Ocean Sky Daylight

For two days the sky burst open,

And standing in an open field asunder, each moment a dewdrop, passing into the ocean clouds, resting on the appearances below. For two days I slept, reaching into the consciousness of each rainfall. It lasted a moment, then another. Until the echo of each opened a world inside. And yet, is this possible? Within each rain, the promise of a new day?Infinite in possibility. Giving life? In all its wonder? Reaching into a night sky, and then, the brightening day. And in my heart, I drink deeply. Rainfall. And it seems like it would never end. If we hold this in our memory. can we see? That in every step, every moment, an ocean of possibility. And in each drop of water from the sky. a dream.

Burnout

I read an email from AOC today that really struck home. She talked a bit about burnout and how we need time to refill our cup and not always be pouring out of it. It made a lot of sense. It was a beautiful metaphor. I was close to exhaustion but just reading the email was all I really needed. I’ve been working for days and giving so much, literally and figuratively, with both my mind and body in the coffeeshop and my work at Peets.

I finally unplugged from the internet, and just took some time to drink water and sit and listen to music. I spent some time outside just watching the wind go through the trees, the gentle birdsong free of intent, just the atmosphere and me, sounds in the distance, and a steady peace in the quiet as my mind slowly drifted away, into a steady relaxed point. I was defininitely freed from something. My job, which I love, is very difficult. I was so overworked, but didn’t really notice it. The day went well, occasional hicups, but everything felt so easy, even in moments of stress. My team is amazing. It’s like a family. My manager even found a way somehow to get me the time out to focus on a workshop with climate policy, which I’m so grateful for.

But this simple email from her meant so much. It made me go deep inside my mind and find what it really was I needed to do. In my mind I thought about taking a retreat, maybe even resigning from work for a little while. But after I had some water and really let her thoughts enter my mind, and held them for a moment, I found the peace I really needed. It just felt so direct, so shared. I’m so grateful. I put on some Bach and did the dishes, just walked through the apartment and then sat down. Looked at some impressionism and painting books I had around. Nothing remarkable, just everyday things that I may have forgotten. Then put on some proto ambient music and sat down. That’s it really. It’s a silent moment, where I’m sitting right now and writing my thoughts.

The interesting thing though is this came right before I have the first meeting with the Fairfax Climate Action Committee, where for the first time I’ll have a voice as a member, and not a volunteer. And what I realized is that what happened over the last couple of weeks, between all the conversations and requests I listen to every day to make sure everythings staying steady at the coffeeshop, prepared me for this moment. The ability to just listen, carefully, observationally, almost like a science, to the needs of the folks I literally serve every day. If that didn’t prepare me for this meeting I don’t know what will. And all this came through stillness, meditation, and calm. And none of this would have happened without that writing.

I’m still, I’m calm, and maybe that’s a turn of phrase that expresses what I feel in this exact moment, which is very simply, not really anything. I’m just listening. I’m peaceful. This post doesn’t even feel like I’m writing, but I know something real tonight. We’re all connected, and we never know just how powerful our words are when we really reach each other through sharing our difficulties, because we’re all in this together. I’m trying to figure out an artful way to end this post, but I can’t because there’s no ending, just a steady peace, and this, like water, was the thing that I needed to carry on. I can’t wait for this meeting, and I can’t wait to be back at work tomorrow morning, and yes, maybe some painting, privately, unshared, in moments where I can find some peace. Thank you, AOC.

What it’s like working the coffee bar.

When I get on shift at Peets, the moment I set foot on the floor I am in another world. Things look so different. I studied zen so much in the last two years, and I sometimes wondered if that was some kind of an escape, maybe even a part of hubris at wanting to become enlightened. But what I found is that that’s all an academic distinction. The minute I am in that store there is nothing but each motion, without almost any distraction. There’s just too much to focus on.

When I’m at the register, I’m balancing incongrous orders in random bursts. The control system is designed with a careful logic. In many ways it’s an unsophisticated ideograph that doesn’t exist the way people talk. It may look like I’m just typing in a terminal, but I’m not. I’m translating from chaos to logic. When people walk up to the counter they begin quickly announcing things. Most of the time it’s before I even have a chance to log in, not from distraction, but because of the limits of human computation and motor skills. The people I am trying to help with their order may not know this. While I am parsing the infromation and holding it in my memory, I am also balancing listening to announcements from my teammates, a bell sound for finding mobile orders, the sound of the oven, and watching for the door and making sure we’re all balanced in the small corridor where we work.

