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Are you here professionally or for personal interest? She hesitated, unsure which would lead to the least questions. She looked around, hoping someone would walk up and distract him, but everyone else seemed to be at the sign-in tables for company affiliations. Turning back, she shrugged and smiled.

He smiled at her, leaning closer. What specifically are you hoping to accomplish this weekend? Getting away from you, Miranda thought, keeping her smile firmly pasted on her face. She glanced back and noticed the man was making a note on a small pad. When he looked back up at her, her stomach twisted and she hurried to get farther away. Searching for an empty space from which to survey the gathering, she slipped down a corridor leading away from the main hall.

Dividing Worlds by Jan Ögren

She came to rest opposite a sign that showed a woman running through a field of flowers. Below the picture was the slogan: As a herd of staff swarmed by, Miranda ducked her head, pretending to focus on the packet while listening for any response from Adnarim, her elusive guide. She felt energetic stirrings, which she again attributed to the intensity of the crowd.

But from Adnarim there was a void that felt like standing alone in a crowded railway station, not knowing which train to take. Her screen had gone blank, then the website announcing this conference had appeared.

North–South divide

There had been a shimmer in the corner of the room, which had manifested as a tall golden-skinned woman in a burgundy shawl. Adnarim had emphatically instructed her to sign up for the weekend, then disappeared back into a swirl of tiny lights when Miranda tried to question her. Despite repeated attempts by Miranda, her guide had offered no explanation as to why she should spend her entire weekend, away from home and Chris, just to listen to lectures on neuroscience. Standing against the wall, she wondered if this was going to become another annoying treasure hunt: Fifteen years ago, when she first began conversing with guides, she tried to use their extrasensory awareness for practical purposes.

One morning before leaving for hospice, where she worked as an administrator, she asked Adnarim if there was anything special she should remember to take with her. As soon as she arrived at work the nursing director asked for the folder containing applications for the new RN position which Miranda had promised to bring that day. She was forced to drive home to retrieve the folder, annoyed at her guide for reminding her of the wrong item.

After some frustrating hunting, she finally found the folder, underneath the book Adnarim had insisted she take. That first time set the tone for future help from her guides: Standing against the wall, Miranda stared at the poster of the woman in the field of flowers. What does she want me to find here? Resisting the urge to throw the heavy envelope at the poster, she turned it over and started to open it.

Why are we building new walls to divide us?

Inside she discovered a name tag, a schedule of events, a list of companies participating in the conference, and a book-sized pamphlet entitled She scanned the hundreds of respectably attired women and men now moving about the main hall, wondering how each of them fit into the theme of the conference.

Some were standing stiffly next to displays of hors d'oeuvres and bountiful beverage tables. A few were conversing with other people, but most of them were still shouting into their cell phones. Maybe Cat Vision will help me find that presence I felt earlier.

Divided Worlds

Growing up she was fascinated watching how the dogs and cats could always sense when someone was approaching the house, or when a family member was getting close to home. Seeing with it was like stepping back from her eyes and raising a periscope from her heart. Her feelings came through as images integrated into the scene she was viewing, allowing her to perceive the strength and direction of energy connections and to be aware of things farther away than her vision could see. Leaning back against the wall and trying to relax as much as possible, she looked around the room again, seeing it as a cat would see it.

In addition to the physical objects and people, Cat Vision highlighted a mass of thin threads whipping about the large conference room. She could see slightly denser energy lines extending beyond the physical walls, illuminating how most of the participants were focused on talking to people outside the room. Underneath the conference chamber, the earth pulsated with connections thick and deep, like roots of trees. They were numerous enough that it made detecting any other energy sources above the ground difficult. The planet is more alive here than the people are. She returned to the information she had been given, skimming the pages of participants.

As she peered at the organizational biographies, still searching for clues as to why she was here, her stomach rumbled. Enticing aromas were drifting from the hors d'oeuvres tables reminding her that in order to get off early for the conference she had worked through lunch.

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She was sure this information would mean nothing to anyone, except possibly to inform them that she lived close by. As she headed toward the expansive main hall, she noticed the light from the evening sun was painting red and gold murals on the cream-colored walls as it drifted through the windows arranged high above the circular room. As she approached the crowds, she pasted on a smile and nodded to people as they glanced at her, scanning her badge of identity before returning to their conversations.

When he grew up he rediscovered the material and created a performance placing stones on top of each other. The public discourse has fallen into a mindlessly reductive conversation about our fellow Australians. In response, eleven , a national collective of leading Muslim contemporary artists have put together this, their first major exhibition. Writers' week Program Authors Kids' weekend. Writers' week blog Twitter. Club By genre All Music Dining. News Latest news Writers' week blog.