

The point, I realized, is that dreams are the mind’s safety valve. The mind cannot be contained within a strictly material, single life event, nor even within a religious context which amounts to the same thing, what I’d call, based on personal experience, a state of mindlessness. (I’m talking about religion, not spirituality.) Dreams I realized, serve as pressure reliefs for an enslaved mind. They remind the mind being that no matter what is believed, there is more that the Matrix mind prison cannot contain, deny or explain.

Once we break out of the “thou shalt not” programming and allow our mind to develop cosmically, outside the totalitarian bounds of the Matrix and accept that we are more than we are allowed to know, dreams have served their purpose. Now we can contemplate our own remembrances of past/future lives without listening to the very loud societal voice that says, “You’re crazy!” We know that crazy is refusal to look in photo albums and the old diaries because the System says they don’t exist. The Voice of Reason that says there are no such things as past lives, never mind future ones. We are not supposed to have other lives than this one. Only two possibilities officially allowed: annihilation at death for the materialist or the permanently removed zombie state of heaven or hell for the religionist. That’s all she wrote, says the priest-psychiatrist, now go shopping.

What are dreams then? Until we awaken they are the safety valve that prevents us from complete mind death. They cannot enlighten, however, just prevent, keeping the mind on life-support until the Eureka moment that changes everything and from which there is no turning back. Until we dare trust ourselves rather than the System as we learn to explore ourselves through our past/future lives, deliberately and purposefully choosing to remember who we really are, remembering hidden lives we have experienced however brutal or insignificant they may have been.

It’s not what we did that matters, as psychics like to emphasize, it’s that we dare give the System the finger by remembering ourselves though we were never given space to appear in any official history book; we dare rise from the common grave of the ignorant, forgotten, enslaved, trod under and murdered unwashed masses.

Because I have worked hard at penetrating the wall of lies erected by the System to separate this me from all other “me’s” of past/future lives – the process is not a linear or chronological progression – I have achieved something that has taken me beyond the need to vent my mind through dreams that needed interpretation. I have shattered the time mirror to see myself in myriads of dimensions and shapes without having to feel foolish about it, or the need to hide. My mind is no longer on life support. I no longer have to to choose between religion and materialism.  Best of all I no longer need to be an Amazombie Googleite Facebookian!!!

I grew up from the ground as a slender shoot, extended leaves through my dreams, then shot up a seed head through past life remembrances that is now ready to scatter its seeds over time and space when the wind of death blows over me. Within my own seeds I will take flight and go on and on and nothing can ever stop me again.

That is what I call freedom.

Is there a Collective Unconscious and a Collective Dream?


[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara

(Introduction) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Collective unconscious (German: kollektives Unbewusstes), a term coined by Carl Jung, refers to structures of the unconscious mind which are shared among beings of the same species. According to Jung, the human collective unconscious is populated by instincts and by archetypes: universal symbols such as The Great Mother, the Wise Old Man, the Shadow, the Tower, Water, the Tree of Life, and many more.

Jung considered the collective unconscious to underpin and surround the unconscious mind, distinguishing it from the personal unconscious of Freudian psychoanalysis. He argued that the collective unconscious had profound influence on the lives of individuals, who lived out its symbols and clothed them in meaning through their experiences. The psychotherapeutic practice of analytical psychology revolves around examining the patient’s relationship to the collective unconscious.

Psychiatrist and Jungian analyst Lionel Corbett argues that the contemporary terms “autonomous psyche” or “objective psyche” are more commonly used today in the practice of depth psychology rather than the traditional term of the “collective unconscious.”[1]

Critics of the collective unconscious concept have called it unscientific and fatalistic, or otherwise very difficult to test scientifically (due to the mythical aspect of the collective unconscious).[2] Proponents suggest that it is borne out by findings of psychology, neuroscience, and anthropology. [end of Wikipedia introduction]


In a recent post I wrote about an interesting dream I had involving certain “symbolic characters” currently much in the collective mind: Donald Trump as president of the USA, his press secretary, KellyAnn Conway, and the White House represented by a “Black House” in the dream.

