A TRUE STORY
Being an Account of a Clairvoyant Dream, with an Excellent Moral for Shy Persons.
Dedicated to the victims of the Miike Mine Disaster in Japan,
and to all beings who breathe.
I repeat: this tale is true. Most quotes are paraphrased, and all names have been changed (except the Miike disaster, which was public), but this apparently clairvoyant dream happened as I've shown it.
ROOTS OF THE DREAM
So I asked my Dreams: "Am I like Emily--too Sensitive to Reach for my Desire?" That night I was Answered, in the Following Dream.
My family's been in the energy business since my great-grandfather (oil in California). My grandmother was one of the first psychics to hunt for geothermal fields. We grew up hearing her legends of "The Beast" waiting under the northern ice. My mother froze to death looking for it, when I was four. I don't remember her, just my father's chronic sadness when I was very small.
I look like her:fragile, private, a bit haunted-- another brilliant, troubled princess, okay? I've heard it all my life. I think it's this resemblance that's kept him so awkward with me, buying me things, instead of...
I have her Gift--but I loathe prospecting. I like poetry and genetics and melancholia and raising hydroponic lilies: I bred those translucent bonsai lilies that bloom for over a year in their glass cubes. My father says I'm ignoring my true calling. But he also claims I'm just as tough as my mom, that I get away with acting like one of my hothouse flowers because I look delicate. Wrong! I really am fragile: I just collapse under stress--get visions and weird allergies. Yeah, the 21st Century Vapors.
A Spy in the House of Love...
So, I sort of invited myself up to see their hydroponics. They had room--winter in Thule isn't too popular. I took my stylish ski parkas and blushed and played princess. I even ripped off Emily, bringing lilies as my introduction. None of which was acting, whatever my father says! I love flowers, poems, nice warm domes (and arms).
So they welcomed me, took me in, showed me caves full of flowers. I slept in a deep, gorgeous gallery of mutant iris and bee-balm, all hibernating of course, since the Ricas celebrate the solstice in the sun lands. So much like my lab! I want to meet the artist--Cary, I suspect. I'd trade for these maroon plumes. Though , as I look more closely, I see they're built on my own work. I stretch out among their scents. And smell... the Beast!
SO deep, no wonder they missed it... but one fault's oozing nice hot luscious magma up to a level that's just tappable. My father was right! I sneak out, down the dark halls, toward the deepest tunnels--but then I stop.
I can't. Fear? No. A psychic barrier as hard as glass. So... I return to the iris lab, sit zazen, close my eyes, and send my spirit out. No one will suspect the lily girl among the flowers. I rise and look back at her--skinny little rich girl--no!--a greyhound--like Holmes! On the scent! Come, Watson!
But something's wrong with my astral body. Terribly wrong. Big, heavy... I look down to see... a blurred beard, huge veiny hands and a tangled blob of flesh like some parasitic octopus on my crotch--a PENIS? I'm a MAN? Horrified I've gotten tangled in a man's dream, I turn to re-enter my own body, little bird suddenly so dear--and then I stop. The barrier's gone! The way's open to the Beast.
I feel wild. Why not let the dream take me... where it wants?
I gaze at my hands, and know them. My father's hands! I'm him. Well, it fits--it's his quest! My delicacy won't work down in the lava zone. But my father's hands reach out to the Beast's lair--lined with permafrost and mud, watercave veins, then crunchy strata stacked like pokerchips...messing around like a kid in the mud. My reluctance to grub around in the hot zone is gone. This is fun!
I find and widen a sweet little fissure leading down straight to lava. Hot red wet--I love it! Like sliding a finger inside me--better, inside Cary! Oooh! And then a ROAR and the whole dome heaves. That fault was a live one. The Beast's awake.
What have I done?
And then Cary stands before me, enraged. She flew in? To see ME? (Does she think I'm my father or me?) She screams "How dare you prospect in our dome! You'll pay for this quake!" I open my mouth to say "I'm sorry" and freeze. Behind Cary, the ghost of my father beckons, translucent as a fish, and beaming. He's terrible at soul-flight, yet here he is to cheer me on! He points down.The Beast! The hell with property laws! We're on the trail of ENERGY!
Then strata grumble and a hot wind storms up from below. Cary's right! I went too deep, freed too much. Nitrogen's rising. The Ricas dome pumps nitrogen down for heating--it won't corrode like hot oxygenated air or leach toxins like water. But the heat-swappers have burst...
Then the BIG quake hits. Hot stifling gas boils up from the deep. It cools some as it comes, but it's so low in oxygen when it reaches us that people faint where they stand. My own body slumps face-first into lilies. Cary holds her breath and sprints through the heat into the lab at the hall's end.
