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Edith Keeler

Dreamed 1975/10/8 by Wayan

Just before sleep, I ask my dreams: "Show me my Jungian shadow--the part I deny & repress & treat as 'other' when it's really me."

I get what I asked for.

DREAM 1: Purr the Decadent

I'm angrily telling off my parents: "You're unfit to take care of even a pet!" Use our cat Purr as an example--say "She's fearful and quirky and unhappy."

My father says "Oh no, she's spoiled. You tickled her feet, so now she expects it--she wants to tickle PEOPLE'S feet. That's decadent!"


DREAM 2: Edith Keeler

My sisters and I watch a Star Trek episode about a world run by hidden illusionists. The show has alternate endings, and they broadcast them all. The versions all start the same, though--long ago in a small-town mom-and-pop general store where the eldest daughter, maybe twelve, tends the register on slow afternoons. The story begins when a wild wolverine enters the shop--in most time-branches. In some, though, it's a cougar! Even bigger and toothier.

Now I'm that kid. My name is Edith Keeler. Most of the time, I can just shoo the critter out with a broom. But in a few time-branches, when it's a cougar not a wolverine, the big cat won't back down, and I have to pull the shotgun out from below the cash register and fire. Deafening indoors! That usually scares 'er off. Once or twice, though, the cat tried to jump me; I had to shoot it. But mostly I can stare down even a mountain lion. They're curious, sure, but they generally don't want trouble.

I can be trouble.

In an old general store, a girl with a broom confronts a puma. Behind her a truck's smashing through the shop window. Dream sketch by Wayan; figure based on 'Alice' by Saige199 of Deviantart. Click to enlarge.

But then... in ALL cases... a runaway TRUCK smashes the shop window! Sometimes it hits that critter and sometimes it misses, but it ALWAYS runs over me. Fatally. Every single time. I'm brave, I face down danger--but what kills me isn't the obvious danger.

Back in the future now. I'm standing, rather stunned by my seventeen deaths in a row, on the bridge of the Enterprise. I'm not Edith Keeler now; I'm Captain John Christopher, an American fighter pilot from the 20th Century, beamed aboard. Future shock! Captain Kirk tells me "don't mess with the buttons, this ship is so complex and dangerous"... then a flashback shot of me, Edith Keeler, in the 1930s, or is it 1970s, on Earth, dying, with blood on my face. So who, then, is this other me on that starship in the future? How much of this is the Illusionists playing with me?

Now I'm me, Chris, not Edith or John. I meet a man with a phaser that's running low on power; just a few shots left. He toys with it. Says "I want to try this out" and starts shooting at me. Weak--like a fist in the face. I grab it and shoot HIM. Barely slows him down... He's open about his goal. "I want to kill you, then me." Pounces on me and we fight. On and on, inconclusive, exhausting.

Who is he? [As I wrote the dream down, I tried automatic writing here, got the name 'Tine' or 'Time'.]

He's got a weird energy-shield from Dune--such shields explode if hit by phaser fire, it'd kill us both--so I must keep the phaser pointing away from me AND him. At last I solve the problem by getting a gun with plain old bullets, and shooting this maniac over and over till he's quite dead. But there's not a mark on him! No visible wounds at all. Illusionists again?

What just happened?

1995 NOTES

2017 NOTES Cougar that wandered into our family store. Dream sketch by Wayan.

So what happened? The truck of ideology ran me over. Within months I met a brilliant woman I'll call Kay who in the name of feminism bullied nagged hit and generally crushed me for two and a half years. When I finally broke free, I was broken-nosed, broken-spirited, shaking, emaciated; I looked like one of Hitler's death-camp survivors. Took years to recover.

One last point. I asked my dreams about my shadow--what I deny. I now think I got six answers, not five. Naming one Star Trek character devastated by time-travel might be random, but naming two is signal not noise. And when I tried automatic writing to get the name of my saboteur, I got "Time." Today I realize the wolverine and puma are science fiction characters too. The wolverine would be Tsstu or Taggi from Andre Norton's Ordeal in Otherwhere, and the puma's Lura from Norton's Star Man's Son. Tsstu, Taggi and Lura are all telepathic mutants symbiotic with human partners.

All these references to time travel & ESP suggest the dream sees a sixth denial: I'd already had dreams proving ESP was real (examples: Milk Addicts and The Murders), but I basically ignored the implications (such as: my boundaries are highly permeable, so I better mind who I hang with.) These days, I heed such dreams--since they saved my life over & over. At the cost of my dad's respect, and the respect of similar Rational Men (it's nearly always men). But that's an acceptable price. Just as crushing me was acceptable to them, for the Greater Good.


My self-portrait as Edith Keeler is based on "Alice", a 3D piece by Saige199 at Looked so much like me-as-Edith I just couldn't resist.

thumbnail copy of 'Alice' by Saige199 of Deviantart.

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