The Man From the North: The Open Hand by Rivera Sun

The Essays of The Man From the North by Rivera Sun
Writer, Dandelion Salad
January 12, 2014

I Pray For The World

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

The Man From the North is a fictional writer in Rivera Sun’s novel, The Dandelion Insurrection. The novel takes place in the near future, in “a time that looms around the corner of today”, when a rising police state controlled by the corporate-political elite have plunged the nation into the grip of a hidden dictatorship. In spite of severe surveillance and repression, the Man From the North’s banned articles circulate through the American populace, reporting on resistance and fomenting nonviolent revolution. This article is one of a series written by The Man From the North, which are not included in the novel, but can be read here.

At the dawn of life, two molecules floated in a single-celled organism soup. Trillions of microscopic creatures poised on the brink of revolution. The web of molecular composition tensed, ready for the spark that would ignite massive change. Two fated molecules went about their lives, unaware of the evolutionary cataclysm waiting for their connection.

You are those molecules in our time.

An epoch of history hangs on the possibility that you will lift your eyes across a crowded street and lock eyes with a total stranger: be kind, be connected, be unafraid. Rapid-fire possibilities flip through your mind: friend, lover, mentor, ally, enemy, employer, partner, collaborator, who knows?  The thunder of connection beats in your chest. You smile . . .

. . . and a cataclysm of change explodes.

We are poised, my friends, on the brink of rapid evolution or demise. Our socio-political-economic system is stretched as taut as tension wires. The edges are weakened and fraying. Smoldering frustration is sparking innovation and rebellion. The slow arc of evolution has brought humanity full circle in a revolution as deep and profound as the orbiting of the planets around the sun. Once again, we have reached a moment of phase transition, but this time, we will either propel ourselves into much-needed change or our ecosystems, species, and life, as we know it, will vanish from the face of the earth.

The mantle of destiny falls on the shoulders that accept it. A billion molecules may have been offered the opportunity to become evolution’s Adam and Eve. How many passed that chance up from fear? Suspicion of one another? Narcissistic self-involvement? How many lost their opportunity because they were tuned out, oblivious to the others all around them?

Wake up, my friends! Open your eyes as you go through your days. You are here on Earth because some molecules, long ago, pulsed with chemical attraction and did not recoil from that early evolutionary version of love . . . they leapt for it!

As the world turns inexorably toward change, think carefully on your role. If those molecules had attacked one another, if they had devoured each other as cannibals, if they had sought to annihilate the other’s existence . . . life on Earth would not exist. Connection turned the wheel that brought us to this moment. Collaboration gave rise to tissues, organs, species, life!

Consider this as we wait with bated breaths for the spark of revolution. No one knows what will ignite it. No one knows exactly where it will lead. But, oaks grow from acorns, apples from apple seeds. Violence spawned war and destruction. Connection brought us life. When your eyes flick up across the crowded street, take note of what erupts inside you.

The lifted fist can trigger the chaos of massive change . . . but only the open hand, raised toward connection, will catalyze Life’s second revolution.

Rivera Sun with her new book, Dandelion Insurrection

Image by Dariel Garner

Author/Actress Rivera Sun sings the anthem of our times and rallies us to meet adversity with gusto. In addition to The Dandelion Insurrection, she is the author of nine plays, a book of poetry, and her debut novel, Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars, which celebrates everyday heroes who meet the challenges of climate change with compassion, spirit, and strength. Website:


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5 thoughts on “The Man From the North: The Open Hand by Rivera Sun

  1. Pingback: The Man From The North: The Open Hand | Fayetteville Free Zone

  2. Pingback: The Man From the North: Three R’s They Don’t Teach In School | Dandelion Salad

  3. The vision of connection is hopeful, beautiful, but how do we connect with greed, fear, sociopathy and remain true to our integrity? How do we connect with the war mongers and banksters, the sell outs and the unprincipled? When do we say to them, No, this you cannot do? No, I will place my body between you and the innocent and helpless?

    • That’s a great question, Lynn. I am reading Thich Nhat Hahn’s Love In Action book of essays. (I highly recommend it.) He is, perhaps, the greatest radical I have ever encountered. When the world says hate, he chooses love. When warring state power demanded his loyalty to one side or the other, he declared his loyalty to peace in all people. What made me think of him, in connection to your question, is that he just wrote a paragraph on why, while writing articulate protest letters is important, writing love letters to our heads of state may be even more effective.

      I personally, throw away angry critiques of my own work. I don’t need the barbs of hate or blame in my life. I can only imagine the warmongers, the banisters, the sell outs, and the unprincipled have become quite practiced at ignoring our critiques. Perhaps, however, we can reach to them as human beings, offering an attempt to understand what motivates them to greed and cruelty, and our suggestions for an alternative. Perhaps then they will be able to see us as human beings, not opponents or outraged, ignorant people.

      These questions you ask are worthy of many hours of thought and reflection. Thank you for asking them.

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