Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-seven):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-seven):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

In Chinese herbalism there are not four but five elements: Fire, Earth, Water, Wind, and Metal.  Metal fears Fire for Fire can melt Metal.  But in our story Fire refuses so far to get involved with stopping Metal from destroying our planet’s surface.

https://horoscopes.lovetoknow.com/chinese-astrology/metal-element-chinese-astrology

https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-zodiac/china-five-elements-philosophy.htm

https://www.gurastro.com/2013/06/moon-phases-and-four-elements-new-model.html

https://www.fusionhealth.com.au/news/chinese-medicine/wood-fire-earth-metal-or-water-which-element-are-you-and-how-can-it-help-your

https://www.intechopen.com/books/heavy-metals/environmental-contamination-by-heavy-metals

It’s Saturday evening and she’s parked outside the new Grand River Conservation Area headquarters on Jennings Road near the Oakhill Cemetery.   She’s about to get out of her car when she notices a young woman standing near the entrance to the Conservation Area headquarters.  Rita immediately sees a blue with wisps of white aura around the woman, exactly the same as what she sees when she visits Oya.

Aella

The young woman’s eyes turn sky blue.  This is the last piece of the puzzle.  Rita dashes out of her car towards the young woman but it’s too late.

Aella sky moon eyes

She feels a gust of wind press her back as a crow flaps its wings to the ledge of the building’s second storey.  With head turned the crow watches her with one beady eye.

Just as she did with Marlo, Rita needs to decide whether to trust this stranger or not.  She walks over to a nearby maple tree making sure the crow can still see her and decides to take a chance.  She sees the reflection of the crescent moon in the crow’s eye.  Closing her own eyes she feels the change as her extra weight flows off her shrinking body.  Shaking she watches as the crow steps on the ledge her wings flapping.

In an instant Rita finds herself in the crow’s claws ascending to the top of the Conservation Area HQ’s roof.  Once there she feels a constant whirlwind of air and realizes the young women’s extra weight has become dispersed air that swirls in a single location.  The crow disappears and Rita sees a honeybee.  She follows the honeybee to a vent and they both enter the building’s ductwork.

Rita hears voices with her chipmunk ears and stands still near a vent just above her head.  A woman is arguing with a male.

“You can’t fudge the amount of toxins in the river Norm,” a young sounding woman is saying.

“I’m just adjusting the inaccuracies,” a male voice grumbles in reply.

“Too much cadmium, lead, or mercury in the water will kill the wildlife.”

“It’s only until the next lunar eclipse.”

“What?” the girl shouts.

“Wendy, very rich and intelligent people explained this to me.  I only need to fudge reports until the coming eclipse blocks the sun so the ancient metal elemental can finally flow out of the Earth’s surface.  The sun is the only thing stopping him because the ancient elemental of fire is hiding.  Look I’ll give you a percentage of what I’m being paid.”

“You cannot fudge reports Norm!  You have a drug problem and its affecting your sense of reality.  So let’s get you some help.”

“Take the money,” the man named Norm says in a threatening tone.

“No,” the woman named Wendy replies.

Rita hears scuffling and gasps.  She gazes towards the vent above her and sees the honeybee fly through it.

Thanks To:

Model for Aella:  Victoria Givlin

https://artals.com/

Makeup and Hair:  Tiffany Meatherall

https://www.facebook.com/meatherallmakeup/

Photography:  Shannon Fitzgerald

https://www.shannon-fitz.com/

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-four):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-four):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

If you know of a worldwide organization that does keep tabs on how much food is consumed and forest cut down.  Send us a message.

http://wildfoodsandmedicines.com/salal/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineered_wood

https://lingpapers.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2018/02/White_2006.pdf

http://www.haidalanguage.org/

Rita sips at the sweet tea made of Salal berries she ordered directly from Haida Gwaii.  The order took six months to arrive.  It reminded her of the goodness of the world.  Laws are now in effect that make the availability of food based on how much there is instead of trying to have it available everywhere all the time.  Crops and livestock are catalogued to make sure there is always abundance in nature.  If someone can’t buy salmon they’ll have to buy another fish.  Wood considered unusable from demolition sites or removed from homes is ground into sawdust and used to create engineered wood.  Stalks from hemp, corn, and bamboo are also used to replace wood so forest can thrive once again.

