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Wooden door, acrylic, papier-maché bas-relief, 48.5"x21"x2.2", Chris Wayan, April 2002.

Painting: a fox-girl reaches right through a door between worlds, trying to open it. Click to enlarge.

On a hill near my house, I found a piano torn apart. It had apparently lived in a nearby house, a small house that got built up and added onto over generations, until at last, the door in was no longer a door out--not for things as big as a piano, at least.

I guess the owner must have gotten desperate. Desperate enough to take an axe to a piano.

I pulled this panel from the wreckage. It felt like a door that wanted to be opened--wanted to live.

At home, I propped it up and just stared.

At last, this landcape appeared--Middle Earth, I think, in the Elder Days. It looked like the mountains where Beren and Luthien returned from death, and quietly lived a mortal span, away from heroism and war, and died together, again, happily. At least, it looked how I always pictured those mountains as a child.

But I couldn't see Beren and Luthien. I couldn't paint what I didn't see. I'm like that.

But eventually, when I sat long enough, I did see someone, coming out of the woods. Out of the woods, but definitely not someone out of Tolkien.

I saw this strange foxlike girl with lovely leopard-spots. She came up to the door, and, reaching right through time and space and fictionality, tried to open the door between worlds...

Should I believe the sign on that door? Is it really forbidden to cross from one world to another? Or is it really just a warning sign for tourists, for casual dreamers?

Cross-reality travel could be reserved for staff only.

Maybe she's staff.

Maybe I am.

That's what dreamwork and shamanism both are, after all--training in alternate-world navigation and cross-reality ethics. Maybe I'm staff.

And if so...have I been shirking responsibilities?
Detail of painting OPEN THE DOOR: a fox-girl peers through a door between worlds. Detail of painting OPEN THE DOOR: a unicorn emerges from pinewoods to drink at a river.

LISTS AND LINKS: animal people - foxes - leopards - beautiful women - sexy creatures - Silky, my spirit lover - Tolkien and Middle Earth - doors between worlds - shamanism - paintings - another image linking pianos and foxes, drawn before I found this piano

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