Below is some exploratory scifi fiction writing I did in college. The premise is survival in a dystopian world, years after a global crisis that centered on the internet itself beginning to entrap and kill those using it:

My heart pounding in my throat already, I can’t stop to catch a breath, I have to keep moving; if they catch me, that will be the end of ‘me.’ Weaving through the abandoned ruins, I must leap over the various corroded remnants of a world too quickly forgotten: a tricycle covered in overgrown plans, the decaying corpse of a wild dog, the rusted out fender of a once glorious Mercedes – nothing but trash getting in the way of my escape. Fortunately, I’ve had some practice at this; I know where I’m going.

     I duck through the broken window of one abandoned home and wait to watch the patrols rush by through another murky pane. This deep into the Dumperbs it would be hard for their hounds to catch my scent amongst the decay, especially if I round back. I sat breathing for a moment before I knew it was clear to get going again. I took a quick glance around, ‘no relics here,’ and was off.

     In the past eight years running has become the ideal form of transportation, if by ideal you’re taking into account the lack of ‘man-power’ to keep oil and gas pumping and cars moving as well as the fact that the Old World Decay made it difficult to bike. I was the fastest runner I knew. Of course, I used to only be able to compare myself to Grandma which made it easy. After she died I had to venture out into the world and soon my talents were tested against the other Bitch Brats. Taylor was the only one who could keep up, but somehow I still managed to pull ahead at the last second and beat her in every race. Running had become a way of life. We ran from the wild dogs, we ran from the patrols, and we ran for fun – I guess really, running had become the way of life for us.

     I quickly found the stash of relics I’d hidden in the debris and started back towards our Shelter. From the outside in it didn’t look like much – in fact, it looked just like everything else: horrible, decrepit, disgusting – but that was the point. It began with one home where we’d found a secret living space in the basement and over the course of the last 7 years together, the Bitch Brats had created an underground palace. Aside from running and finding relics, digging to expand our fortress was really the only other thing we could do to occupy our time. We’d even managed to connect to another home that had a large greenhouse and huge privacy fence; the fresh food at our table rivaled that of the Global Jury.

     It was different the first four years or so, everyone was still scared enough to mind their own business. We would go to the supermarkets and stores, to the abandoned homes in the area – where ever we thought we might find something we’d need – and just take stuff. No harm, no foul. That was before the Global Jury made looting illegal again.

     They claim it’s for our safety, but we’ve been getting along just fine; we don’t need their compound and rules to survive. So what if they want to reestablish ‘civilization,’ they certainly didn’t ask us. How the hell does some random group of women get the idea that they can just take control anyway? Granted, we Bitch Brats take control, but of ourselves… and only others if they happen to threaten our way of life.

     Once I made it through our booby-trap-esque security system I breathed a sigh of relief to be home again,

“Ladies, I’m home!”

     I let out a long billowing howl and waited not long before I could hear their replies through the corridors, Taylor was of course the first to reach my side,

“Elisa!”

     She exclaimed as she plowed into my side, nearly knocking me and my bounty onto the ground. I’d only been gone for a couple hours, but since our ranks had been picked off one by one until it was just us four, we no longer took any homecoming for granted.

“Oh hey Tay-Tay!”

     I let out a growl and playfully bit her ear. I could hear Tracy and Alleah in the corridor approaching fast and looked back up just in time to see their crazed smiles approaching full speed,

“Leelee!”

     They cried in unison and as they hit me and Taylor, we all went down together. Hitting the ground we laughed and rolled until I remembered what I had found in the Dumperbs,

“WAIT!”

     We all froze,

“What is it Leelee?”

     Alleah, the youngest and sweetest of us all asked sheepishly, her curious eyes already wondering toward my satchel.

“Don’t be mad…”

     I began and the girls immediately scattered,

“NO!”

     Taylor looked at me enraged, the other two clamored behind her terrified.

“It’s no big deal, it doesn’t even work…”

     I tried pushing a dust-packed power button again to no avail.

“Get it out of here, this isn’t ok!”

     Taylor looked as if she were going to burst a blood vessel.

“Are you going to take it out of here?”

     I asked deviously; I knew that none of them would touch anything that could potentially access the internet.

“Are you kidding me?! If you don’t get it out of here I’m going to beat you!”

     Tay was fuming now, but I didn’t care – she might be older, but I was the clever one.

“What then? You’re going to take it out of here after I’m bruised and bloodied?”