Because I miss reading journalism and going to press conferences on c-span I bought in bulk a reporters notebook so that I can write down any information that might be missed when orders get changed. It’s practically like being a mentat. There’s nothing that prepares you for this. Most of the people I help, and I’m starting to know, are absolutely respectful and wonderful people, but occasionally we do get experiences that are less than kind. There’s also a sense of protocol and kindness that we have to maintain to keep ourselves from becoming too forefront from the experience. It’s a careful balance.

There are so many people who work in retail. Most of the time a lot of us work at minimum wage, and in my current role without benefits. It’s a very difficult job, and I recently spoke with a PHD who doubted that they could do the job. So why are we so many times unappreciated?

The baristas I work with love what we do. I know, at least this very moment, nothing I would rather do. I could be anywhere. But I’m loving giving coffee for a small exhange every morning in a complete offering of love. It’s a moment I don’t take lightly. So much happens in the chain of events that leads to the moment that I place a coffee in front of the register for one of our visitors. A combination of science, agriculture and technology, weather patterns and rains, the interaction of seasons and the movements of the earth and sun. Nothing can match it. Nothing in the visual design of our company nor any of the conversations we have. Is it just a coffee? Yes. It’s so much more, and yes it’s strong. It’s strong because a lot of us are holding each other up. It’s strong because of the careful attention paid in every step in the process, people who give so much of their time in love for coffee. It doesn’t make much sense. I don’t know why this particular drink, apart from chemical reactions leads to such a fever pitch both for those of us who love coffee, and the tasks we bring to it. If coffee production stops would the world ground to a halt? I don’t know, but it’s possible.

The next time you’re at a Peets take a moment to realize that behind that cup is a radical act of love and teamwork. We’re moving at the speed of light, as one organism. And never forget that espresso is a technology, the greatest and fastest way that we can move at a speed that doesn’t sacrifice artistry. Tomorrow, when I wake up again and step back onto the floor, I hope to bring my absolute all to every moment, so if you’re in line waiting for us, because we are so busy, just know that we can’t wait for you to get your coffee either, and we’re performing acrobatics for very low pay because we love what we do. I don’t know how long I’ll be doing this, but don’t take it for granted. Every moment I am in that store is an act of radical love.

Application to the Fairfax Climate Action Committee

I recently was accepted to the Fairfax Climate Action Committee, which was decided on at a public meeting with the council. I was amazed at the absolute balance of good humor and kindness of the council, and even though I was nervous, the time felt both considered and generative. It’s the first time I met the council, and I see Fairfax so much more clearly through their eyes. They showed me so much about leadership, and were so gracious throughout the interview. Here’s what I submitted as my explanation of why I was seeking membership on the committee.

Town Council,

Today I am applying for membership to the Fairfax Climate Action committee, a group I have been working with as a volunteer for the last month and a half. I’ve been amazed by the expertise of this group, and I’ve been learning so much and making friends with some of the most incredible individuals working tirelessly to bring what they can to the care and long term future of Fairfax, and Marin. I’ve helped with the town picnic outreach, helped on strategy and design for the Engagement committee, and have been present as a member of the public at meetings. I am humbled by the commitee every day. I am so grateful to be a part of it.

I’m currently a member of Climate Changemakers: a climate outreach organization, and I’ve been part of campaigns reaching out to our senators in california about CEPP and Democratic Reforms focused on climate action. I also am part of an All We Can Save Circle where we discuss and meet about, what the architects of the project call “Nurturing a welcoming, connected, and leaderful climate community, rooted in the work and wisdom of women, to grow a life-giving future.” Climate is something I work on almost every day of the week, if not every day of the week. Last month I marched in San Francisco with the Fridays for the Future Rally.

In their own words: FridaysForFuture is a youth-led and -organised movement that began in August 2018, after 15-year-old Greta Thunberg and other young activists sat in front of the Swedish parliament every schoolday for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis. She posted what she was doing on Instagram and Twitter and it soon went viral.”

