“My idea is that every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend its force (–its will to power:) and to thrust back all that resists its extension. But it continually encounters similar efforts on the part of other bodies and ends by coming to an arrangement (‘union’) with those of them that are sufficiently related to it: thus they then conspire together for power. And the process goes on–”
—Freidrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power
“Si quieren que se los diga
Yo soy un alma sin dueño
A mí no me importa nada
Pa’ mí la vida es un sueño”
–Ramon Ayala, “Un Puño De Tierra”
Breathe. Take it in. Breathe.
Just like pulling a trigger.
We are deep in the swamps, heading off of the Florida Trail into spongy ground that, just a few moments from now, will become a lake. There’s a storm brewing about three miles west, big fucker, but we can’t see it. A sea of green and brown blocks out the sky and calls from unseen animals hide the approach of rolling thunder. My comrades had asked earlier why the hell I was bringing a backpack for, what we assumed, was just a dayhike.
“Well,” I said, “you never know what might happen.” I drained another beer, carefully putting the empty in my pocket. “Besides I figure it’s good training. Get used to moving with my sleeping hammock, tarps, the whole deal.”
This was only a half-truth. I couldn’t explain that this preparedness was actually a sacred covenant I’d undertaken after an acid-soaked ritual out at Lithia Springs. That not carrying a spare battery for my flashlight was a sin on par with shitting in a church pew. I couldn’t explain the weird metaphysical bonds I’d forged between the land, how I’d understood its reptilian directives, and even put the very symbols it showed me on my skin permanently.
Florida, the remorseless lover. The fanged kiss. Womb and gnashing jaw all wrapped into one. Our Lady of Leche. ¡Soy el hombre más dichosa del mundo por tenerte como madre!
I was having trouble focusing. Political anxieties combined with visions of angry white men armed to the teeth. My mind swirled with these images even as the cypress brushed against me. On the podcast I co-host I made clear my belief that certain events meant we were on the threshold of great violence. A militia was being formed to stop any chance of impeachment with the express desire to train people to “put down” Leftists.
Things were finally coming to a head. For once I was actually, truly terrified.
We were out here to engage in a ritual to aid prisoners in Connecticut, to fill them with the watery, chaotic nature that flowed in this land as easily as you or I breathe. Spirits were thick. I could feel the bugs and trees in my blood.
To help ease my mind(and to ensure my attention could be focused on the ritual) I touched a tree and asked a simple question: how can I prepare for what’s coming? I asked for wisdom, guidance.
I didn’t realize then what I do now. That the area we were in wasn’t just some swamp. That the storm, the graves we’d uncover, all would drip with potent meaning.
Meaning beyond mere politics. Meaning which, even as I type these words, moves me to tears and fills me with awe.
None of this may make sense. I feel compelled to write it all the same.
I have been gifted with a vision. Come sit with me in the humid air and let me tell you what I saw.