     I smiled slightly, I didn’t want her to get too mad but I couldn’t help it.

“Seriously, I am going to kill you!”

     She stomped away, the other two close behind.  Alleah turning her head just before rounding the main corridor. ‘Whatever… it can’t hurt me if I don’t turn it on…’ I turned the old smartphone around in my hands and sat staring at it – had I not pried it from a skeleton’s bony grip I would have never believed that this tiny device had killed someone… ‘But how?!’ Even if I wanted to mess around with it I couldn’t; it was eight years old, the battery had corroded and the screen cracked from the climate. ‘It’s harmless’ I thought and I shoved it back into my satchel.

I picked myself up and dusted off. I would go put the contraband in my cave before dinner – lord knows I’d be a dead woman if I tried to show it to them. I put it high up on my rock shelf, you couldn’t even see it if you weren’t looking. ‘Why do I even bother?’


     In the main cavern the girls were slow to set out the dinnerware; I could hear Taylor in the kitchen banging anything she got her hands on. I glanced at Tracy and she dodged my eyes; Alleah smiled and then seemed to remember she wasn’t happy and quickly turned away too. I walked past them both unconcerned.

“Taylor, you have to talk to me… Tay. Tay!”

“What?!”

     She turned from our water basin and I was surprised to see tears in her eyes. Taylor was tough; as the oldest I suppose she felt she had to be.

“Taylor, it’s dead. It’s not going to hurt us.”

“It’s not that… I know… It’s just…”

     She turned away again. I went up behind her and wrapped her in my arms tightly. I whispered in her ear,

“What is it Tay?”

“I was grounded… I- I wasn’t allowed to have my phone… that’s – that’s the only reason I didn’t die with the rest of my family… I just…”

     I released my squeeze enough that she could turn toward me; she wiped her face and took a deep breath,”

“Stupid huh?”

     I wiped the last stray tear and smiled,

“You?! Never!”

     We both shared a giggle.

“Look, I’m sorry… I’ll never mention it or anything like it again… I don’t even know why I took it…”

     I began but she soon interrupted,

“No, no… it’s fine… like you said, it’s dead right?! Why should we give it anymore of our lives than it’s already taken? Do what you want with it… next time though…”

     She trailed off,

“Yes Tay?”

     I encouraged,

“Next time bring me one… I want to destroy it!”

     I’d never seen such hate in a person’s eyes.

“Otay Tay, you got it.”

     I squeezed her arm. With that we grabbed the rest of the necessities for dinner and went to join the other girls.

For those of you that didn’t know, I was married once. He was someone I tried to save from himself, and I lost myself in the process. Still, it’s all been for the best, making me the woman I am.

So, here’s an old poem – from a past I barely recognize:

I fell in love with a con man

He was lying the very day we met


Told me twists and turns of detailed stories, only partial truths or complete bullshit


He’d learned the hard way, of that much there was proof, and so I went along hoping every last word was truth


From behind big blue eyes, he swept me away – what can I say, that con man’s words made me want to play his game


The way he loved me was incredible, made me feel like when he held me he was coming home –


Ecstasy soon turning into a bad trip, a deadly rollar coaster, but I still rode with him –


I fell in love with a criminal, a man who’d done what he thought he had to do, and he’d done it far too many times to realize he could choose –

The lies started to bleed and I began to feed on delirium, insecurity overcoming me making me come unhinged


Something about the way he laughed when he was truly happy, the way his eyes devoured my body and the touch of his hands!


I fell in love with a blue eyed devil, a class act playgirl fantasy

I let him lead me astray, keeping his secrets to this very day, despite his most brazen offenses against me –


I fell in love with a con man, how could I have expected any different?


I couldn’t blame him for his sorted past

Or the hurt little boy who was always staring back


I felt his pain, or at least the parts he wanted me to

I fell in love with a con man, and I always knew –


Yea, somehow I always knew, and I still laid myself bare, daring him to make his move and finally prove that the love he said he for me was as true…


Still, I knew… Still it burned, as his fiery heart consumed – all I had…

Ooh, I was conned by the man I loved – I listened and then got learned…

I thought I knew, thought if I could be bad too he couldn’t hurt me the way that he did…


I gave my innocence to a grand larcenist, ooh I watched as he drank me in and what came back out was stronger, but more putrid too…


