Green Ray, Blue Wings
Dreamed 1974/7/14 by Wayan
My best friend Dave and I are two miles up in the Sierra Nevada, hiking from Sixty Lake Basin past Fin Dome, heading for Rae Lakes. The trail winds and forks; keep losing it and backtracking. Up a creek, then switchbacks to a lake with an island. Next, up bigger switchbacks; at the top two people sitting on a boulder watch us sweat. Up, up, up. We eat little purple pine cones--immature, the whole cone chewy-starchy-sweet.
The pass. Clouds tower. A few big drops. We hurry down past a pond. Lovely colors in the cloudlight. Switchbacks down toward the lakes. Lightning and thunder roar. A hanging valley with a big twisted old pine, and on a grassy shelf, bones: skeleton of a horse and a bear. A grizzly tale!
Tramp on down, in driving rain, to Rae Lakes. Hastily hang a tarp in a ring around the foot of a pine, for shelter--we don't have a proper tent. Write in journal, and snack.
Go out in the rain to the channel between me & Rae Isthmus. Roar of the rain on water dwindles to dim applause, trails away.
We wander the fresh-washed world as if in a dream. I find myself singing. Rocks glowing with that glareless light only seen bounced off huge thunderclouds after a storm. Colors deepen as if my eyes are a polarizing filter, like I'm a bee. Rocks steam, mist rises into the new sun. Unlike the austere grey granite of Yosemite, unlike most of the Sierra below treeline, Dragon Peak and Painted Lady have great veins of orange white, brown, gunmetal green. Past the pond on right we climb a rock to the left just across from the Isthmus. Flat sand. Watch. Set up our tarp above a pine bearing berrylike magenta cones. As we hang it, Dave tells me a dream.
I'm on the University of California campus back in Santa Cruz. A woman asks me for a tour of the campus, but then adds, pointedly:
"Not for my own enjoyment, but for yours."
Go round the last rock, across a log onto the Isthmus. South shore: incredible mirror reflections of perfect rock shapes, mtns. Island perfect for living on, like in Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons. South side a secret, no one can see. Penstemon and paintbrush seem brighter here than elsewhere. Altitude? Rainwashed. That shadowless cloud-light! David tilts his head, seeing faces in the rock-reflections. I see them too: totem poles! We're both half-crazy with joy by now; I see things, looking at each as itself, pouring attention into each thing for its own sake and finding it's ALWAYS worth it!
|Rocks looked at sideways, reflected in Rae Lake, Kings Canyon National Park.|
We climb a great boulder. Orange rocks are scattered over the Isthmus, a startling contrast to the bluegreen lakes. Twisty yellow and brown barked tree. Drunk with seeing! I literally stagger. Pass a smaller isle--Japanese rock garden--and round the point. A mirror-lagoon with a white waterfall and red pines above. Reach the Isthmus of the Isthmus, just 3-6m wide.
Cross to the east shore and walk north. In a small valley a marmot watches us from a boulder. Cedar Gate, feels like a presence, trees sentient. I walk through. Purple berries around my head and face. Return through the gate, again feel power and life there; the trees know.
North along edge of the lake. Mosquitos. I'm enjoying even them! Mossy shooting-star meadow with crazy creek wandering. Up past the Ranger's house to the foot of Rae Lake itself. Mirror pools of glass and grass, symmetrical sideways eyebrows. A long granite slab with a groping pine at the head. Altarish. Three peaks too vast for my little fixed-lens camera to take in; must sketch.
East side of lake. As I clamber along the foot of a colorful cliff, a little more rain. But it clears. Vast glow from the sunlit cascade across the lake.
Cook dinner in the dusk. Spicy spaghetti, good. Just bedded down when... HARD RAIN! Wind hugens, our makeshift tarp-tent nearly collapses. Hastily dig a trench & set stones to anchor the tarp. Holds firm. Safe to sleep.
I'm hiking down the Kings River down from the High Country. Lower & lower, dirtier & dirtier. They ship most of the water to Los Angeles these days. Just above the last diversion, up where the water still runs pretty clean, a riverbend bluff bears a green-gold field of corn. Dave has a cabin here.
We wait to see who of our college dorm-mates will show up and sit around the fire.
In the night, someone steals my camera and wine-bota. No one human; it's an alien couple. They're the People of the Green Ray. Their flying saucer's hidden in a nearby cavern under the river-cliffs. It's a massive living ship... with a belly full of gold! They're illicit gold miners stealing Earth's wealth. But not just miners: spies. They use a bit of that gold to bribe locals to study Earth for them. Why? To find our weaknesses? The Green Rays don't seem the invading type. Not fighters, sneaks.
I steal my binoculars back, despite the threat of their Green Ray. They fire at me but I duck; the beam zaps a rock, slicing deep into it. The Green Ray Notch will be famous in years to come, I know.
They flee before I can summon any help. But we follow, me in my own little starship, and a crazy Russian captain in his. Out between the stars, I land on the alien ship and board. Search for my camera, and their data on us, and look to be sure they don't have hostages.
They detect me. I'm in trouble. Call for help.
The Russian dives in with green fire around him. HE gets caught while saving ME. But his temperament is enough like that of the alien ship so they partly merge! Too merged for the Green Rays to risk killing or removing him. Their ship may even rebel under his influence, eject them and explore on his own.
Meanwhile I get the data and sneak out to a bystander's ship--and escape!
Voyaging back to Earth, we study the Green Ray data. It's disturbing.
All species on Earth have been mutating like crazy. As we read, realize we've changed too: our cloaks of iridescent blue are really flexible butterflyish wings. And alcohol no longer gets us drunk; our new bodies burn it quickly, supercharging our muscles so we can fly... in bursts.
We, the New People, drink alcohol and soar in our wing-cloaks up a huge curtain in the sky. We suddenly realize sky-curtain climbing will be a daily act in the future. Here we are doing a basic and universal thing for the first time--and it came so naturally!
But the Green Ray data found the cause of the change too. It's not so good:
"Why so many prodigies and mutations now? Because the Sun's going nova in fifty years. Earth will die! Mutants are Nature's reaction--a last-ditch effort to find a way to survive."
And this desperate change worked! Now that we can climb the curtains of the sky, we'll master antigravity. Then we can cut up the Earth, and emigrate in life-bubbles; grav-units will hold the air and water in. A million groves so far in the deep even a nova can't burn us all.
Go ahead--die if you want to, Sun! We'll make our own light.
Creators, learn your scale!
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