As she sips the tea and contemplates the safety of forests and other lifeforms she listens to stories and songs in Xaat Kíl, the original Haida Gwaii language.  It reminds her of her mother, father and brother, before darkness overcame her and she fell into the long sleep.

 

She was coated in sweat within her family’s cedar plank house.  The deerskin and woven cedar blanket her mother covered in her lay in a heap beside her.  Her body jolted.

At the bank of the Masset Inlet, sitting on a rotting log she saw Rae facing the water.  Without looking at her Rae lifted her right arm up with the palm of her hand facing up.  Upon her palm a flame appeared that flickered in the wind.  Within the flame was a tiny image of Ailbe Rose.

“Wanda Chéile,” Ailbe Rose called to her, “you must await the time when Kaneki is closest to the surface and the World is in greatest peril.  I will slow your heart rate and those that love you most will think you dead.  They will not burn you in your grandfather’s way but bury you.  Remember them when you awake.  Use not the name I call you by but the one Rae gave you.”  At that moment the flame shot out of Rae’s hand into Rita’s chest.  Rita has no recollection of the centuries that passed only the moment she awoke.  She did not dig through the dirt but merged with it so that she emerged on the surface in the clothes she was buried in.

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-three):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-three):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

The federal government of Canada does offer incentives for people to buy electric or hybrid vehicles.  Currently only British Columbia and Quebec offer provincial incentives.  Because WordPress is seen around the World you could check to see if your government offers incentives to buying electric or hybrid vehicles.

https://www.caa.ca/electric-vehicles/government-incentives/

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-694/usnea

https://carbonengineering.com/

https://www.therecord.com/news-story/9792576-new-industry-develops-around-sucking-carbon-dioxide-out-of-atmosphere/

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/6/14/17445622/direct-air-capture-air-to-fuels-carbon-dioxide-engineering

After her last lecture Rita tried to research Kanetic Reusable Batteries and whether it has a parent company but to no avail.  She also called Marlo each day to see how he was feeling.  He told her the new girl, Ember, had told him about a dream she had.

In the dream Ember said she saw Rae in the distance sitting by the shore on a washed up log.  As Ember walked closer she noticed Rae was holding an argillite carving of a man with hands and feet that looked unfinished.  Without looking at her Rae pointed towards a tree.  On the tree grew usnea lichen.

From her purse Ember then pulled out a paper bag and offered it to Marlo.  When he opened it he saw the pale greyish-green strands of a plant.  “Rae wants you to eat this.”

He did and has felt much better since.

Before her class begins Rita pulls Kanayago aside.  “It was strange dirt you collected but I can’t return it to you.”  Rita doesn’t explain that she reabsorbed the dirt.

Kanayago’s brow furrows but she doesn’t seem to be overly surprised by what Rita tells her.  “Oh well, thanks for looking into it,” is all she says.

As Rita stands in front of her class she takes in a deep breath.  This lecture is extremely important but could easily be misinterpreted.  “We’re going to discuss Direct Air Capture,” she says.  Trees, as you know, absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.  Vehicles and factories burn gas or coal and give off carbon dioxide.  Too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the Earth will heat up.  Ocean flooding, forest fires, and the melting of glaciers increases.

“Direct Air Capture attempts to pull carbon dioxide out of the air and sell it to greenhouses, turn it into fuel, or bury it as basalt rock.  In the past there were only two companies performing Direct Air Capture:  Carbon Engineering out of Canada, Climeworks out of Switzerland and Iceland.  Carbon Engineering turns the carbon dioxide into fuels by adding it to hydrogen through electrolysis.  Climeworks sells carbon dioxide to greenhouses in Switzerland and creates basalt rock in Iceland.

