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Dreamed 11/28/1996 by Chris Wayan

I'm in Middle Earth, in Minas Tirith, the greatest city of Gondor. Strange, it looks just like San Francisco. All those hills, that three-hundred-foot stone tower... Well, except for the lack of the Bay, and the snow-capped peak to the west, and the volcano on the eastern horizon. Oh, and the horde of monsters around the city wall, led by the worst of the Dark Riders, the Witch-King of Angmar... The stone-walled city, white-towered city of Minas Tirith, under siege. On the horizon, Mt Doom erupts.

Gandalf is here to fight him, and others from all over the West. Battle looms. I want to help. But that old prophecy about the Witch-King disheartens us all: "Not by the hand of man shall he fall." Yet I persist in risking myself to fight him. Tell Gandalf, "I'm a shaman, not a man. My song says so." For just as the Witch-King has a prophecy, I have a song. A song that defines me:

"No man is Island, so Men say--
I am not a Man!
Rock drowned in saltest Dreams
of Animals who Name..."
The song insists I'm a changeling, that shamans like me aren't really human but bridges between species--as in fact most shamanic traditions agree.

Wizards of Middle Earth have very different traditions, but they do concede: in Middle Earth, your song of identity really does define you--creates you, in a way. Since I'm a songwriter, I can be pretty much what I want by singing with enough conviction and power. I can deny I'm a man, declare myself to be merely borrowing such a form, declare what I've always known: I'm a shy, herbivorous, female creature, not even native to this world... just incarnating for a visit. My soul's not human, but krelkin.

But I have the sneaky feeling I'm really just ashamed of maleness, of men, that I'm denying my body more than affirming my spirit. And strength is not built on denial!

Yet the Witch-King's so powerful. No single being is likely to beat him. My help is needed.

So unhealthy or not, cost to myself or not, I define myself as not-a-man, and risk it. I sing my defining song, and make myself a creature who only appears to be a man for convenience. I sing myself away. For the community.

A krelkin: a sentient herbivore like a lightly built pony with paws not hooves; opposable thumbs on the forepaws. Click to enlarge.

LISTS AND LINKS: dream beings - krelkins - ghosts - musical dreams - shamanic dreams - other worlds - Tolkien - a dream of Gandalf: Emadro - John Donne - that song/rap/poem No Man Is Island

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