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DARUMA DOLLS

Late 1994. Nondream digital painting by Chris Wayan

One of Aline Kominsky-Crumb's underground comix shows her in a bar. A guy comes up and asks "Que pasa, muņeca?" (What's happenin', doll?) and I saw her suddenly as a Japanese Daruma doll, or a nested Russian babushka, full of bizarre images, pregnant with underground stories... and...

Pregnant babushka-dharma dolls
Seems to me now that's what artists are. And especially dream artists. The babies just keep comin'. Only they're more intimate than that, even. Inner selves popping out. Daruma babushka shells. And the outermost one is no more the True Blue You than any of the others. No single level is--any individual dream. The multiple selves and their connections are what make you you. Daruma-ness.

And I'm just talking about ordinary dreams, not "nested" dreams or dreams within dreams. Maybe you've had one of those--you lead a complete other life, with sleep and dreams (perhaps of this life, perhaps a third life!), waking again to your other life... Some such dreams can last months subjectively. Who then is the real you, Babushka?



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