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Dreamed 1977/1/7 by Wayan
for Fran Vashaw and Doris Piserchia
I've been miserable. So far, 1977's been the worst year of my life. Dropped out of school, homeless, living in a van with Kay... and her recurring rages.
But today, I escaped for hours into a book--A Billion Days Of Earth by Doris Piserchia. A very odd parable set in the far future, in which a silvery being called Sheen tempts each creature it meets by offering a personalized heaven--leaving the frustrations of reality for your ideal world--your dream.
At this point, even knowing it's wrong, I'd cave in to Sheen without a fight.
We're all obsessive scholars, like Professor Blok
in A Billion Days Of Earth; we gnaw at our
little worlds obscure.
Our dogs know our pet obsessions; greet
canine kin with "mushroom", "metamorphic", or
at most, two jargon words. Never more than two.
None of us have more
Core, so this laconic dogtalk limns us all too well.
Alarming just how circumscribed we are! We try
to force our pets to talk with us, converse. But no.
Dogs all shun us
...humans? Are we? No. We're creatures too!
Another sort--furred quadrupeds, but tall, and
Oh, so professorial.
We are hungry, hungry, in a dead-end valley.
Jade grass, flowers by the creek; Eden to the eye,
but a scowling bunny called a Jare put up a sign:
ALL FOOD RESERVED FOR THE ERTHEDNI
ERTHEDNI's a living God (or Sheen); a superjare.
Cultist rabbit-mobs enforce their holy writ.
By FOOD the pious mean even creek and air!
Garden for us all, yet we slow-starve in it.
Desperate we scholars lope toward the DOOR
at valleymouth. Headfirst down the Stair!
A zoo of academic beasts well-tumble, pour
Out of Erthedni's vale.
Emerge in a sea-cave. Shimmer blue. We're caged
Inside a hollow Monolith infinitely pierced;
A oval sieve of pinholes, like a tea-ball of stone;
Or that Old Celestial Sphere, God-prick'd with star
Portals casting in transcendent Light.
Air slips in too, dissolved. Non-bubble form.
A Friend Aquatic fears I'll drown down here,
but I can (barely) breathe sans gear--IF I hover near
the Holy Wall. I'm astonished too. "It's because I am
a relative to Turtles" I explain, "called a Tare."
WAVES up the cave-gullet pound brine to foam;
Air-bubbles seep, dissolve. Breathe. Breathe on.
The dream-scene shifts. Breathe easy. For now I am
a Merman, lazing in a pool below a lacy Fall,
Refreshed by spray and rainbows. A Fran,
(a Water-Earth-Mother) is fishbowled too. Everyone
expects us to make love, but I have the wrong
body for her green kind, so I coil round
the Fran and hold her head up; she needs air.
Not lovers yet love. Deep friends.
There, bearable at last, my hard dream ends.
FORTY YEARS LATER
- Professor Blok: an early victim of Sheen who finally broke free. Deep in a dream of perfection, you can't study what's real; and sound scholarship, not happiness, turned out to be his deepest desire.
- Erthedni bleeding us dry:
- Echoes A Billion Days of Erth, I mean Earth: late in the book, Sheen seduced so many into private heavens that they left chaos on Earth. Quite a few folks had to join Sheen or die; no free choice for them! It's how I feel now with Kay.
- Ethics (erthics?) that my parents taught make it hard to leave Kay, even though I feel starved and bullied.
- Anagram for IN THE RED? That is, running a constant deficit. Felt like it in the dream--and I do, awake. Kay bleeding me dry.
- Anagram for IN RE DETH? That is, about death. Whether starved or drowned.
- I can breathe only at teaball's edge: can breathe only when marginal? When Kay's attention isn't focused on me. Or when I focus not on this world but beyond.
- Dissolved air from outside the teaball: dreams themselves, I think.
- Jares and Tares: in A Billion Days of Earth, jares are distant descendants of hares; tares, of tortoises. A jare is the first being Sheen caught; a tare, the second.
- Fran the earth-water-mother: my friend Fran. I dreamed this sleeping in my van by her apartment; we talked this morning. She's preparing for the GRE exam and a career of her own; she left her sexist husband, and is going it alone. As the dream showed: not my lover, but a good friend... and role model. I too need to leave.
The worst year of my life really was 1977--all the way through. The radical feminism of Santa Cruz in the mid-70s left me guilty and racked with self-doubt. I got trapped by Kay--brilliant, but a bully. I dropped out of school and let her batter me for two years. She didn't use threats to keep me, but leftist guilt. She had a feminist right to her anger--who was I to complain just because she broke my nose? Fran was one of the few role models telling me I had a right to leave, to my own life.
By the time I did leave Kay in mid-1978, I was nearly dead.
I've been transcribing my few journals that survived (most were lost or destroyed), and posting a handful of representative dreams from those lost years. This is the very last.
It's been painful, reliving that abuse. Any lessons to pass on? Well, yes. Kay and I weren't in a vacuum. The subculture we lived in was complicit in the crime. Few Frans; most looked away. Actually, that's hopeful; it implies that running can work, if you find a community that won't deny or excuse abuse. Maybe you'll still repeat your old mistake; but maybe not. With a little help from your friends.
LISTS AND LINKS:
(only cuz I lack a list for monomania!) -
animal people -
I'm Just Not Myself Today! -
species-bent dreams -
odd gods -
by the sea -
caves & the underworld -
underwater dreams -
gimme air! -
I'm Just Not Myself Today! (again!) -
Fran, & the dream as a whole:
waterfalls & spray -
healing from abuse -
other worlds -
the power of names -
shamanic dreams -
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