Since, I have met one other person who had a similar dream on or about the same time I did, involving Donald Trump asking for help. 

In the comments section of my article, Katharine Otto  ( https://katharineotto.wordpress.com/ ) wrote: “Sha’Tara,  Your dream has been working on me since I wrote the above, and I do indeed believe you are functioning as a catalyst. I believe Trump is also a catalyst, in that he is rattling so many cages, but he can’t control outcomes. The outcome (or outcomes) depends on how we as Earthians deal with the changes. We do have the opportunity to uplevel individual and group experiences, maybe with a little help from our more evolved, extra-terrestrial friends, whoever or whatever they may be.

Maybe in a group-dreaming mode, we can dream up some visions of the kind of society we would like to inhabit.

Is there a collective unconscious (or objective psyche) and could this involve a kind of collective dreaming involving those free-er minds no longer bound by belief systems as promoted by organized religion or atheistic scientific materialism?  That somewhere between these antagonistic extremes exists a subtle reality preventing extremism from totally destroying a living sphere; a reality that dreamers can access and input into, thus adding to its power to dampen or control volatile conditions brought on by excessive greed and predatory lust leading to insatiable appetites for the predators; fear and uncertainty for their victims?

The “Teachers” warned me time and again not to embroil myself into the physical struggle for balance in the worlds of religion, politics and money.  They cautioned me not to “take sides” by exercising my voting “rights” as all such moves reveal a sense of powerlessness on my part and a gloating on the part of the enemy. 

Recently I compared the political processes world-wide as a game of snakes and ladders.  “They” cast the dice, we walk the line only to rise, then fall in turn.  “They” are the gamers, we the pawns.  Thus it always was, thus it always will be, until perhaps, as Katherine points out, more and more of us are drawn into the dream, expanding that gentle realm until the extremes dry out from lack of food. What is the extremist’s food? Violence.

The lesson of non-involvement through detachment is harsh and apparently pointless.  The dreamers are the conchies or conscientious objectors, not just to war, but towards all forms of violence.  All violence is always, without exception, an extreme counter life force.  All types of competitive behaviour is based in violence, like it or not.  Is voting then a from of violence? Yes it is because it’s a competition, a vicious game.  It is a religion, the  support of one’s particular “household gods” in the hope that they will bring peace, or if not, then the defeat of the enemy, whatever and whomever that enemy is – in politics, religion or finance there is always an enemy and all of it results in competitive behaviour and that always results in victimization, suppression, oppression, marginalization and often the genocide of innocent victims.

Who is the enemy of religion, politics and finance? The answer is obvious: me, if I dare become an individual who refuses to offer innocent sacrifices on the altars of oppressive and oppressing “divinities”.  Me, the self empowered who dares enter into the collective unconscious dream and therein draw off power from death-dealing structures to engender new life.  From this place I am neither heroine nor victim: I just am. 

An Unexpected and very strange Dream

[as experienced by Sha’Tara]

There are those of us who are born dreamers. No, I don’t mean wishful thinkers but people who have unusual dreams that require serious interpretation. Is the dream a revelation? Is it for me of for some other person? Is it a “generic” prophecy, and if so, how to properly “download” the message file that it may then be presented to that lucky “generic” crowd?

Do I have to mention that I use the word “lucky” tongue in cheek? How many dreamers have had their dreaming career cut short when they kept saying things the lucky recipients did not want to hear, or which their leaders took exception to?

Water under the bridge and all that… but here’s a dream for you that should, perhaps, leave you scratching your head, as it did me, and continues to “do me”.

That was last night. I was having what must have been a peaceful sleep and the evening before was quite uneventful although I did try to watch a movie called “Captain Fantastic” which I could not finish. So what happened?

