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Pool of Truth

Dreamed 1983/10/1 by Katherine Metcalf Nelson
"Anything capable of being imagined is an image of truth"--William Blake


It is late at night. Police lights flash in darkness around a massive accident
at an intersection. Naked bodies are strewn across the road.
I think of Gericault's Raft of the Medusa, a wreck at sea that reduced
political idealism to cannibalism. Destruction and pain. Nausea floods me
as I turn in the opposite direction, sickened by this devastating confusion
of gas, blood, steel, and flesh.

Descending spiral stairs to a ground-level patio, I meet mothers and daughters
who talk about charity and friendship. I wish I could believe this
Mormon sermon of "good-sister" values, but I feel uneasy in this space.

We are handed round cakes and told, "Throw a piece into the pool of truth
and ask a question." My three friends ask questions about life and love,
but I cannot. I throw my cake into the pool and suddenly out pops,
"Should I paint?"

No answer.

Below me, stairs covered with skins of white bears lead to a lower level.
As I go down, I feel a sharp biting pain in my left hand. Taking my hand
off the rail, I step carefully over the sleeping polar bears.

Squarish pool with stairs covered by sleeping polar bears; dream sketch by Katherine Metcalf Nelson.

Source: Katherine Metcalf Nelson's Night Fishing, 1997, p.74


This dream is three-leveled. Not interpretively--literally.

Ground-level car crash. Deaths.
Nausea as descend a spiral stair, to...
Mormon platitudes. Pool of truth? No answers.
Pain as descend the polar-bear stair, to...
Unknown depths.
Most of my three-level dreams go up--I find and climb secret stairs to unexpected floors, attics, roofgardens. KMN is Jungian, though. She goes down into the primal underworld far deeper than mere platitudes and scriptural one-size-fits-all truth. It's clearly a shamanic journey; that last descent involves real pain, real cost.

I know that cost. The same night KMN dreamt this, I dreamed I died--and then had to fight for Dead Rights.

--Chris Wayan--

Stairs covered by sleeping polar bears; detail of dream sketch by Katherine Metcalf Nelson.

LISTS AND LINKS: violence - crashes - death - descent - spirals - water - oracles - frustration - truth & lies - descent again - pain! - bears - the underworld - Jungian & shamanic dreams - pencil & printed/stamped art - more Katherine Metcalf Nelson - Same night, same journey: Wayan, dead, fights for Dead Rights

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