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Pipes and Time

Dreamed 2017/12/21 by Wayan

Ancient pipes feed a tribal hotspring. Dream sketch by Wayan. Click to enlarge.


I'm with a woman who's mapping sites of Ice Age villages that now are undersea. She's found several around 50 meters down; some even approach 100m.

First I'm skin diving with her, then the water seems to thin slowly into air, and we're hiking the ancient coral-crusted trails and breathing the sea. Meet some women from the tribe, too, so the fade-out from water to air seems to have happened to time, too.

Slowly we climb the sea-slope back to true land. The tribeswomen lead us up sea-cliffs--switchbacks, then short tunnels and even a winding stair.

At the brink, halfway up the slope of this island, a level path--a road really, wide enough for wagons. Like the one girdling Angel Island, cut into the rock. Are we there, is this the Ice Age version of Angel Island? No, it was just an inland hill back then.

Above the level shelf, the path climbing the slope grows sketchy and steep again. Take it slow--I worry I'll slip, since my Lyme is active this week and I get clumsy during attacks. Over a tiny pass...

... to a sacred hot spring in a little hanging valley. A lanky white guy from my time--the Hot Age--inspects it. He's part Mike Marrelli (guitarist of the Krelkins), and part filmmaker Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). He's an expert plumber or civil engineer here to figure out why the springs have declined in recent years. But the locals soaking in the pool, to heal, resent us as outsiders--meddlers. Doesn't faze him. Stubborn, patient, he notes the ancient parking spaces for numerous cars--looks like this is the future, post-Crash, not the last Ice Age at all!

Next to the one small pool still full of hot water (and pilgrims here to heal) he finds several dry basins. So the flow, and the carrying capacity, must be just a third or quarter what it was in ancient days.

And Mike finds why. There are valves on the pipes feeding the pool, and they're turned half-shut; and it looks to him like the original feeder pipes, maybe 3 cm wide, have been replaced in one section with obsolete narrower pipe! Neither bottleneck alone explains it, but the combination does. An incompetent fix, or a sneaky way to force water conservation? May be needed if the aquifer's drier now--whenever "now" is. He's not sure.

None of the tribespeople seem to have even tried the valves--don't even know what a valve is. So doubling the flow by turning the valve may be easy, but doubling it again might be harder--must cut & solder pipe. And it could overtap the aquifer. No way to know till we learn the rainfall pattern here in the Ice Age. Plumbing alone won't solve this; we need a hydrological HISTORY.

Next Morning

Thirty Hours Later

At the foot of the hill I live on, a water main bursts. Our water pressure and flow drop to 1/4 normal and stay there all morning! So much for the psychological symbolism of bad plumbing that cuts our waterflow to one-fourth.

I know I repeat this lesson a lot. But in the threeway wrestling match between dream-memes, The Analyst (shouting "dreams are symbolic") and The Scientist ("dreams are memory-sorting") have just crushed the old Shaman ("dreams are your early warning system"). Even I don't try on literalism first, despite over a thousand such predictive dreams. Culturally brainwashed. Blind.

The dreams do try to warn us. This one said it was the future! But did I fill a five-gallon waterjug when I woke? Nah.

Learn from my long blindness. Be open to predictive and self-flagging dreams. They're real. So first consider practical action based on literalism; THEN, nicely hydrated, you can wallow in Jung all you like.

Swimming in a tribal hotspring. Detail of dream sketch by Wayan.


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