The dream. First, the scene: a steep hillside and it is quite dark though it is full daytime. I’m walking past a large black building on my left, climbing uphill, searching for some kind of path although the territory is not totally strange to me. Coming up behind me huffing and asking me to wait is…

You won’t believe this: none other than Donald Trump. To say that I’m shocked (in the dream) is an understatement. I don’t know what to say as he approaches. He puts his right hand on my shoulder and says, “Thanks for waiting, thanks a lot. Look, I know this will seem crazy but I want you to listen to me very, very carefully. First, I need you. I’ll explain why but let me just say that I know all about you, and your feelings towards me in particular, and all politicians. Also that you are no fan of America as an ideal. OK? Now please let me talk. I don’t have much time.”

“I’ve had a revelation (the word he used was different but it’s the best I can come up with) and I’m in terrible shock. All my life I’ve been a taker. I still can’t believe I’m saying this but it’s true. Now I’m in a position to reverse this. I want to be a giver, both in my politics and my personal life. I don’t know where that will leave me but I feel I have no choice in this. I repeat, I need you to help me because you understand what such a shift means.” He turns and motions to an individual I cannot see. “My assistant wants to speak to you. I’ll wait.”

A woman appears and approaches me. Is it KellyAnn Conway? It could be, looks like her but she does not introduce herself. She takes my arm and leads me into a dark brush-filled area, stops and looks straight in my eyes. She says words to the effect: “The president is in shock and I’m at a loss on how to handle this situation. We, I, have come to you because we, I, know I can trust you. If I can convince you to help us through this transition, I know you are essentially incorruptible and that you will do it, not for us and not for the opposition but for the people. This is all about people, not politicians, not elites, not anybody special. I, I mean we, no, the President (the way she said it makes me capitalize the title here) wants to turn everything around. He says he knows he has to, but has no idea how to proceed. Who would believe him? Who would trust him? I feel like I’m assistant to the Grinch who stole Christmas and is awakened on Christmas day by all the little Who singing happily as if nothing was missing. The President want to return Christmas to the people. He needs you understanding and your help. Will you help us? Long ago you wanted a chance like this but now that you no longer care we know you are trustworthy.”

I would have liked to be involved in more of this dream but I think the shock of it actually woke me up. I lay wide awake for a long time, forcing myself to remember the details in the dream and what they might mean. I got the symbolism of the “Black House” as how I would see the White House because of the corruption it houses. Also the entire sense of a very dark day is how I perceive the global situation we are in. The brushy area represents the political mess. Beyond that, having Donald Trump and KellyAnn Conway asking me for help even though, yes, I know what such a revelation as he explained having experienced, does entail, is a bit more than much. But then, what’s self empowerment for in the end?

Was my mind playing a really sick game, or is there something going on, even if in some altered reality? Is compassion challenging me to “love my enemy” in this scenario? What sort of personal power was I being offered?

Who is the message for? All bets are off but I’ll accept opinions!

The Shared Mind

a vision, by Sha’Tara]

It is difficult at times to determine if a vision is good or bad. I suppose it can be argued that it’s all on how it makes you feel, or the effect the memory of it has. In any case you may find the following entertaining, interesting, perhaps even intriguing. Perhaps you even know what this is all about.  Perhaps this is also a part of your reality.

There was a girl on the street. A quite ordinary looking girl in scuffed runners, faded jeans and an oversized blue sweat shirt. Her dark hair was tied in a loose pony tail. How old was she? You don’t ask a woman her age.

She was kneeling by a broken vase someone had heaved out of an open window.  It’s possible it had simply fallen. There were stems of dried, long dead flowers scattered all around, and some spots of rust coloured liquid spattered the cement under the broken pieces.   Water or blood?

I watched this girl very carefully, though she could not see me. I was using a wide power pole to hide behind so I could observe the scene without disturbing anything, neither her thoughts nor her movements.

She picked up the broken vase, and carefully held it as she arranged the pieces so it would look as if it was still in one piece. It had been painted over with a cheap imitation of mother-of-pearl. So, rule out the possibility that it had been either a fancy or expensive item.  She picked up the dried flower stems and put them in the vase. Then she stared at it, unmoving for several minutes.

