Dreamed 1/28/1996 by Chris Wayan
I'm in San Francisco out at the beach--well, walking on strange dunes that perch atop cliffs two hundred feet above the sea. A marine terrace, they call it. All the coast near the City's been rising for a million years or more; this was a beach back when sabertooths prowled.
I crunch up to a saddle and look down into a little sand valley. A commotion at the far end: seal-like people are solidifying from the air. A gate from another world! Within the city limits? Well, why not? It's secluded.
As it happens, I know the species: Sandworlders. Too much green makes them nervous. Things can pounce out at you from all that life! Our Garden of Eden is much like their Hell. A desert with a view, that's what they like.
Down the valley from the gate, one sandworlder sits alone. Extraordinary--they're gregarious creatures. His aura is miserable. What's he sad about?
A new bunch of sandworlders materialize over the drop-off, plop down, skitter over the sand and talk to him. Their gestures and chittering are easy to read.
"I want to be left alone!"
"You must be crazy--"
"how could anyone be unhappy..."
"surrounded by all this lovely sand..."
"And to want to be alone?"
Has the loner absorbed some of our tastes and values? Wants psychological privacy, but more life around him? I'm curious. So I slide down the dune into the hollow, and intervene.
They cluster about me and paw at me curiously, without asking. But that's normal for their culture. They have several "pets" among them--that's the only word for them, but it's misleading. These pets are people--a closely related species covered with fur that loves to be petted and groomed. Relaxes them as much as their Sandworlder petters. I try it myself. Works for me too--I calm right down.
They're curious what's beyond this little valley. So they toss me into the air and catch me, over and over. I stay up a long time, floating magically--it sure isn't ME doing it, I guess Sandworlders are a bit telekinetic. At the top, during each little flight, I can see over the dunes to the vast city beyond.
As I fall into their forepaws I tell them what I saw, and they toss me again... This is the traditional way for a group of sandworlders to scout ahead. It's fun!
But if I can learn to appreciate their ways, why can't they at least respect one of their own who's trying ours?
Because solitary meditation is a way to see ahead, too.
NOTES NEXT MORNING
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