Still Exploring Cascadia
A New Vision: Another dream of Occupy, gone hopelessly right.

[The Following writing was recovered from a swap file after being thought lost to a dead laptop battery at the beginning of the New Year 2016.]

Caught in a bleak dystopian world, I looked again and saw the ruins that the commons had become. Abandonded, left to rot in waste, all of value had long been plundered and destroyed.

But somewhere, somehow, I found a few others who were also ready to put energy into creating and giving again.

It was nothing but an old abandoned building. What was I doing here, in this wreck of a place, all by myself? What had it been? Where had they all gone?

I went out amidst the ephemeral town, endeavoring to seek out allies. It didn't take long to find them.

Another woman, also seeking to give aid and assistance to the homeless, found common cause, and we agreed to collaborate. That was what I had been about, wasn't it? Helping the homeless, whoever "they" were. Or was that a "we", the homeless? Regardless, we, along with a few others who also found this idea exciting, set about to make it happen.

Back at the old building where everything had been falling apart, we set about to create anew. I set out the material belongings I wanted to share, and declared that this was my offering to the newly revived commons: A few boxes of books, a collection dvd movies, and various other odds and ends I just didn't need at all anymore, but other people might.

Each bringing in what we could offer to give, a sort of informal free store paradise began to form once more. It grew. The abandoned old building was again becoming a vibrant place where people with extra to offer could gather with those in need, attracting more of both types to the scene, but as it grew, it became clear that those with much to give were easily outnumbering and overpowering the ones in need, who came with nothing, and found themselves showered with abundance.

The kitchen was also beginning to bustle, with more food around than everyone could eat, more people to cook it, and more of everything that was needed. Just for fun, I tried making a pizza, and found all the ingredients I needed readily avaliable; even my old favorite topping, green olives, available aplenty. The oven was being used for something else, so I set my pizza out on the counter, and while it waited to bake, I went back look at progress in the media library.

Things were being rearranged, moved around more quickly than I could comprehend, with more always arriving. It was almost overwhelming. I saw a familiar box, and looked inside. Some of my old books were there, along with some other mundane items I didn't recognize. I opened one of the books, and began to look inside. It was an old volume I had read long ago, and didn't particularly need anymore. Besides, all around me were new donations, promising endless possibilities to explore. Why go back to repeating the same old stories, when all around me new volumes beckoned?

So I set my attention to a nearby shelf full of brand new books, and found myself admiring the art on covers. Before I could delve in very long, I found myself distracted by people bringing in even more! Things were also being rearranged, furniture moved around to make room.

I looked back at the box containing old my books, and decided to take it back. I picked it up, carried these valued books away from the free store commons, and put them in another spot, where I hoped it would be obvious they were not on offer for others to take.

When I turned around to look back at the free store commons again, I saw a new pattern beginning to form: People had begun dividing the commons into individual areas where "their" items were on offer, and while anyone could still go in and take whatever they wanted from the free store, it would not be done without being watched by the "owners" tending each little de facto booth. This was fair, though a little unnerving. Everyone was simply tending to what they had brought in to give. How could I complain, when I too had grown attached to some of my belongings, and even decided to take back a few of the things I had donated to the commons.

The rest of the stuff I had given, which decided I didn't really want back, was now being moved around, split apart, lost in limbo between the newly segregated areas where each tended to their own offerings. I considered that maybe it was time to join this flow, take my donations and group them in one spot, then I could sit and watch my "booth" to make sure everything stayed orderly, just as they were doing.

Uninspired by that idea, I turned my attention back to the kitchen, where I had left the pizza waiting to go into the oven. The green olives which I had so delightfully piled on had been removed! Someone must have taken them off the pizza, one by one. Why? I looked in the sink. Near the drain, I saw a pile of perfectly good onions, already chopped and ready to be added as an ingredient, about to go to waste. I didn't even know what the onions were for, I hadn't chopped them, but something was obviously going strangely awry here. Again, I wondered, why?

A disembodied voice from nowhere told me that the energy of onions brings a mode of ignorance. Therefore, we shall not eat them. The woman I had collaborated with to bring this place back to life appeared, and informed me that we couldn't serve green olives, as many people have chemical sensitivities. Also, pizza was not an economical or efficient type of meal to cook and serve to crowds of homeless people, so instead we would be focusing on the basics, making large pots of stew that would be enough to serve to everybody, without the worry that anyone would get jealous of the first few people to get a slice before it all ran out. The pizza I had sculpted was already being disassembled, and the ingredients separated apart for adding to the larger dishes that would soon be served.

I wasn't hungry anymore. I turned and walked away, into oblivion.


Slowly waking up again in the bed, I had no memory of the immediate past. I felt, vaguely, a revived sense of the purpose I had once known, all those years ago, when my life's mission of finding and helping to create a truly radical tribal community, as described in the book "Days of War, Nights of Love" by the anonymous CrimethInc collective, inspired and propelled me to delve deeper into the dystopian darkness, eschewing privilege, embracing discomfort, allowing myself to become a temporary slave to the corrupt institutions of capitalism, at least until I could find and join with enough like-minded others to leave those corrupt corporations behind, and put our full energy into creating something ourselves, something so much more beautiful and abundant than their de facto prisons of soul-crushing wage slavery.

Feeling my body's weight, and the knot within my stomach, I didn't want to get out of bed. The effects of poor eating choices in recent times, efforts to try and comfort myself (also known as the standard American way of life), a few too many occassions of stuffing myself full of pizza containing the flesh of animals that had been tortured by machines from the moment they were born...

But now, a rekindled premonition of an energy long forgotten, with the message: Time to live, really LIVE, once more, as the journey begins anew...

[laptop battery died]