An undream written 74/10/9 by Wayan
I wrote this naked in the Santa Cruz redwoods in 1974, and never read it to anyone. Jim Houston my writing teacher (Farewell to Manzanar) was a tolerant soul and might have liked it, but I knew my classmates would savage it for its erotic interest in a... creature. Coming out as a fur before the word even existed? I wasn't that brave.
Krelkin is what these creatures call themselves in the dreams I've had of them... all my adult life. This is the first full description in my journals, though an earlier dream or two like Squirrel Girl mention them.
Back in '74 I saw krelkins the way Jung saw UFOs, as projections of me. Me me me, human human human. Now I think the shamans were right, dreams are other universes, and krelkins are just folks who visit us naked apes discreetly now & then. Slumming can be fun.
The scarcity of imaginary beings is, well, imaginary.
I still see krelkins. Last week, in Henry Cowell State Park. Two of them, moving slow delicate and alert, as always. Brown and green, smooth like the bottom of redwood creeks; smell of cinnamon and sagebrush. The krelkins are there. My psychology professor Mr. Joshi told us to search for the imaginary beings, because they went underground when science got sanctified. But the krelkins are here, already, in me; no sweat!
I will describe one to you now; I cannot hope, really, to EXPLAIN.
Jasha Lorenzo Linsombres is the one I know know best. She--he, it?--hell, here come the complications already. Jash is female, I guess; at least, compatible with male krelkins. And all other krelkins, too; and with human beings when the fit takes her, and with other animals, and redwoods, warm rocks, rivers, thunderstorms, and sunlight. Krelkins are not picky. Reproduction is not, if you'll pardon the pun, the issue. Krelkins rarely reproduce. They consider it repetitious.
They much prefer to create new beings. If any living creature can have a function (or does this make them tools and thus unalive to those who use them?) the function of krelkins is to create.
Being entirely IN and OF human imagination, it's not surprising that they do things with their imaginations. They play with evolution. Now, only in the evolution of ideas, but after the first krelkinlike folk are painfully dragged out of ourselves and into the world by genetic engineering and sheer imagination, they will start changing all of us creatures directly; instead of the expected generation of a Brave New World ruled by government or business, biological anarchy will spring out of the cement like weed flowers. People not exactly being born and not exactly dying, just.... changing.
Now I said krelkins are not picky. This is because they don't need instant and easy classifications, sharp rules, efficient and hurtful. Krelkins are not efficient; they're not in a hurry. Immortality, as Peter Beagle and Jorge Luis Borges have pointed out, confers a detachment, a tendency not to do things, since they will be done anyway, in eternity. Monkeys with typewriters.
These two failed to follow the implications fully, though; since everything in the world around the immortal is changing, if an immortal like Jasha wants to enjoy the world at all, she has to interact with mutable things--and that means being mutable, embracing change--short of hydrogen bombs perhaps. But generally exploring life.
With all time as their element, krelkins don't need to hurry it, but they live oddly in the moment, never reserving themselves; they ignore theory and trust experience; they sniff out side issues and follow them to their dens, never let them go; and they never shut up.
At least they never let you shut them up.
I wrote this in the redwoods... and it shows. That long krelkin view, both very in the now and seeing the moment floating on a deep millennium... what is this but a redwood's view made articulate?
But books influenced them too. As mentioned, Borges (The Book of Imaginary Beings and the story "The Infinite Library"), and of course The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle; but also Tolkien. Isn't this view of time much like that of Treebeard or Galadriel? Always in the moment, and yet dipping that experience from a well of time nearly seven thousand years deep.
Illustrations: 1974 pencil sketches. Faint, yellowed; digitally restored, shaded & tinted.
Example of raw sketch to right (well, not quite a raw scan. Contrast enhanced, or you'd see nothing.)
Note the hooves, not hands--clearly an early model!
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