I was proud to stand with the future leaders, if not todays leaders of the climate movement, and the day is something that lives with me at so many times. It’s our responsibility to change what’s going on in our world, from the ground up. The everyday systems we are currently in need to be rengaged, to work across generations and people across all spectrums. and I think all of this experience will allow me to be a voice on the committee. I also work and study with an incredible team at Peets in Tiburon and can offer a wealth of coffee brewing expertise and coffee fueled insights.

Immediately I’m already working with the engagement subcommittee, and as a lifelong designer with academic and professional experience I plan to lend that to the Climate Action Committee. And first and foremost, I’ll be listening. I’ll be listening across generational and economic divides. I’ll be listening to the days as the time passes as the world itself cries out for change. I’m already a student at the climate action commitee, and I hope to offer a way to bring the work of this committee out into the world as part of of the communications team.

Thank you for your time tonight.

Listening

Today was another astonishing day at the coffeeshop, so much happened today that it could easily be a series of novels, yet I’ll never exhaust it all, and that’s OK. There’s always a world of unknowns and possiblilities, byways and circumstances, that could change at any time. Sometimes we reach the end of something, or a stray moment of conversation, that bends our worlds into different realities that could have changed at any time. Nothing is taken for granted when I think about this place. The moment I enter I dedicate my entire being to it. I don’t even really drink coffee on duty any more. I’m just giving it my all. Someone mentioned to me that they were sorry I had to work. There’s nothing I would rather do. This is more than a job to me. This is the greatest way I can give a sense of hope, and hey, I’m not even the one making the coffee. I’m just listening. And that was the coolest part of the day that I learned as the hours and hours of dedicated, active study and learning coalesced into a final silent crescendo in my mind as a new reality burst forth.

I was having a hard time with the weird UI of the ordering screens, I came up in my mind with different designs of how the system could be improved. I imagined a cloud structure, asynchronous, that would be self formulating as a sentence structure of incongrous desires could culminate into a single coffee order. Then I though about building a presentation of this and sending it to my manager to see if they could get the company interested in it. I thought about this throughout the day, and then someone asked me to write down the names of the customers as I was handing out the bakery orders to be filled. So I took the pen, kept writing, and then kept it out. On the next order I instinctively grabbed it and started to prepare to write something down, and then they explained what they wanted wildly out of sequence, so I just wrote everything in a flurry of phrases, just as it was said, and then I realized that I was the algorithm. I used each part of the sentence structure and inputted it into the simplified system, and intently thought about each moment and repeated it back to them, and the weird thing was I noticed the first few times I did this people really reacted more than at any time I had just inputted the orders in the system. It’s a tangible, real act of caring.

And that’s when everything changed. When I got off my shift I sat down and gathered my thoughts, and then I went right in to see what I could order to help me out. Turns out what I was looking for was a reporters notebook, so I ordered several, that should be here next week. That’s how I’ll be taking notice of these orders as they reach me, so I’m better able to care for both the team and anyone who entruststs this solmen wonderful act: the coffee experience, to me whenever I’m on shift. Today was hard but it was amazing. And I can’t wait to get back to work tomorrow to help out again. If I made any mistakes today they won’t be repeated. This was the first training day I needed that wasn’t that elegant but wasn’t too bad. That’s the details of the day, but nothing can really describe it unless you’re on the inside.

I hope everyone in the coffeeshop knows that I try to hand out the orders as much as I can. I love setting down a cup and seeing someone pick one up. That’s when I really know that we helped out in bringing hope into the world. Seeing people so excited by what we do is something that really stirs my soul. It’s the greatest experience. I’ll be back at it tomorrow, and this time I know exactly what to do, and I’ll be listening, as an act of radical love. I’ve written this down so many times now, in paint and writing and line, and in the course of my actions as an invisible arc of motion throughout the day: coffee is love, and I hope the world’s a little warmer, and even a bit cooler, from the work we did today.

