The Man From the North: Story 9

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.

The story below is one of several written by the Man From the North. The article series is not included in the novel and was originally published on Dandelion Salad. We will feature a Man From the North story on a weekly basis through June 3, 2015. You can read the entire series at Dandelion Salad. The Dandelion Insurrection and a companion study guide can be purchased on Rivera’s website.

The Open Hand

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 SunRivera Sun sings the anthem of our times and rallies us to meet adversity with gusto. In addition to her most recent novel, Billionaire Buddha, 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. Learn more about Rivera and her work on her website.