Ooh that criminal, I’m that Casanova’s fool –


I learned to love from a con man – he taught me to trust and then how to break it bad…


Don’t you dare

Don’t you entertain –


‘Cause even though I may seem sweet and lovely – I can guarantee that you don’t want to play this game –

I’ve been tainted and mamed 


Ooh oh oh oh – run away

I am at my mom’s, watching my Niece and Nephew through the weekend while she takes care of grandma for me. I got the kids off to school great and the morning was swimming along nicely. I gave the dog some Reiki ’cause he’s been sick and then we started playing. I decided we should take it to the backyard and didn’t stop to grab my phone or put on shoes. We had a lot of fun and he was so playful, I really appreciated that he seemed to be feeling a bit better and was completely caught up in the moment. Not wanting to push him to far though, we went to head back in before long. But instead, we came just shy at the back door. It was locked.

I had forgotten that my mom’s back door has one of those knobs that can turn on the inside when it’s locked. I had locked it last night. I knew this. “Fuck.” Now, had this been May from a couple years ago I would have responded very differently. I would have been tearing myself down, getting more and more upset, and allowing the situation to unnerve me – but this morning I observed myself responding instead of reacting.

I quickly checked my options. Windows, nope. Garage door, nope. And I knew the front was deadbolted because I did that once the kids were off to school. Decided I didn’t want to jump the fence in stocks unless I exhausted all my options in the backyard anyway and well, just sat.

I had felt my pulse quicken, and my chest and throat tighten immediately upon feeling the tension in the doorknob, which had persisted throughout my initial panicked runaround. And as I sat I witnessed my ego’s desperate chatter get even louder, “you told Nikki not to take the bus because you’d pick her up at school so now she won’t even be here in 5 hours with her key because she’s going to be stranded unless you jump that fence and find a phone! And if you can’t James is going to be stranded after bike club too! How could you not have your phone? You are so stupid. You are the worst aunt! I know how much you don’t want to go find a phone in the city in your socks. Is your social anxiety really more important right now? What are you waiting for?!” But I remained.

I sat, I observed, I surrendered. I began to sing different mantras, one known as the “fate erradicator,” another to dispel any egoic intent/fear within myself and still more to bless myself, the situation, the dog and even the home and community. I became calm. I noticed my pulse sooth and my breath deepen. The sun peaked out from behind the cloud and the breeze picked up, and I found my Self in True Love with Life again.

I resumed attempts to get back in the house and found myself at the unused but now unblocked dog door. It is too small and square for me to get through, I had already tried, but I decided to check it out again anyway. As I maneuvered a bit, a long umbrella with a flat-ended foam handle fell on top of me. Within five minutes I had figured out how to maneuver the little lock latch open with the umbrella, it was in fact the perfect tool for this very odd job.

The 30 min of stress/panic were probably unavoidable, but after 20 min of meditation and mantra it took maybe 10 before the problem was solved. Next time I think I’ll try to just skip straight to the energy work!

Image Source: Elephant Journal

A breeze tickling the peach fuzz on the back of my neck
Yet, it cannot be
Indoors, the windows all shut up. No fan on and no one’s breath but my own to move upon my body
Still, I feel it
A ghost of lover past? A memory contained within the fabric of my cells?
Somehow, a reality
Nerves flare, skin becomes more aware and I swear that someone is watching me
Could it be?
Blinds are closed and besides, the roads are far and long to get to here
But when I close my eyes –
I smell him: hot caramel sand, sticky fresh fruit and an island breeze floating up off of an ocean current
I don’t even know this man
I feel him: firm hands and strong arms framing my figure as I drape myself across his tall silhouette
Are we dancing?
If only I could see beyond these walls and trees to where he surely waits for me
No other explanation –
His soul is permeating the distance, distorting moments, bending our current realities –
How else?
I’m neither here, nor there
Yet, we’re getting closer
I could disappear into the sensation, allow the fantasy to overcome me
Dissolve into the fantastic of our reality

Showing up for the Yin yoga class my sister teaches at our local wellness center last night, I was cheerfully greeted by one of my Kundalini teachers at the front desk. “Oh Mayry! I’m so glad you’re here, it’s so good to see you!” Her smile was so big her eyes scrunched together to make room.

Now, this isn’t uncommon for the vibes at Taspens, but last night was also special because I had just officially registered for the Kundalini teacher training course they will be offering in the fall. I beamed right back at her, filled with joy and excitement for being a part of this incredible local tribe.