Two Days in the Coffeeshop

I woke up this morning at four am at complete peace, getting together my things for the day. An hour later I was in the car driving to the coffeeshop where I work, that I believe so much in. In the span of a few days I was actually working at one of the most loved coffeeshops in the bay area, and I didn’t take a single moment of it lightly. All the fear of the pandemic, all the vastness disappeared into the morning air, as our small team prepared to open the coffee shop. It was still dark outside. It was my second day. A few days earlier I was studying the UN, seeing the vastness of the world, but when I started at the coffeeshop things seemed so much simpler. What world crisis, I thought. We needed to open the space in a series of actions and movements that were just as much about science as they were about anything else.

After really meeting people and having a first rush of solidarity, Nothing was discusssed in the early morning as we raced to get the shop ready to open, and even as we made our final adjustments there were already people at the door, and something happened. My heart burst open. It burst open at bieng finally able to give a small gift in a cup, and some food, to anyone who wanted it from us. It was so peaceful. It was joyful. These actions of the shop were as complex as statecraft, as open as a vastness within, that I tried to give any time it was asked of me. I needed to dart through different tasks throughout the day, cooking food, making drinks, preparing coffee in a grinder and restocking everything the baristas need. We almost read each others minds. I was looking for a pen to write something down, suddenly someone gave one to me. We’re a team. We’re looking out for each other and teaching at any moment we have. I took half my lunchbreak off because I loved the job so much.

You never know before you work at a place like this, just how much syncronicity it takes. It’s exhilarating to be working here. And the fact that we’re working at such a high level throughout the day to do one thing: provide people with a cup of pure joy that can dispell all the fear of the pandemic. In my mind, to make a better day. It’s no small thing. If you ever visit our shop, know how much we’re doing for you. I’ve been given so much hope by Peets, and I try to redirect that hope back anytime I’m making things for you.

My partner asked me tonight what my favorite part of the job was tonight, asking me about my day. For me I loved all of it. I loved being so new to something that I finally had a chance to really learn something difficult and new. My favorite part of the day was after the emergenices had worn down, when our customers had had all of their wishes from us as the day went on and the orders slowed down, and suddenly, there was no one in the store. I felt the silence, just listening to the sound of the team, the layind down of a glass, a sound of a steamer, and I took my apron off, grabbed a towel and carefully, after safety instructions, stepped out onto the floor.

There was one person seated, a few outside. The world drifted away momentarly as I cleaned off the tables, watching the light as it reflected around the beautiful, open space. I didn’t stop to even think about anything, my mind was in pure action, watching the world in the space of the quiet of the afternoon, the feeling of peace that I had done all I could to make the day better, and today, no disasters. I heard more in these moments than at all of the speeches of the UN. Just knowing that people would be a little warmer from the things we make, as creative as love, as exact as a science. The day went by so fast that I barely remember it, even as I write.

But as I was leaving for the day I realized I needed something for our home, so I walked our into the shop just like anyone else would we had helped that day. I couldn’t find the ones I was looking for. One of the baristas stepped out and helped me find it, and then I paid for my coffee and turned around to go. It seemed so easy, just completely normal, so fast, that it seemed so simple. But now I know that it never was. I just didn’t know before, and I hope I never forget. Every day at the shop is like an ocean, and the true beauty of that moment happens: The moment the exhange is made.

There is nothing better than making something for someone. There is nothing better than giving something to someone that you think is the best thing in the world. I’ll never look at coffee the same way ever again. I’ll never take it for granted. The world is so simple. The world is complex. And there is so much love given when I make coffee for the people who visit us. A small cup of coffee is the greatest hope I can give to anyone. It dispels my fear. It makes the trip in the early morning, the work that keeps the shop from collapse, worth every minute. And I’m starting to see just what that takes. The farmers, the designers, everyone, so many people, that create the small moment of joy of what we give. I’m still learning, but if I work at Peets for the rest of my life, or as little as a single day, I’ve learned something I know feel deep within me. When we work together, we can change the world. You never know that before you’re working with a team so focused, dedicatedly, with so much passion, on one single thing: tangible, real hope, to bring again, and again, every day.

Two Days with the UN

It’s been a pretty incredible couple of days watching the speeches at the UN. I think I watched every speech, may have missed one or two, I walked in not knowing much about the world, just the places I traveled to. I’ve been to the UK, Ireland, Cuba, Italy, Germany, Croatia, The Netherlands. Never knew much about the history of politics, so I tried to use this time to give me a jump start. I studied geography on Google Earth, visiting almost every part of the globe, doing research on wikipedia about every place that it covered. Deep dived into African culture and history, really looked at Latin America, the Carribean, revisited and looked for the first time like I’d never been anywhere before.