“These companies are not a solution though.  We still need to decrease the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  Next week we’ll talk about water usage in the house.  I do have an assignment for you.  Write a five hundred to a thousand word essay on the jobs you are currently doing or have done and what the company you are or did work for is doing to help the environment.”  Rita hopes Kanayago will give her better insight into Kanetic Reusable Batteries.

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-two):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-two):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

I made an open bin with plywood to throw in food scraps, dog poop and occasionally leaves.  Every so often I throw soil on top.  Over the years when I turned the mixture over with a shovel I found it full of earthworms and that the mixture had turned into soil.

https://www.intechopen.com/books/sustainability-of-agroecosystems/activity-and-variety-of-soil-microorganisms-depending-on-the-diversity-of-the-soil-tillage-systemhttp://www.fao.org/3/a0100e/a0100e05.htmhttps://www.gardenmyths.com/what-is-humus/https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140196313002176

https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/desert-microbes

http://mgeldorado.ucanr.edu/files/170168.pdf

The classroom has a new student, the girl who lit the candle without a match or lighter.  The one who was arguing in the woods with Kanayago.  She’s sitting to the right of Marlo who looks much better.  Meanwhile Kanayago is sitting at the desk on the other side of Marlo.  It’s interesting that all the elementals are sitting beside each other.  On Kanayago’s desk she notices a small cardboard box.  She looks for any reaction in Kanayago’s face that she knew it was her as the rat and then the chipmunk but the girl shows no curiosity.

“Can you tell us your name?” Rita says to the new girl.

“Ember,” the girl replies in a tired voice.

“Today’s lecture is on microorganisms,” Rita begins.  She clicks on the projector where the screen is partitioned into five sections.  Each section has a picture and a heading for the images of bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa, and algae.  “Bacteria and fungi are the main microorganisms that ingest the dead material.

“All these microorganisms,” Rita continues, “break down dead organisms into CO2 and minerals.  I’m condensing this so you’ll need to read about how complex this is.  What remains is called humus.   Humus is carbon based and can hold up to ninety percent of its weight in water.  Because it’s negatively charged it attracts ammonium and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and others.

“In deserts the main microorganism are cyanobacteria.   Cyanobacteria can desiccate so that it only contains 1-2% water.  It will remain inactive until there is more rain.  It is extremely important to get soil testing done before fertilizing.  Phosphate, Potassium, and Nitrogen have to be added carefully so that an excess of salt isn’t created which will damage microorganisms.  Next week’s lecture is on carbon engineering.”

Rita holds her breath as Kanayago walks up to her holding the box.

“I know we’re done talking about waste matter but I had a weird experience this weekend,” Kanayago tells her as she sets the box down on Rita’s lectern.   “I captured a strange looking rat.  I went to get something to keep it in.  When I came back the rat was gone and I thought I saw a chipmunk running away.  I guess the rat was so scared it defecated enough to escape.  I was just wondering if you could analyze the droppings.  Maybe I thought I saw a rat but it was actually a chipmunk.  Both looked–.”  Rita holds her breath as Kanayago searches for the right words.  “Familiar.”

Rita can’t stop herself from gulping.  “I’ll get it analyzed for you and let you know.”  She picks up the box very carefully.  The contents are a part of her.

