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Issue #2. Fragile Ongoing

We are about to destroy each other, and the world, because of profound mistakes made in Bronze Age 

patriarchal ontology—mistakes about the nature of being, about the nature of human being in the 

world. Evolution itself is a time-­‐process, seemingly a relentlessly linear unfolding. But biology also 

dreams, and in its dreams and waking visions it outleaps time, as well as space. It experiences 

prevision, clairvoyance, telepathy, synchronicity. Thus we have what has been called a magical capacity 

built into our genes....To evolve...—to save ourselves from species extinction—we can activate our 

genetic capacity for magic.

Barbara Mor, The Great Cosmic Mother

Welcome to issue #2 of Dark Matter: Women Witnessing—“Fragile Ongoing.” The stage for this issue is 

set by Jan Clausen’s “‘In this Moment the World Continues’: Under the Sign of Species Suicide,” 

originally a keynote address, which exposes the dark matter underlying all artistic endeavors in this 

time. “The experience of a type of collective insecurity never known before in our history as a species 

is the contemporary context for all writers’ inventions, whether or not we acknowledge it,” Clausen 

contends. In “When Earth Becomes an ‘It,’” Robin Kimmerer puts it even more starkly: “We ... stand at 

the edge, with the ground crumbling beneath our feet.” How

else to go on but with, to use Clausen words, “an open balance 

of unbearable danger and tender possibility.”

Kimmerer’s piece, and Kathleen Moore’s “The Rules of Rivers,”

are excerpted from opening addresses they gave at the

“Geography of Hope” conference I attended in mid-­‐March. I’d

been attracted to this conference by the focus, “Women and

the Land,” and the roster of extraordinary writers

( Admittedly, at the end of a long

winter in Montreal, the location—Point Reyes, California—was

also a factor. I did have some reservations about a conference

called “Geography of Hope” (I’ve since learned they’re the last words of Wallace Stegner’s “Wilderness

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