It was amazing. I planned to go to all of the sessions, listen to every world leader. I’ll never forget what I saw. The places I didn’t have time to look at I made bookmarks to look at later. I really wanted to take the world in. I studied really hard, really fast. It was a whirlwind. Finally caught up with everything after listening for what must be almost 24 hours by now.

It was all amazing. Every culture shined. Everyone had a personal style, spoke so well for their countries. I really fell in love with the world. It’s all so vast, I’ll never see it all, it’s so deep, so rich, so beautiful, all of it so full of both resolve and hope, strength, interconnectedness, and desiring so much for their own peoples, and a better life for everyone. I don’t think there were more than a few moments that I’ll forget. I’ll be thinking about it for days. And sometimes the speeches were even funny, inspiring and clever, brief breaks from the seriouness at hand. they even made me laugh, made me smile, and brought me so much joy as I listened. There’s so much to be concerned about right now. I hope they all bring what’s best for all of us, I’m just learning. I even heard from youth groups. I watched it all.

I mean, seriously, though. I make comics, yes they’re serious, and I try to make them fun. Four Eyes got picked up. It’ll be published soon. Sometimes I forget that side of me, but in the midst of all the seriousness, a journal got back to me, out of the blue, about a comic I made about a couple, in a celebration of color, and I’m now thinking about the next issue. It was a really suprising moment, the journal just kicked me and said, hey, remember this, OK. It’s OK to have a little fun sometimes. There’s love in that, that’s why I made it, and today it was almost like a time machine, reminding me about what matters, my little family, our cat, and a daydream. I can’t wait to make more.

And for the first time I looked at the leaders, and a few of them were my age. I couldn’t believe it. I could actually see myself hanging out with them somewhere. Our generation is becoming leaders. I’m starting to see our world. And I hope I have some place in it. I hope we all remember this UN conference, the moment that it almost seems like we’re bridging a generational moment. We know the world of our elders, we know the work of the coming generation. I can’t wait to watch them shine. And guys, if you can read this, I’ll be the activist making comics and music, and fun inspiring designs in my little corner of the world. I’ll do everything I can.

Tomorrow though, I’m going on a climate strike with Fridays for the Future, I’ll miss the days events. I’ll still watch the early morning session, but I’ll miss it. This was the opportunity of a lifetime, and still is. I can’t believe what I”ve learned. I need some time to let this sink in.

My world was very small when I entered. The first time I started Google Earth I Iooked at my city. It seemed very small, so alone, in a vast sea I didn’t understand. But tonight I looked back at it and it gave me hope. I know this world now, I’ve met so many people. Google allowed me to zoom in and out and realize that every city I visited was part of a very small, very vast, impossibly deep, infinitely possible, whole, beautiful, undeniable earth. It’s so fragile, so beautiful. I could say it forever, beautiful, beautiful earth, I hope we deserve you, I hope we give you all we can, you give us so much, every moment. I hope we can prove to you that you mattered to us, that we belong to you, that we’re not separate from you, and we’ll never forget. Beautiful earth, can we keep the promise we give to you every time we take a breath, every moment that there is?

Then Mitch forgot to feed the cat, so he fixed things quickly, and right now, tonight, maybe that’s all that mattered, this little life, who just needed a little to get by. If we ever get another kitten, maybe I’ll name her Earth, and then I’ll always be reminded, that her life is in my hands. I’ll have to feed her every morning, provide here a place to have fun, remember to love her and care for her, take her to the vet, and when she’s sleeping peacefully just know, like I do now, that that’s enough. There’s a beauty in every moment. No matter how small. And this beautiful Earth, I hope we care for it, because some day we may know, that that little cat was us.