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-one):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-one):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Each country if not city, town, village has sacred places.  I’ve been reading Bob McDonald’s An Earthling’s Guide To Outer Space.  McDonald hosts CBC’s Quirks & Quarks.  In the book he explains that astronauts and cosmonauts really miss feeling the wind and nature’s surroundings.  Next time you walk through the woods reflect on how important that presence is.

https://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-drinks/oat-milk-nutrition-dairy-free-milk

https://www.quakeroats.com/cooking-and-recipes/how-to-prepare-oats#

https://www.livescience.com/22427-stonehenge-facts.html

https://sacredland.org/sacred-groves-of-ghana-ghana/

https://www.google.com/search?q=silfra&oq=Silfra&aqs=chrome.0.0l8.1490j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Leaving a part of herself inside the factory to become a chipmunk has drained Rita.  She barely made it home because she was shaking so bad.  Not just from the loss of body mass but from the terror of almost being caged indefinitely.  In her apartment she engorges oatmeal mixed with oat milk and prunes.  Lumbering towards her bed she is drawn towards the weeping willow.  She touches one of the long leaves before plunking onto her bed.

She feels tremendous pressure, as if the Earth is pressing down on her shoulders, and so hot!  Sweat pours down her body as she stares at a titan sized man bound inside a cavern the colour of iron.  His metallic gray eyes stare upwards and his mouth is open.  With each breath he exhales heavy metals spew out reminding her of videos of volcanic eruptions.  His muscular arms are stretched out… his hands are jagged junks of metal.  She sees lower that his feet are also made of misshaped metal.  He’s straddling the cavern.  His right hand punches higher up the cavern wall sending iron ore flying below where a molten fire burns.  She realizes Kaneki is trying to reach the surface!

Now she’s on the surface.  What she sees shouldn’t make sense but it does.  Ailbe Rose is standing in the centre of Stonehenge with her arms and hands pointed towards the ground.  A hole forms just in front of her toes.  Oya is standing within a groove of Nyame Dua trees near the Asuo Akosua stream with arms raised above her head.   Rán is kneeling at the shore of the Sifra Rift with her hands in the cool water.  But Rae is not to be found and without her Kaneki cannot be stopped.

Rita wakes shivering.  Her clothes, sheets and pillow are soaked. 

 

Rita Walker (Blog Nineteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Nineteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Cadmium is toxic or poisonous in small quantities.  In industry it is used for insecticides, electroplating, batteries and more.  It can cause renal dysfunction, bone degeneration, and liver problems.  It is not essential to biological functions.  In batteries cadmium can be recycled.  Perhaps there should be a separate recycling container for batteries.

https://books.google.ca/books?id=hS5IwFBkaX0C&pg=PA23&lpg=PA23&dq=K%27algyaa+kongaas&source=bl&ots=kCdTLyZHU7&sig=ACfU3U3-JnurN1RLfTfMX0ShEQdoqalO7A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj8lp7ZrrbmAhUDVt8KHYnrCugQ6AEwA3oECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=K’algyaa%20kongaas&f=false

http://www.ratbehavior.org/perception.htm

https://www.cadmium.org/cadmium-applications/nickelcadmium-batteries

https://www.call2recycle.ca/tag/nickel-cadmium/

https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/a28555278/rust-electricity/

 

The K’algyaa kongaas moon is three-quarters full as she steps inside a bush.  She can hear the footsteps of Marlo as he moves beside the oak tree.  Her beady eyes gaze through the twigs towards him.  He starts whistling a soft tune that she doesn’t recognize.

Lifting her long hairless tail she scurries out of the bush towards him.  He looks down at her and she halts.  This the moment of truth.  He could stomp on her or in disbelief leave.  Instead he crouches down and places his right hand palm up on the ground.  Diligently she steps onto his palm.

She feels his caress as he strokes her head then her back.  Tenderly he walks her towards the river.

“I hope you can hear me,” he says in his deep melodic voice.  “I’ll put you on the bank and change.  Water likes to be in constant motion.  I could change into a fish or beaver but I think its best if I just become fluid.  When you see an unusual ripple step onto it.

Rita watches from the bank, amazed, as Marlo steps into the shallow part of the river.  In a moment he’s no longer standing there.  She squints at the water and see tiny, unusual ripples in the water.  Now that there is little time she holds her breath and steps forward.

