Mudlarking for America

What are we doing?

Everything is falling apart. Everyday there is one more thing that crumbles and sometimes it feels like it’s the ground under our feet that is completely disintegrating into nothingness. Things we thought we were are gone. Things we thought were gone are coming back. It’s pandemonium. 

We are living in Tower Time as Byron Ballard tells us. Anyone who is familiar with tarot cards knows the tower is no good. The picture itself is terrifying. It’s a tower being hit by lightning and collapsing as two people fall out the window. If you draw it, it pretty much means you’re about to get your shit rocked.

So if we are living in Tower Time what does that mean to us? The overall structure of society, America- whatever you want to call it- is collapsing and in a pretty crazy way. All we can do is put our heads down and hold on. Some people are cheering it on- burn it all down, and I definitely see the point they are making. There is a lot that needs to burn. One of the things that is burning is our masks. The mask we have put up around American Society that claims we are the shining city on the hill. We’re not, nor have we ever been. Racism, sexism and classism are woven into the very fabric of America- right around the tinsel of the American Dream.

I am in the strange place of being a white American woman who works with Norse pagan gods. So basically, I can’t swing a dead cat without hitting racism and sexism. Even that saying isn’t great. It came from the practice of whipping people with a cat o’ nine tails and how there had to be room to swing it. I believe it came from the British Navy and not slavery, but is that much better?

So burning it all down definitely seems appealing.  But what about the little glimmers of good things that all this dreck got tied onto?  The little pieces of gold thread woven into the fabric of America right along with the toxicity? If we blow the whole thing out of the water, aren’t we throwing the baby out with the bathwater?  I know I’m mixing my metaphors, but the point stands. There are pieces of gold that are buried in truckloads of garbage. It seems almost as bad to deny the gold as it is to deny the toxic. There has to be a way to unravel the good from the bad.  In the end, I believe we must mudlark for America.

What is mudlarking?  In 18th and 19th century England, the very, very poor would go down to the Thames at low tide and sift through mud, excrement- human and animal, dead bodies, and raw sewage for anything that could be salvaged. They could work for days and find nothing or could come lucky and find treasure. It was tedious, difficult and pretty unrewarding work. The only people who did it were the ones who had to. Yet this is what I propose we need to do. We need to mudlark through the wreckage of the Tower and find the bits we need to keep and use the rest as compost for the new growth.

The big problem. No wants to do this- they either want to ride the wreckage down like the guy on the bomb in Dr Strangelove or shut their eyes tight and hold on to every brick to keep it from falling whether it should be saved or not. So in this proposition I draw aggro from every corner. How can anything from a racist system be worth saving? How dare you advocate for the collapse of society? There are days when the impact of all this makes me want to stay silent. I’m not charismatic. I don’t photograph well and am worse with video. I can’t sell this. All I have are my words, and the odds that anyone will sit down and read this are pretty low. It’s not funny. It’s asking a lot. There’s no prize at the end.

Well, that’s not true. The prize at the end is a functioning society, but that’s too abstract. There’s nothing I can put a price on or draw a pretty picture of. There are days that I think I’m the only one over here sifting through the garbage looking for glimmers of the truth. But if I can convince one person. That’s one more person mucking through with me. Maybe we can salvage something.