It was a Beautiful Morning

It was a beautiful morning. The crisp autumn air whispered into the last weekend of summer, and in the hills of the valley, James woke up, this time not too early, not too late. He walked through the small apartment that was lit not quite by dawn, not quite by night, but somewhere balanced in-between. In the morning silences, he carefully walked throughout his daily chores, enwrapped in the quiet promise of a new day. The sound of the coffee maker, the wind through the trees, the echoes of memory, from memory, to the beckoning of a season to come, tempered with hope tinged with anxiety, dream against fear, gentleness within the opening air. He walked to the window.

It wasn’t necessary, but he opened the screen door leading out into the forest, slightly, a small sliver of an opening, letting the cool air into the room, with a gentle fan pulling invisible air, as all air is, into the world around the objects and in between the objects, in all their spaces, each one like a memory of a solid object, a colour, a shape, a line, a space. “I can see this,” James thought. But it was all in his imagination. As we all know when the air is clear it can’t be seen. Do we all know? Did James? “I don’t know,” said James, almost as he could hear the percussion of the keys. dropping and clicking with a kind of softness, not an echo, but more like language, a conversation, the glyphs into words. 

After a while she had woken up, placing bowls of water for the cats, the sound of joyful laughter. With each rising and falling of her voice, James smiled, into a gentle peace. Then the time. 

“I’ve got to head out,” he said to her. She said something back. It was, like most moments with her, tender and beautiful, against the backdrop of music James had never heard before. It was always this way. James was happy, he stepped out into the morning, up the stairs, and up into the streetway. He was in a forest. That’s how their world was most days. when they were at home. Through the winding roads of the hillside, more like a mountain than not, James drove his small car, covered in dust from barely being used. 

Entering into the steadiness of ground in the valley, James found an open space in the parking lot, parked the car and moved toward the field, He had a small map telling him where to go, James thought, looking into at the small mainframe computer that was his phone. Once he arrived to the edge of the baseball field, because it was a baseball field, and that’s where the town picnic was, James quickly found where he was supposed to be: one of the small booths on the edge of the field, and James looked around the far distances of the outer field edge. There were at least tens of booths around, each dedicated to something, but James wouldn’t even know exactly what. He was working, and he didn’t have time to venture out into the distances. He was firmly planted in the ground. 

There was a large painting by an unknown artist behind them. The wind hit like waves, at times calm, but imperceptibly, rising, uncontrollably, he never know when, or why, but was always watching for. Not for a level of distraction, but calm, steady listening. James’ only job was to hold the canvas back from the rising winds so that it didn’t fall over. If James left his seat, the entire booth would be destroyed, and that couldn’t happen. Their booth (there were five of them) only existed to point the way toward the end of the California drought. That was the job, but in between the moments of action, they all talked, and there wasn’t a single subject that was ignored. Each conversation was a book, not restless, not calm, but a portal like a diamond, of the mind, of the heart, of the spirit, as they talked about the local politics, the possibility of future worlds, the balance of things as they are, the edges of consciousness. And in their view, out into the open field, was, as one of them said, life. And like life, moments in the booth were not easy, there was fear there, and they met each moment with an open heart, a cry like a question, the hope against fear. Five hours went by..

Suddenly, it was time to go. The crowds were running thin, the band had packed up, the games were over. There was a silence over the baseball field, the only sound the impossible shape of light. Only days ago James was almost killed. He forgot that in the afternoon. He tightened the baseball cap around his head, almost inseparable now from him. Sometimes he felt different, too different, indifferent, without it. He was given some food. He was grateful.

Walking back to the car seemed like a year. James scanned the environment constantly. The sound of birds was gone. All was gone, and James found his car quickly. Surprised that he did, he started the car, and within minutes had travelled up the mountain and back to the apartment. She was somewhere else. It was quiet, the air was cool, and James still listened for every change of sound. But all he heard this time were the sounds of his own footsteps, the turn of the handle, the sound of objects, the impossible sounds of peace. In the kitchen came a quick motion of metal against metal, water and steam, pressure and rumbling sounds, into the quiet space; and that was what making coffee was like. James listened to every moment as if a symphony, which, in a sense, it was.