A strange tingling feeling runs up her pink toes as she moves towards the grate that will take her into the Kanetic Reusable Batteries factory.  As they slip through the bars of the grate Rita sees shades of grey.  Under the building there are concrete ledges.  Higher up on the ceiling she sees a drainage grate.  She jumps onto the concrete ledge.

In a moment Marlo is standing on the ledge in his human form.   He scoops her up and holds her so she can slip through the bars of the floor grate above.  Standing on the floor above she gazes down at him.  “I’ll wait here as long as I can,” he whispers to her.  “If that doesn’t work I’ll have to try to come back later.”

Rita scurries close to the wall as her keen nose sniffs.  There are two scents that cause her to halt and sniff more intently.  The smell of iron mixed with Kanayago’s particular scent.  Because Marlo changed into water his entire body weight came with him so he could change back to his human form.  Most of Rita’s weight is in a pile as dirt within the bush by the oak tree.  Everything is enormous.  She follows her nose towards Kanayago’s scent.

As she scurries past the legs and bases of machines she sees a woman with her hair tied back wearing a lab coat and safety glasses.  There doesn’t seem to be anyone else in the room.

“They think I’ve created energy from iron,” the young woman is saying to herself as she places her palm on a pile of rust.  “But the energy is coming from me and I’m burning out.  Ember could help me but she says the technology is being developed so why bother.  I thought she was joking when she lit the candle just by looking at it.  I shouldn’t have shown her that I can bend the fork with my mind.  I knew something was wrong when the snow fell.”

For a while Rita only hears silence then Kanayago starts talking to herself again.

“Ember can’t be right.  Surely Kanetic isn’t simply dumping excess Cadmium into the Grand River.”

Now Rita knows what’s wrong with this factory.  She turns around but hears rapid footsteps behind her.  Scurrying away she looks back and sees Kanayago coming at her with a push broom.

Rita Walker (Blog Eighteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Eighteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Neil Degrasse Tyson had an interview with Joe Rogan in which he explained the dangers of transferring enough energy through the air to run devices.

https://www.livescience.com/46745-how-tesla-coil-works.html

https://thejoeroganexperience.net/joe-rogan-neil-degrasse-tyson-explains-microwaves/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/wireless-power-transfer

https://www.askamathematician.com/2011/07/q-can-light-be-used-to-transfer-energy-instead-of-power-lines/

She bites her lower lip and taps her right foot as the phone rings.

“Hello,” a melodic deep voice answers.

“Hi,” she replies as she tries to hide the shakiness in her voice.  “Tonight is still good?”

“Yes,” Marlo replies.

“We’ll meet at the Oakhill Cemetery at 9 p.m.”

“Sounds good.”

“Okay, see you then,  bye.”

“Bye,” he replies.

She turns off her cell and clips a miniature camera onto the crown of her hair.

It’s still daylight as she drives through Brant Conservation Area to get to the cemetery.  She slows down when she sees Kanayago facing off against a much taller girl.  Mesmerized by the sight she pulls over.  That’s when she notices a light layer of snow covering the ground and a chill in the air.  The taller girl is holding a candle in the palm of her hand and with a point of her finger lighting the wick than with a snap of her fingers extinguishing it.  Meanwhile, Kanayago is holding a fork.  With a point of her finger the fork bends than straightens.  Kanayago is laughing.

Kaitlyn Lindemann as Kanayago (3)
Kaitlyn Lindemann as Kanayago picture by Katy Waring
Kaitlyn Lindemann as Kanayago (5)
Kaitlyn Lindemann as Kanayago picture by Kating Waring
Katy Waring fire final 4 Dan
Kating Waring as Ember picture by Kaitlyn Lindemann

Rita desperately glances around.  She breathes easier when she doesn’t see anyone.  Some things aren’t meant for the common public to see.  Angrily she honks her car’s horn.  The girls glance her way then scatter into the trees.

