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Hermit in the Pipe

Dreamed 1999/5/2 by Chris Wayan

I'm a middle-aged religious hermit in a hut by the sea. I have a mentor, a wild old holy man. But lately he's been gone on a vision-quest in the woods. Alone, I feel a bit lost. Been having nightmares, like one where I was a lab worker and my equipment woke up and started stalking me... I know they're all just spiritual tests, but they've worn me out.

I wake tired, looking older: hair turned gray and white, and my voice that of a raspy old man. Starting to look like my mentor.

A supplicant comes out to our hut, seeking a blessing or a dream interpretation, but I brush him off. "I got no blessings for anyone today."

Troubled, I wade out alone onto the sandbars and mudflats. A huge concrete pipe lies in the sand, one end no more than calf-deep, the other, waist-deep at least. I feel lured to wade through it, but also feel danger, though logically I can't see what could hurt me, even if a big wave hit.

I wade in. Concrete arch over my head. Now it comes back to me. I come in here to pop anti-anxiety pills in secret! Petitioners would be shocked; I never discuss it even with my master, though I assume he knows.

But I have to take them. All my spiritual discipline doesn't affect this floating fear. I feel helpless without my pills!

Although... here in my hideout, I relax enough to wonder... do the pills really help much either? Maybe I could give them up... not because I'm healed, but because they're not worth the trouble.

After all, isn't that why I gave up the world? It's just a big round pill not worth the heartache.


My friend Dawn suffered from panic attacks for years, and took meds for it. Her therapist warned her never to study mysticism or metaphysics, she'd scare herself to death. She ignored her shrink, started meditating... and the attacks faded away as she grew a sense of trust in the universe. Pills? No need any more.

My turn! Only my medication's not a pill--I hide from the world, for days on end. And it looks like it's time to quit my little crutch.

LISTS AND LINKS: I'm Just Not Myself Today - solitude - asceticism - religious dreams - false waking - fear and anxiety - dreams on dreams - dream humor - dreams of Dawn - that nightmare of being stalked by my own tools: Quit the Lab! - through a giant pipe to meet: The Green Bird

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