The Shadow People

What is a ghost if not reality denied? —unknown

Preamble A short lyrical piece intended to drive home the point that most of members of western culture alive today have yet to realize that the Living World has entered a new epoch that must increasingly enforce new rules of engagement.

First Approximation


e are the Shadow People.

Even as our elected elite, driven on by the corporate imperatives of their corporate masters, continue their multidecadal games of climate tick-tack-toe, COP28 and the like, so Gaia has been intent on quite another game, call it cosmic chess, a game in which all of us, unwilling pawns, the young especially, are now existentially implicated a thousand years out.

ghost taken by double exposure in 1899

And yet, and yet, who was it, after all, who elected our elected elite into office in the first place? And who among us, the electorate, after all, would have voted into office a candidate who promised to speak for the trees? One in a thousand perhaps, but the fact remains that nobody else in their right minds would cast a vote for the Living World who sustains us.

And so it is, and so it is: the Living World sustains us no longer or, if she does sustain us a little longer yet, then she does so begrudgingly, like a reluctant conscript, all the while slinging barbs and arrows, all the while revving up for guerrilla warfare waged perpetually.

Alas, we are the Shadow People. Our time is past, yet still our numbers continue to haunt and darken the Earth. We fly to Paris for the weekend to take in an opera. We cruise down to Antarctica to help it melt. Each summer we converge on the forests and mountains of the west to help them burn. We throw away uneaten nearly half our food we produce, setting a fire under the coming famines. Ours is the life-weary restlessness that gives wings to the coming pandemics and army boots to coming wars. We haunt and we darken.

Yes, we are the Shadow People. We’ve carried forward into the Pandoracene the ways and means of the Time Before, those selfsame ways and means that carried us into the Pandoracene in the first place, the very ways and means that cause the world to pinch and the future to foreclose.

Yes, alas, we are the Shadow People. Yet still within us we carry the seeds of those who are to follow, the Coming People. We must learn to tend and grow and nurture those seeds lately begun to germinate in barren ground.

May the light be with you —Trevor

Next up: War to End All Wars