As she pulls into the cemeteries parking lot she takes in deep gulps of air.  Next class she’ll have to explain to Kanayago the dangers of using her powers when others can see, and find out who the girl that belongs to Rae is.  The energy frequency emitted through the air to manipulate particles to cause a flame to occur or metal to bend could seriously damage anything in-between.   There’s a reason wires are still used to power devices from hairdryers to stoves.  That much energy sent through the air could melt an object or severely hurt or kill a living creature.

Rita walks to the edge of the cemetery where a giant oak tree grows.  This is where she’ll meet Marlo.

Rita Walker (Blog Seventeen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Seventeen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

We take some liberties with Rita Walker, such as suggesting what supermarkets might be like in the near future.  The idea is to show possible solutions but there are always other ideas that might be better.  A concern is if only one replacement, like hemp, were to be used what would be the environmental impact of trying to grow enough hemp?  So the answer might be having a variety of sources to replace plastics in supermarkets.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/sustainable-alternatives-to-plastic-bags_n_5a732a7de4b0bf6e6e225ee0

https://www.simpleecology.com/shop/organic-cotton-muslin-produce-bags

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cellulose-film-packaging-market-is-estimated-to-grow-at-a-cagr-of-4-9-during-2018-2028-882076644.html

http://www.nzwc.ca/focus/food/guidelines-for-food-donations/Documents/18-064-FoodDonation-LiabilityDoc-v7WEB.pdf

It’s Saturday and Rita can hardly focus.  Tonight she meets up with Marlo near the Kanetic Reusable Batteries by the Oakhill Cemetery.  First she has to discuss an upcoming lecture with the Metro Supermarket manager.

She walks through the supermarket’s sliding glass doors and heads towards the Service Desk.  As she passes the aisles she notices that most of the customers are using muslin produce bags.  At the Service desk she asks for Ryan Day, the store’s manager.

“Hello Rita,” says a man in his forties who stands slightly taller than Rita.  He has fading blond hair and a sharp nose that makes his smile even broader.  “Let’s go for a walk.”

“The bags you see in the produce section are made from cellulose,” Ryan tells her.   As they walk past the other aisles Ryan points out the meat section.  Instead of Styrofoam or plastic for the base we use paper packaging coated with cellulose.”

“What’s the environmental impact of using cellulose?” Rita asks.

“That’s something the owners of the supermarket are considering.  If it’s affordable it might be better to use numerous sources to replace plastic.  So we have cellulose bags available but also customers can bring their reusable bags.  We have some packaging made of hemp but it would be devastating to the forest and farm to grow enough hemp to make it the only reusable alternative.”

“Well thank you for the good news,” Rita says as she gazes at the reusable packaging.  “What happens to the food that doesn’t get purchased?”

“Initially we sell it at a discount or give it to the foodbank.  Once it expires the food is sent to be converted into energy or fertilizer for local farms.”

“Can you give the food to the foodbank?”  Rita had heard supermarkets and food markets were concerned about being sued if they gave day old food to food banks.

“No, there’s a law called Donation of Food Act.  Obviously food that is moldy, smells bad or has other signs of going rotten cannot be donated.”

“Well, thank you Ryan, you’ve made my day,” Rita says as she offers her hand.

“My pleasure.  I hope to have more good news for you in the near future.”

As Rita drives home she wonders what the night will bring.  She researched Kanetic Reusable Batteries and found very little information except a list of its current employees.  Kanayago’s name was listed under research and development.