I waited and wondered. What was the girl thinking?  Doing?

You know those balloon things you see over the heads of people in cartoons?  I saw one of those over her head.  I saw what she was thinking.  She wasn’t thinking in words, or perhaps I didn’t know her language, but what I saw did surprise me.

There was an image in the balloon.  It was of the vase she had so carefully reassembled.  A man in an outlandish uniform was holding the vase, and it was filled with the most beautiful bunch of red roses.  He was handing it to a woman.  The woman was veiled, her face hidden behind a white lace and her hands, as she reached for the vase, were covered by white lace gloves. In contrast, she wore a floor-length black dress with a high collar. They were standing in a large room and I could tell from the man’s uniform, the woman’s dress, the curtains and pictures on the walls, that this was of another time, and of another part of the world.

What kind of past life memory had I come upon?  What old love story was being brought forth from the nether worlds by this strange and unexpected vision?

The girl on the sidewalk slowly let the broken vase slip from her hands and its pieces spread out as before.  The balloon image vanished.  She got up, holding her right hand over her eyes, found her balance and looked around.  I had stepped out from behind my hiding place and when our eyes met, I saw her eyes welling with tears, and more running down her face.

Her lips made a surprised “O” and she turned abruptly, running away from me down the street.  I looked down and there was nothing on the sidewalk, just the dirty, old, cracked cement. No broken vase, no dried up flower stems, no rust-coloured stains. Down the street, no woman running.

I knew instinctively that I had no need to go running after her and try to glean the story from her.  In my mind I knew I had seen her thoughts because I was one of her “partials” as my people explain it.  A piece of her mind linked to mine.

I will find her again and I will get the story (if I want it), whether in a restaurant, in a dream, in a vision, in a walk by a lake, in a memory, even in another life, in a lovers’ embrace, none of those particulars matters.  We are linked in a shared mind, that’s what matters. It’s what I needed corroboration for: the shared mind theory.

Society, the Homeless and Bleach

 [Thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]          

Certainty precludes certainty.  [Synopsis of Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty]

Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. [Robert Heinlein]

The realm of the possible is infinity; the realm of the likely is confined to pre-existing conditions. [Sha’Tara]

Become a believer and you no longer have to be an achiever.  Become an achiever and you no longer need to be a believer. [Y-Lea]

Love is a feeling.  Like all feelings it is an effect requiring a cause; is short-lived, easily perverted and burns itself out as emotion. [Erin WilloWitch]

Corollary: If it is true that “God is love” we have the answer to the toughest question regarding God: The Great Silence.  As “love,” God is an effect, not a cause.  The effect was experienced when nature required its presence as creator, mover, judge and ruler.  Man has arrogated divine prerogatives in all these areas thus annulling the God effect.  Strictly speaking, “God” has become an idol for those who need to believe in something greater and external to themselves, external to human powers, external to nature and the human mind, external to everything they can conceive.  Now ask yourself: Is it any wonder no one can agree on what “God” really is?  Who could ever agree on what’s external to “me”?

I woke up angry this morning.  Good angry.  Dreams can do that.  They can toss you around, flip you, leave you begging for mercy.  Dreams can be terrible reflections in the mirror of the mind.  What brought on the anger?  The growing “problem” of homelessness in this burgeoning and mushrooming area.  The growth boom is attracting many people to Canada’s concentrated, cooler, wetter, socially dysfunctional version of California.  As always, a growing society also grows social “problems.”  That’s how it is.  Gradually, a population boom leads to overpopulation.  But it’s a  comfortable disease, one that kills the body in time but for the moment brings many benefits — or should I say gratification — at least for those who hope to profit by it. 

