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Dreamed 1986/1/26 by Chris Wayan

Silhouette of a boy on a crag in a storm, snipping lightning. Two horses flee and a girl watches in shock from a pool below.

I'm one of four children in Central Asia herding horses. We sleep by a desert pool below a crag. The Boy who Runs with the Scissors goes right to sleep, but his sister stays up a while, glaring at him in silent accusation. The other girl and I think she's being unreasonable. Yes, he does run with scissors, but it doesn't make him reckless. He's not a small child any more--he can throw them so accurately, he could skewer a lightning-demon flitting by! He's safer with scissors than without.

The predawn sky looks uneasy--gaudy as a sunset. The sun rises at last in ominous colors. The horses are nervous; it's a bad time to ride! Instinct says a storm is rising.

And the boy sets out from camp--with his scissors. I know he'll use them this thundery day, in self-defense against the lightning people. He'll kill one at least, of that I'm sure, but they are many, and full of evil magic. One of the lightning-leaders has terrible power, and malice toward mortals; that's the one who must die, if our people are to be safe again.

And I'm not sure he can handle that one, scissors or not.

Yet I can't stop him. He's decided it's time. He's gone. And, despite his sister's certainty he's doomed, I'm not so sure he's wrong to try, even if he dies.

Because in some things, success isn't all that matters.

2001 NOTES

Though I hadn't read up on Mongolian culture when I dreamed this, I later learned that lightning-bolts are indeed feared and personified as malevolent spirits, and have been since long before Jenghiz Khan.

The dream's obviously parodying Clarisa Pinkola Estes and her book "Women who Run with the Wolves"... But why scissors? Well, here in America (at least) small children are told "Never, ever run with scissors. You'll fall down and stab yourself and die!" It's one of those Eternal Verities that stay curiously Eternal even when you get get older and realize you've never, ever known a child slain by scissor-running, and you never, ever will.

So what's this dream telling me? Take risks, that's all. Slay your demons--even if you pay for it.

LISTS AND LINKS: Mongolia - kids - dream beings - energy beings - nature spirits in general - shamanic dreams - taboos - Clarisa Pinkola Estes (Women who Run with the Wolves)

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