 

Rita Walker (Blog Sixteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Sixteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Both nature and technology follow the circle of life.  A river that flows is alive and healthy but block off the flow and it stagnates.  Forget to fill a car up with gas or keep up the oil and other liquids and the gears rust and it eventually refuses to work anymore.  Everything is breaking down and building up constantly.  What happens to our bodily fluids is no different.

https://japanesemythology.wordpress.com/tag/kanayago-kami/

http://yokai.com/kirin/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_legendary_creatures_from_Japan

http://wessuc.com/agricultural-use-of-biosolids/

https://www.simcoe.com/community-story/7323434-from-toilet-to-field-barrie-poop-becomes-agricultural-fertilizer/

https://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/Building-Soils-for-Better-Crops-3rd-Edition/Text-Version/The-Living-Soil/Soil-Microorganisms

She stares up at the classroom.  Her heart pounding as she sees Marlo calmly staring back at her.  Later she’ll need to talk to him about visiting Kanetic Reusable Batteries with his help.  To Rita’s surprise a girl much shorter than Marlo with long brunette hair and wearing glasses with a metal frame is sitting beside him.  The girl’s innocent face is confusing considering her aura is metallic grey.  “Hi,” she says to the new girl.  “Welcome to the class and could you tell everyone your name?”

“Kanayago,” the girl replies with a sweet voice.

Rita is dumbfounded.  “Do you know the meaning behind that name?”

“Yes.  My parents told me they found me in a crib at the doorstep when they first moved to Canada from the Chūgoku Mountains in Japan.”

“They named you Kanayago?”

“No.  The name was written in Hiragana syllabary on a gold anklet they found around my left ankle.  Since I do not look Japanese my parents told me they were confused at first but accepted that it was the mythical Kirin that delivered me to their doorstep.”

Rita shakes her head.  Her bias suggested the child of Kaneki would be obtuse and the least likely to join her class.

“Today’s lecture,” she begins with a shaky voice, “is about biosolids.  It’s important in this class to remember we want to know where a product starts and where it finishes.  So we’re going to talk about how poop and urine is turned into biosolids.  We eat and drink, go to the bathroom and our waste–and let’s put waste between quotation marks–goes to sewage plants.  Then what?”  Rita stops talking and gazes across the room at all the students.  They all look confused, even Marlo.

“The excrement and urine or waste goes through many processes to change it into biosolids.  The biosolids are used on farms to help grow food.”  She sees that all the students have disgusted looks on their faces.  “Everything needs to be reused or recyclable with as little greenhouse gas emission as possible.  The biosolids are anaerobically or aerobically digested before they are used for growing food.  Think of a leaf.  It grows on the tree in the spring; helps gather sunlight and rainwater in summer, and falls off in the autumn.  Over the winter the fallen leaves give protection to plant beds and insects.  In the spring when thaw arrives the leaves break down and become soil.”

Marlo’s hand shoots up.

“Yes,” Rita asks trying not to stare intensely at him.

“Like cleaning out a gutter.  If the leaves remain from autumn to spring you’ll be cleaning out dirt instead of leaves.”

“Correct.  Thank you Marlo.”  She knows her eyes say I’ll meet you later but she hopes he’s the only one who notices.  “I want you to study up on biosolids and how each and everyone one of us can make this an easier process.”

 

Later in the day Rita goes to Moonshadows Metaphysical Shop near Mt Hope Cemetery to pick up a Haida made whale talisman.  But she knows the owner and opens the door to the house instead of the shop.  Rita halts in the front of the hall.  Inside sitting half way up on a carpeted stairway is the girl Kanayago where she’s reading a book.  Rita immediately notices the metal framed glasses and the silver ankh charm that sits against her chest held their by a silver necklace.  Kanayago seems absorbed in the book about nanotechnology.

Kaitlyn Lindemann as Kanayago
Kaitlyn Lindemann as Kanayago

Remembering this is a child of Kaneki and that she must tread carefully with this one Rita diligently steps back outside and gently closes the front door.

Rita Walker (Blog Fourteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Fourteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

In 1974 Spanish pilot and marine officer Juan Pérez was the first European to discover the Haida Gwaii but bad weather stopped him from landing and claiming it for Spain.   James Cook, Captain of the Royal navy was the first European known to visit the Haida Nation.  Archaeology digs have determined the Haida have been living on the Haida Gwaii islands from 6000 to 8000 years ago.