Human society has always been a sick animal.  A mindless predator that feeds on parts of itself for its own survival.  It’s the nature of the beast and nothing any dis-empowered individual can do about it.  Since it’s made up of individuals, individuals provide society’s fodder. Society is cannibalistic (it can also go ballistic, but that’s another topic.).  So in a greedy and narcissistic aspect of society you end up with those elites who are served and those teeming numbers who serve them body and soul because they don’t know any better than to stand in front of the steam roller when it comes to town. 

Enter the homeless.  Which are they?  Interesting question.  At first glance they appear to be victims of society.  A deeper look says, “No, they are not victims.  They are that ugly image of what a selfish and self-centered society portrays to itself in its mirror.”  Metaphorically they represent a cancerous zit showing through society’s cheap make-up.

The real victims of society are those who are truly helpless, sucked dry to serve the higher needs.  The sick who become the guinea pigs for the medical “profession” and legal drug lords.  The part-time, less than minimum wage drones in the fields of dollar store commodities, shoes and clothes, fast foods, accommodation, travel and the vast network of the underpaid so-called service industry.  The expendable and starving poor, those who happen to subsist on lands that contain resources the greedy desire.  These are the real victims of society, the slaves and martyrs who make society “viable” for those on the higher rungs of the ladder.  This is a real societal problem and for this there is a very simple solution available.

But homelessness, the kind we see in the affluent society, is different.  It has no apparent solution because it’s not actually a problem per se.  Homelessness results from society looking at itself in the mirror.  When you look at yourself in the mirror and you don’t like what you see, the solution does not lie (!) in the mirror.  Nothing you do with, or to, the mirror, will change that.  The “solution” lies with you.  If you cannot do anything about the way you look, then maybe it’s better not to look in a mirror.  Turn it to the wall, break it, remove it.  Whatever.  What confronts you in the mirror is not a problem, it’s an image. It is you who is the problem.  

It’s easy to look at a negative situation and label it a problem.  Once that’s done, society can create another bureaucracy to look into the problem, and another to solve the problem.  Enter a new government department.  Enter the “benevolent” organization.  Enter another curse upon society, another tax burden.  And who notices that as the costs of government and benevolent societies mount, so does the so-called “problem” these were set-up to resolve?

Were I installed as dictator tomorrow and the problem of homelessness brought to my attention, I would, as absolute ruler of said society, dictate the immediate round-up of the homeless to be forced into shelters (using currently vacant buildings with proper heat and sanitary facilities installed.)  I would dictate that they be fed properly and given necessary clothing, etc.  Then I would dictate that since society is looking after them, their time belongs to society.  They live by rules as applying to everyone else, and they are put to work in areas now lacking workers due to lack of funds.  Case closed.  The  problem is not solved since it wasn’t a problem, but the situation is resolved.  And I don’t want to hear about this again.  Next?

As an individual, which thankfully I am, and not as dictator, I have a solution to the situation of homelessness.  Since it is a mirror image of a selfish and decadent society, let’s change what is being reflected, not the reflection.  Let’s deal with the real problem, not the symptom. Let’s change “us” as individuals.  Let’s turn from our narcissism and selfishness, our sickening greed, and teach ourselves to look at our neighbor with compassion. 

Lets no longer accept that “God’s in his heaven, the CEO in his penthouse, the bankster on the phone with the CEO, the President robbing the poor to pay the rich, and all’s well with the world.”  The self-centeredness creating that ugly image in the mirror has to go.  We want beauty to reflect back to us, so let’s become beautiful, in our hearts and minds.  The rest will take care of itself.

It only seems impossible because it hasn’t been done.  Let’s move from the realm of the “likely” into the realm of the possible.  By doing it.  Now.  If we become achievers, we won’t have to be believers.  Another relief.  Another burden removed from society as a whole.

Speaking of God, a downtown church’s billboard proudly announces that God is like bleach because he removes the toughest stains.  Which tells us that God has a name: Javex.  Makes sense, that being the Modern Greek translation for the old Israelite name of Jehovah.  I have used a lot of God in my bathroom and laundry over the years without ever realizing we were so close.  

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.”