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Put Twice As Much In

Dreamed 2003/9/22 by Wayan

THAT DAY

I have very few dreams from 2003--it's a big gap in my journal. I was sick, broke (looked too sick to hire) single (looked too sick to date), writing songs I couldn't play alone, and designing an ergonomic instrument called the Coil that I couldn't build alone. I was building the World Dream Bank, alone; the one side of my life going well.

That day, my friend Alder had told me "You seem totally stuck. Why don't you ask your dreams what to do next?" So I that night, I did. And I was answered.

THAT NIGHT

I'm back living with my parents, though I'm adult. My friend Mike visits. He says his housemate Scott (who's rather shy) got a steady job now and is dating around, looking for a girlfriend. But Mike also says "Scott's trying to have a baby."

I'm puzzled and joke "All by himself? Isn't that difficult?" I really don't know what Mike means--is Scott trying to adopt a kid as a single parent, or actually get pregnant?

Mike looks angry and offended and walks out the front door. I follow, still unclear what he meant and puzzled at his anger. Maybe it's just too close to home--Mike and his wife are trying to have a child but don't seem fertile. Apologize, though I still don't know quite what set him off.

Mike calms down at last and asks about those small plasticine creatures I made as a teen, to use in claymation films. He liked them. "Aren't they stored here? I remember that blue mermaid, she was graceful." Funny, I scan my shelves but can't find her. "And there was a centaur, and a not-quite-human girl..." But my shelves are nearly bare. Spot just one figurine, and it's polished ceramic--professional work--a Guan Yin, the Buddhist goddess of compassion. But MY figurines... while I lived on my own, did my parents store them away or throw them out?

Maybe I could remake the figures Mike remembers. Find some plasticine. But not a brick or lump, a horse-leg! Slowly I soften it. Could I mold it into a hand and wrist?

Then I find a complete figurine--the centaur! She's standing, so at first I assume she's whole. No. Her left hind leg is just leaning against her torso. Damn--broken loose at the hip.

Centauress figurine with broken hip and spindly leg. Dream sketch by Wayan. Click to enlarge.
Now, plasticine isn't as sticky or forgiving as normal waterbased clay, so re-linking this won't be easy--have to massage and warm the existing torso and the hip end of the leg, then damage them, making flaps and gashes--an interlocking dovetail joint. Only once they're relinked with lots of surface area and mashed down to a ball can I reshape the joint into a centaur flank.

The plasticine horse-leg I'm warming in my hand isn't a duplicate of the broken leg, but it's the about the same length. I line them up side by side, and find to my surprise that they fit together, molding around each other to form a much fatter leg! Too fat? No, oddly enough, the two TOGETHER seem to be about the right amount, even though each one looks like a spindly but nearly adequate leg. Well, I often underestimate the volume of clay needed for anything. Like most folks, I'm more used to one- or two-dimensional measuring. But scale up a 3-D thing just 25%, and the volume almost DOUBLES. I really do need to meld both pieces of clay to make a leg stout enough to bear the centaur's weight.

So I start molding the two legs into one. Becomes a formless mass... but it's the right volume. Shape later! If I want the centaur to stand firm and strong, I have to put twice as much into it as I thought--and go through this shapeless phase.

Hmm. No metaphors here.

A red clay leg-arm. Words: 'Pull my leg.' Dream sketch by Wayan.

NOTES IN THE MORNING Centauress--face and upper body. Dream sketch by Wayan. Click to enlarge.

15 YEARS LATER

Today this dream seems more literal than I expected.




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