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/haida-gwaii

https://www.raconteur.net/business-innovation/cobalt-mining-human-rights

https://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/giants/aegir-and-ran/

https://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/aborig/haida/havwa01e.html

As she drives home from the college the sky is dark and clear.  A song she hasn’t heard in a long time comes on.  Chalk Circle’s “This Mourning” gets her tapping her hands against the steering wheel.  It reminds her why Kaneki needs to go back to Centre Earth.

The weeping willow string she planted is growing little nubs that she hopes will grow into tiny branches.  It was wonderful that Kaylee asked her to teach a Haida language course three times a week along with her once a week Environmental Technology class.  She knows she’ll be financially stable for the next three years.  Her real focus though is on what she does at night.  So with a cup of licorice tea she sits in front of her window in her kitchenette and concentrates on the tiny willow sapling.  A quarter moon shines through her window awakening the elemental inside her.  She could control its pull for her to change but tonight she wants to transform.  Her eyes remain open but become unfocused.

She finds herself at Soper Park.  Before her Oya is dressed ready for action.

“What do you want child?” Oya asks in an exasperated voice.

“To visit Rán.”

“This is a bad time for me child of Ailbe Rose.  I must deal with Kaneki’s influence on mining for cobalt in the Congo.   Think of Island and go!”

To Icelanders their home is known as Island.  It’s where her grandfather wanted to return to.

When Rita was five her father took the family to Kiusta at the northern tip of Haida Gwaii.  Taking her hand he led her to the shore where the ruins of a long boat rested near a group of ancient totem poles.  “My father, your grandfather arrived on this boat.  He was nearly dead when they brought him to a sweat lodge and your grandmother nursed him to health.  He came from far far away.  You and I have his eyes whereas your brother has pure Haida eyes like your mother.  I would find him staring at this ruin as we worked on his new boat.  I think he would have stayed if your grandmother had not died during the Tsimshian raid.”

Rita only remembers her father’s father vaguely.  Tall and strong, with long brown hair and a red beard that flowed to his chest.  His voice was loud sometimes but more often hushed as though his soul were broken.  By the fire pit he would stare at her but with his chin turned slightly away.  It made her feel as if he was watching her wearily.  His Haida Gwaii words were clipped and often he added words she had never heard before.  He always kept his distance from her.  “There is something else in this child,” she would hear him say to both her mother and father at different times.  He would shake his shaggy head afterwards and stare at her out of the corner of his eyes.

When she was four her father’s father had taken dry fish and fresh water onto his new boat with its many ribs.  “Someday others like me will come,” he warned before he paddled north towards the Bering Sea.  In the distance Rita remembered seeing him unfurl the strange red and white curving sail his mother had helped him sew.  He was right others like him would arrive at Haida Gwaii but Rita wouldn’t learn about that until later.

Her vision becomes cloudy.  As the cloud dissipates she can see Rán walking in modern clothes by a river.    Rán stops and turns to her with a beaming smile.  Rita realizes Kaneki has not made his presence known as much on Iceland—yet.

Gunnhildur as Rán for Rita Walker November 9 2019 by Freyr Holldorsson
Gunnhildur as Rán for Rita Walker November 9 2019 by Freyr Holldorsson

“What can I do for you Rita?” Rán asks in her boisterous voice.

Gunnhildur as Rán for Rita Walker November 9 2019 3 by Freyr Holldorsson
Gunnhildur as Rán for Rita Walker November 9 2019 3 by Freyr Holldorsson

“Do you have student named Marlo?”

“I do.  When you change you can watch him by the lake near where you live.  He is with you Rita that I can assure you.”

“Thank you, Rán,” Rita says as Rán fades away and she feels herself changing.