In my spirit body, I follow her in. She found an oxygen tank and cracks it, sips air. Quick thinking! She snaps "Was your find worth dying for? We're trapped here!" She's right: unless fresh air's released soon, the people in coma will never wake.
And then, the miracle. I sense someone stir. In the garden, my own body opens her eyes, raises her head. Blinking groggily, but awake! How...? The flowers! My hobby's saved me. The lilies produce enough oxygen to sustain me--just barely. My spirit can see but can't speak with her--took all the psi with me.
But how can she do anything, without me, her spirit, to guide her? We're only half a person each. But it's up to the canary in the mine now.
How can I draw her to me?
The way comes reluctantly to me--because I hate it. Cary's gonna be furious! My spirit reaches down and slaps that fault again, deliberately.
And I know I've changed forever. Fragile flower no more!
I'm so ecstatic I could kiss Cary except she hates me. Trashed her stately pleasure-dome. The Ricas sue of course, but my dad pays serenely, since we'll tap the Beast within a month.
It'll take several more before Cary will forgive me but she'll end up in bed with me yet--if only to find out just what happened when I apparently merged with my father's ghost! I can do the rest on my own--my Ice Age is over. I won't allow my sensitivity to drive me into solitude, as Emily did. Am I too damn precious to love--a narcissus? Maybe. But I won't change to suit Cary--or my father. I'll find a girl with a taste for hothouse flowers like me. Because we're the breath of life and don't you forget it. Everyone in the Thule mining disaster was saved by my lilies! Lily oxygen. "Energy," says my dad, "is worth a mess." I guess!
Except--I must be honest. All that happened one year ago, and ...
It makes me wonder if my dream-self's psychic gifts are literal, not a metaphor!
I just don't know.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM LILY OXYGEN
A Glass Menagerie, like her lilies, Emily's poems, or my own dream-tales, can save your life when buried Beasts boil up, driving you to act out old dramas. Such floods may be corrosive and passionate (oxygenated), or paralyzing (de-oxygenated). Either way, your Glass Menagerie not only sustains you but may furnish the egg, the key to your Beast. Let instinct find it; Emily was right. You may smash walls getting that key, but it's worth it.
Or is it? Tap the deep fountains of your life--and use your new energy to dig deeper into your rut! Work on, my fellow Americans. "Energy is Eternal Delight"said Blake--so boost your productivity.
Cultivate your flowers until...
|What Inn is this|
|Some, too fragile for winter winds|
|*||A Wounded Deer - leaps highest -|
|I taste a liquor never brewed -|
|*||Safe in their Alabaster Chambers -|
|I like a look of Agony,|
|Wild Nights - Wild Nights!|
|I shall keep singing!|
|I felt a Funeral in my Brain|
|I'm Nobody! Who are you?|
|*||I know some lonely Houses off the Road|
|*||If your Nerve, deny you -|
|I reason, Earth is short-|
|*||The Soul selects her own Society|
|The nearest Dream recedes- unrealized-|
|A Bird came down the Walk|
|'Tis not that Dying hurts us so|
|I know that He exists.|
|*||I tend my flowers for thee|
|*||After great pain, a formal feeling comes -|
|I had not minded Walls|
|We grow accustomed to the dark|
|I heard a Fly buzz|
|*||She dealt her pretty words like blades|
|I would not paint - a picture -|
|I started Early - Took my Dog -|
|*||We dream - it is good we are dreaming|
|To fill a Gap|
|There is a pain - so utter|
|*||A still - Volcano - Life -|
|It would have starved a Gnat -|
|I cannot live with you -|
|Split the Lark - and you'll find the Music|
|Sang from the Heart, Sire|
|He scanned it - staggered -|
|Except the smaller size|
|*||I am afraid to own a Body -|
|*||Between the form of Life and Life|
|Time does go on -|
|These are the Nights that Beetles love|
|*||After a hundred years|
|There is no Frigate like a Book|
|Not with a Club, the Heart is broken|
|Your thoughts don't have words every day|
|A Route of Evanescence|
|Those - dying then,|
|In Winter in my Room|
|To make a Prairie|
I dreamed this January 1984;
hand-wrote, xeroxed and hand-painted the first edition as a Christmas gift for a couple of friends, December 1984;
left my own copy in a drawer for years, then redrew and printed it as grayscale, April 1996;
colored the illustrations and laid out this Web page in 2001;
made it dream-white on night-black and retouched the illustrations in 2012.
Time and growth are slow, but strong; the summers of the Hesperides are long.
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