It was a beautiful afternoon. The crisp autumn air whispered into the last weekend of summer, and in the hills of the valley, James woke up, this time not too early, not too late. He walked through the small apartment that was lit not quite by day, not quite by night, but, somewhere, balanced in-between. In the morning silences, he carefully walked throughout his daily chores, enwrapped in the quiet promise of a new day. The sound of the coffee maker, the wind through the trees, the echoes of memory, from memory to the beckoning of a season to come, tempered with hope tinged with anxiety, dream against fear, gentleness within the opening air. He walked to the window. The air was clear. He could see for miles, within and without, and somewhere in-between.

Step by Step, through the Darkness of an Afternoon.

James woke up. Where was he? In the still and silences, shattered by happiness and content, came a voice. “Are you ready?”  “Can we reschedule?” James asked. “He’s here.” She said. James put on his white shoes, begrudgingly, slowly, laboring through each movement. He was tired. The nights were so long, the days of doing research, all in the purpose of just finding out where he was, what he was, what would happen, how much time he had. He followed her out the door. On the ground outside, there were leaves everywhere. Almost placed. They reminded James of a warning, and perhaps even a threat. James moved up each step, just focusing on where his foot would rest, ignoring all else, just step by step, each moment, now, and then now. And then. The two met him outside and they walked down the street. He wasn’t listening. 

He remembered the birthday cards, and the cards unasked for he had given him. They were disturbing. Dancing naked portraits of him, so cruel and threatening. James accepted each of them, except for one day. The man gave him another card, a jumble of crude drawings, each one disturbing, while the man smiled. These he remembered. They stopped walking. There was a clearing, an entrance into a forest. There were three of them now. She said “If there’s three of us it’ll be like a horror movie,” she said. “Someone could be mauled by a bear.” 

Slowly, he heard his drawl, stretched out into silences, a mid shout. “Good.” He said, etched into the silences, like a knife through the chest. It was, to James, one of the worst moments of his life, the years he had suffered through this abuse, the constant torture. James just put one foot in front of the other, as the bicycles and cars wound by, staggered, not all at once, but the only thing James could think about. The trees were so tall, the birds seemed like a difference, yet he could still hear each bird call, lauging crows, yet bright sounds in the wind. It was like a war. Yet each one drifted away, one by one, step by step. 

James was always confused about this. “Why?” James thought to himself, but still, he watched each step, as they wrapped around the street. Then a moment, and they were back at the beginning, and said their good byes. The man tried to match each movement of Jame’s body language. 

James was shocked, and didn’t know quite what to do, so he held his pose, felt his body’s weight against the ground. Each moment was a sharp moment of pain. So much for someone he had helped, even in his quiet rage. Looking back, James watched his car drive away. the last thing the man said was “When you walk through the forest, try not to get scared.”, with a meancing, fearful call.

Later that night, he was overcome with fear, a deep panic, not sure what to do. All the torture, into one walk, that was supposed to be fun. “But enough is enough.” James said. And invisibly, a good friend appeared by his side. For a moment all was well, yet the deep scars remained. “Enough is enough,” James thought, and watched each step, as he walked away.

Sciences: Excerpt from I Remember Gaia II

This is an excerpt from the fist chapter of I Remember Gaia II. This is a good example of what I’m working on. This is a poetic parable of climate change, and the following is taken from my experiences in the forest around our home. This is the only chapter I’ll share here, and I’m working everyday on the plotline, but working in private. I promise to make this inspiring, and hope you enjoy this morning!

Sciences

The light hit the leaves of the canopy into bright shafts of radiant light, and R76-8723 walked in the clearing until arriving at the specific location. There was the work at hand. Her sensory vision called up the temporal display unit divider, she activated the visual display from a grid of images, from previous experiments. The data indicated that the green lower canopy had yet to be analyzed. Her reverse silver auxiliary six-armed grappling mechanism swung her to the lower branches: each arm grasped at the branches in the higher unit. Not that she could tell the differences between the facility and positive or negative aberrations. After all, she was a cybernetic being with little regard, if any, for any sense of fatigue, with the exception of what might require system maintenance. If she ever had any instances of disruption of the mobility mechanisms, she wouldn’t be able to repair them and would need to return immediately to the central repair unit, and she was very careful not to overload the system. The canopy had a light wind, her sensory mechanisms informed her. Taking samples of the plant forms at the green canopy form, in places, she could see through the leaves to the floor of the forest. It was a far drop, as tall as a deep canyon. If she fell she would break her system, and shut down from the power unit disruption, her memory databank informed her in a lower visual system. It was designed to assist her. 

