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Dreamed 1991/11/6 by Chris Wayan

Dream-painting: Arenna escapes a standing wave to fly free, out of the House of Memory. Close-up.


Today I visited the De Young Museum, with its new entrance suitable for wheelchairs--twin ramps climbing around the pool by the front doors.

Then I read The Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce. It's set in the future, on the half-terraformed Moon. Earth's toxic: an old bio-war. Our heroine Aeriel must stop an angelic vampire, who's set on going home to Earth NOW, far too soon. And fueling his Earth probe may bankrupt the thin Lunar ecology. Gothic romance, surreal adventure, powerful mother-daughter scenes between Aeriel and her Terran mother Ravenna, and under it all, fear for the fragility of life and grief for lost Earth shining overhead. A great mood piece, and more than dreamLIKE: it's directly based on a set of dreams. Not Pierce's--a mad patient of Jung's! Pierce had the wisdom not to water them down, as so many fantasists do, into a simple tale of good and evil.


A crisis happens to me. Well, not happens; I chose it. Stepped over a line my parents drew in childhood: I start flirting with anyone I feel like, asking out beautiful dancers in my ballet classes: girls too cool for me.

Feel guilty, though I know it's stupid. Absurd fears start to haunt me: I keep picturing a mad gunman harassing me.

So, naturally, he becomes real. Waving a pistol, spitting out random, righteous demands, barely coherent. He starts firing--and I'm trapped against a stone wall!

I jump right through a window, shattering glass. No other choice.

I'm not bleeding much, no big cuts. And the gunman stays outside, doesn't fire once I'm in. I wonder... was I HERDED in here?

Where's "here?" I stagger deeper into the house I've invaded. The place looks weirdly familiar. I realize... I BELONG here! The residents seem to be ghosts: can't see them, but I sense them, especially their leader, a strong man whose smoky aura leaves traces all over the house. Muddy music fills the rooms... I twiddle knobs, trying to add some treble, and at last hear it clearly. And discover what the songs are: the music of memory.

This is the House of Deep Memory. Not just petty memory, a few months or years back. Deep memory! I start going back in time, eons back, to the very beginning. When I became immortal, when I learned to fly.

Arenna and Crest taught me. Two sweet-tempered immortals. Arenna, who could almost pass for an elfin human girl, but for her big ribcage--she's built like a greyhound, with great lungs to breathe that thin air on her native Moon. And Crest, her best friend, a reptilian male, too small for a dragon, too handsome for a lizard. He normally runs on all fours, but one blustery day, on a terrace by the sea, he faced into the wind--and flew.

He met Arenna and taught her, too. An age later, I studied under them. They gained other powers, over the years. Grew into gentle demigods wandering through time... and I followed. In Deep Memory, I relive our long journey, all the way down to now.

I wake eager to find them. I don't sense Crest, but I hear Arenna's distant voice. Follow it through the house, till I find her.

Dream-painting: Arenna escapes a standing wave to fly free, out of the House of Memory. Click image to enlarge.
Arenna's gliding down a long ramp to the open front door of this house. A broad plaza sprawls beyond, cupped by a fabled city. But on the doorstep is a trough- or saddle-shaped energy field, all hyperbolic curves. As Arenna glides over the field, a current or a wind traps her in a standing wave, a balance of forces. She slows and hovers in place, like a kestrel hawk--but unwilling. Trapped on the threshhold of memory! Just like me, trapped by a gun nut in the House of Revery. Hers is a quieter guard than my gunman, but just as effective. I sense that the way to escape the hyperbolic field is to name it, for its name is its nature. She must describe it in a single word--and she can't.

Nor can I, but I run down the ramp to her, and at least explain what's happened. She's confused, her memory's fuzzy. From the field? I'm not so sure. So many eons, so many names, so many changes!

In desperation, I pull us both back in memory to where it all began--the sea-terrace, that windy day so long ago, our friend Crest, who'd she'd almost forgotten, and the moment he realized he could lean into the wind and catch it, use it...

And she finds what she needs. Not the name and nature of her trap, but her OWN nature: light and playful and sweet. That's what let her fly, then and now! Play.

And suddenly, shedding her seriousness like a snaky skin... Arenna soars free, out of the smoky house of recollection, into the open air.

Dream-painting: Arenna escapes a standing wave to fly free, out of the House of Memory. Detail of Arenna flying.

LISTS AND LINKS: a dream with echoes of Meredith Ann Pierce: Kiss of a Savage - dream beings - aliens - reptile people - mentors - flying in dreams - energy & field effects - memory - house & home - junk & collections - life-paths - dream advice - play - false waking & nested dreams - transcendent dreams - acrylic paintings - nonrectangular art

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