I was a bit early for the Yin class and began some light conversation. The owner of Taspens and a woman I consider a personal guru of mine joined in as well. She also teaches Kundalini and was excited to let me know a few of my next steps.

“I’ll schedule a call with the teacher for you, to discuss a few things,” she said, and then went on to mention the mandatory Saturday Sadhana practices during the course and signing the code of conduct at the end to get our certification. I nodded along in agreement, smiling.

Suddenly, my attention shifted though, “the code is essentially a commitment to the yogic lifestyle. So, trying for a vegetarian diet, abstaining from drugs…” Right there, “uh oh,” I thought as I shifted uneasily on my feet.

Honoring My Truth

I have been leaning vegetarian for the last dozen years but, no drugs? Given that I just found my hag stone after my plant medicine retreat in June and, according to my own personal beliefs, have thus been officially called to the Shamanic path, I worried this might actually be a problem.

“So…” I started, interrupting the flow of chatter between the teachers, “if I were unable to sign the code because I’ve been called to the Shamanic path, would I still be able to take the course?” I asked, nervously.

Shamanism is a part of my path for sure, but I’ve also been called to Kundalini. Not being able to reconcile the too seemed completely wrong – Pachamama had come to me through Ayahuasca AND through Kundalini, how could they be opposed?

“Yes,” both teachers exclaimed, looking at me and then each other, then back at me. They started, “and it’s just about trying your best, we understand some people have to eat meat for medical reasons… Maybe just try it for 40 days, you might be surprised…”

I cut in again, “I have no problem with the diet, it’s just that… I am called to the utilization of ‘drugs’ on a ceremonial basis for medicinal and religious purposes.” They seemed to finally understand what I meant now, their eyes widening to fully ingest what I was saying. “Oh, no, well – he just wants to get everything out in the open up front so there are no suprises when it’s time to sign the code… But, you will talk to him so you can mention that. If at the end you don’t sign, that will always be your choice to make.” My guru finished, half-smiling.

The big smile returned to my face and both teachers responded with large smiles blooming across theirs as well. “Okay awesome,” I sighed, relieved.

Embracing the Unknown

Now, some may wonder, “what’s the point of taking Kundalini teacher training if you know you won’t be able to get certified?!” And honestly, I don’t blame them.

In this world of achievement laden “value,” it would seem I am setting out to rob myself. After all, the certification is the reason for undergoing any professional training, is it not? Well, I suppose it’s not for me.

Some might say I should just lie, or withhold the truth, sign the code anyway. Others might tell me I need to really consider the code and whether I truly feel called to both of these seemingly “contradictory” paths, or even something to the tune of “perhaps your plant medicine experiences are behind you and this is the next step in your development?” To be sure, I’ve thought all these things for myself already too.

But, I cannot lie. Fundamentally, my commitment to authenticity and truth is what has aligned me with my path, and subsequently both of these paths too. And undoubtedly, I feel beyond called to both of them, I am already connected and intertwined with them spiritually. Finally, given the parts that plant medicine has played in my past, I cannot in good consciousness banish all plant medicines from my life in the future – regardless of how well meaning my intention is in doing so.

No, the mental gymnastics to be done here are not to rectify me to the norm – it’s the opposite. I will be a Kundalini Shaman and I will learn to walk this line with grace and appreciation.

Letting Mayryanna Bloom

Somehow it all seems better suited anyway… I’m not just a guru, I’m a Rockstar Guru. I’m not just a yogi, I’m a Rebel Yogi. I’m not just a Shaman, I’m an Modern Eclectic Pagan Medicine Woman who researches and utilizes a variety of ancient spiritual healing modalities to live my authentically powerful life to the fullest – all without shame, malice or discontentment.

I don’t need a certificate. I will proudly slap “Unofficial” to the front of my teacher title and gratefully explain my why to everyone who cares.

This “inconvenient truth” will not detract from me at all, no. This will only empower me more. By allowing myself unpopular distinctions, I will emerge unparalleled.

By allowing myself unpopular distinctions, I will emerge unparalleled.

So, after some careful reflections and considerations, I’m even more excited to study Kundalini now! Certification shmertification – nothing compares to a soul that fully embraces its fate, inconveniences and all (shout out to Nietzsche for his concept of Amor Fati). I am simply grateful for the opportunity to learn, to grow and to further become this gloriously inglorious woman: Mayryanna.