The cybernetic beings of the science and ecology division relied on the visual system to process information data. It wasn’t visual, necessarily, but the original designers devised a system that would reflect the reality of the visual world. Since the identification of test samples required simultaneous analysis, it was imperative that the data would be visual. It was a way to compartmentalize and analyze multiple sensory units. R76-8723’s sensory mechanisms and camera unit were almost impossibly detailed. Simultaneously a stereoscopic sub atomic microscope and what, historically, could be called a telescopic lens that could detail the entire atmosphere and the nearest reaches of space, she could constantly see both the most subtle workings of the deepest levels of visual inquiry that could see a holistic view of the universe and the deepest workings of the atomic level. 

Focusing on the task at hand, R76-8723 focused on one part of one leaf in the canopy that had alarmed the science division. There was a strange colouration reflected in the morning light. The effect of the reflection of the transparent view across the green surface, with areas of gentle light from the light reflectors above the atmosphere of Gaia, was in a way, it’s own atmosphere. Cloud forms moved across the interior. She focused on that area, and the display recognition system shifted into subatomic mode. She was, in human terms, surprised. The data that came back indicated that there was a strange consistency within the cloud forms within the green and yellow color form reality. There was nothing there, and then it happened. A soft wind parted the ceiling of branches, and the reflector light shone directly, brightly onto the deepest reaches of the plant extensions deepest unit. It was a limitless sky. She had never indicated in any tests, as she rapidly searched all visual databases in a matter of less than a second, that there was any record of such an occurrence. Central informed her across the atmospheric communications system for her to retrieve a sample; she removed the sample from the branches and then it happened. The leaf immediately became a sky of colours, and then shattered in her hands, but there, in the interior what was left was like a subatomic glowing sun. This is what we came for, her division informed her in her communications system. Placing the sample in her storage compartment on her back, she swung across each branch until she was at the forest basin, and headed back toward the science division center. There was a soft blue colouration of the forest floor, like an impossibly clear visual indication system of the reflected light from the forest’s arching branches of soft, impenetrable light. 

Heading back over the forest basin and back into the central system, the life forms gave way to the chrome and pale white city as it reached toward the distances. It was so familiar that R76-8723 shut down the auxiliary visual systems and allowed the automatic drive systems to begin. The next moment R76 was awakened was in one of the storage and retrieval libraries, moving the compartment from her back, she placed the enclosure on a table. 

“What did you find?,” came a voice. R76 turned around. An identical unit walked toward the room, and R76 recognized that this was one of the interior scientist aberrationists, AB-782, and she opened the container. “I was surprised, I have no idea what I found. It was like a shattering glass of energy stored within one of the canopies. It was encapsulated into a kind of circular form. Could you take a look?” The aberrationist looked inside for the sample. “There’s nothing here,” the scientist said. R76 looked inside. “Maybe it was lost?” she said. “Maybe”, said AB-782 “Or possibly it didn’t exist.”. Lets shut you down for system repairs and I’ll look inside. The visual sensory displays went into a low hum, and within moments she fell asleep. When she regained visual system activation, and she realized she was inside the central systems consciousness. She heard a voice. “R76,” came the voice, “We’re temporarily gaining control of your consciousness simulator took look at the data you may have obtained,” this wont take long. Luckily you won’t be bored, we’ve removed the time simulation from your generation of science units. “Thanks, but the impatience simulation was left on by mistake,” she said. “No it hasn’t,” said central consciousness. “We just activated your sense of the absurd. You may find you need it.” 

In what seemed like moments, her eyes opened, and she saw the room around her. “We have your report,” said one of the assistant drones. “Central has detected an aberration of your power systems. You may not believe this, but you may never need to be recharged. Something has happened that has altered your electromagnetic sources. What was the sample you were retrieving? Central couldn’t detect a record of it in any of your auxilliary system controls.” “It was a bright light,” R76 replied. “From what we can tell,” said the assistant, “That may have been a source of pure energy. We don’t know where it came from. It’s not one of ours. It’s changed you.” “But what happened to it?”

“R76,” said the assistant. “That light is you.”