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Dreamed 1996/7/9 by Chris Wayan
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A golden key in sodium light.
I dream I have a discount coupon for Rainbow Grocery, the biggest, most radical food co-op in San Francisco. I stop by at dusk. It's a great store, but a rough neighborhood, down in the roaring shadows below the freeway. So I'm nervous in the parking lot; nearly run to the door. But it's locked! I came too late--they just shut for the night.

I try to find my golden car key under a sodium streetlight--where they ALL look gold. At last, I single out my golden car key under a white light. I sprint back to my car, watching the lot for muggers. I fumble with my keys. Can't find the car key by feel, and have to look. It's the only gold one. But the light I'm standing under is golden: sodium!

(If you've never seen sodium streetlights, they're cheap, efficient, but monochomatic; everything looks golden-brown. They're used in the States around bridges and factories--they subtly say "this is industrial space. Move on, humans!")

So under the sodium lamp's cheap golden light, ALL my keys suddenly looked gold! I stared in horror, then ran off through the slummy dark, seeking white light... to reveal the true key.

I woke bewildered. Discount coupon? I AM kind of a cheapskate; artists and writers have to be in America, or starve.

But somehow, that dream just didn't smell like it was really about money...

Well... I got up, and got on with my day. Biked over to the Haight-Ashbury, where I had to get an allergy shot.

And there I saw the golden keys!

I'm single--lonely--and in the monochromatic light of loneliness, every single woman on Haight was THE ONE! Patty Panhandle, Tater Grunge, Sativa Fog, Molly Molested, Sue Ture and Tough Nookie, Picassa Poseur, Anna Rexia, Prunella Punque... even Peoria LaTour. Click to enlarge.
Are my romantic standards so cheap and singleminded that I'll settle for FOOL'S GOLD? A discount lover, with one or two attractions, but lacking things I know are essential for me? What if I looked at potential lovers critically, in a full-spectrum light? What if I held out for someone with the varied things I really need--not just a hot body and a kind heart but brains, creativity... a soul?

Or does that white light mean spiritual clarity? They always say "seek the white light within." (Why not the black light, or the lava lamp within? At least those are Haight Street sort of items!)

I can't be sure... but I suspect that spirituality is the golden key, at least for me. You see, later that same night, I had a second dream:

Meditating model. Click to enlarge.
I saw a slender, beautiful woman sitting in a full lotus. I knew her, knew she worked as a model, and people at work didn't take her seriously. Just a body, just a face.

But she meditated with great intensity, eyes open, aware of me, yet staying focused on generating inner light. She was holding the pale wings of birds, as if they grew out of her breasts. She was naked and looked at me with great seriousness.

Redhaired model sits in a full lotus, holding the wings of birds. Click to enlarge.
Until, at last, shining, she slowly rose! She maintained the lotus, and flew off, still seated as if riding a magic carpet.

Leaving me alone in the quiet dark, save for a few loose, luminous feathers, fluttering down like autumn leaves.

LISTS AND LINKS: only in San Francisco - fear - light - mystical symbols and talismans - loneliness - dating advice - babes - meditation - flight - comix - pencil work - portraits - picture-stories - a second dream of symbolic keys: Eight Elflocks

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