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Shamanic Chew-Toy

Dreamed 2011/3/16 by Wayan

Dream 1: Honest Women with Waterjugs Sketch of a dream by Chris Wayan: strange-eyed women holding waterjugs climb out of a box too small to hold them. Click for large sepia version.

I'm waiting in my friend Dreamy's house (yes, that's her nickname) for her to come home. Her house has changed--the layout's as open as an Eichler, that mass-produced version of Frank Lloyd Wright's style. I know the look; grew up in one.

I go to her fridge and find a tumbler of cold herb tea. The scent is strange and powerful; I sense it'll help heal me. Pour a cup and drink. Top off the tumbler, thinning the tea. But its herb bag is still in it, steeping. Recharging it.

Dreamy comes in. I say "I may have thinned your tea too much. May take a while to strengthen again." Dreamy tastes and laughs and says "It's plenty strong now! The stuff in your cup must have a real kick." And it does.

I explore Dreamy's house. No furniture, just boxes. The southwest bedroom has just one, on a table, leaned up against a wall: a flat cardboard box 20" square and just 4" thick (10 by 50 cm). Suddenly strange-eyed women start squirming up out of it! It's far too small, but out they come, as if climbing through a trapdoor from another world.

They seem very quiet emotionally or aurically (if that's the word)--they lack the energy field I feel around human beings. Quieter than plants! I wonder if most people would even notice them. They're not physically invisible--indeed they look fascinatingly strange to me, with their wideset, calm eyes--but unnoticeable by nature.

Each one holds a water jug as if it's part of her.

Baffled, feeling stupid, I ask "are you... zombies?" The first one through, a smallish brunette, shakes her head. "Ghosts?" No. I trust them--sense that whatever they are, they always tell the truth. Constrained to, or is honesty just their nature?

"What is your name?" She tells me. Okay, they can speak. And have names. Progress...

"What do you want?"

"We must find the other woman with water. She may be invisible. Or visible, but her vessel may be hidden or disguised. It will, however, be as large as these we carry."

I guess that makes sense. You can't compress water.

And they are, I learn, like Japanese kappas; they must carry their water with them at all times. Those jars are part of them, in all the ways that matter.

I decide to help search the house thoroughly, groping as well as just looking--this mystery watercarrier might blind me, but I bet I'd notice if I stumble into her, trip over her!

Wait--could it be Dreamy herself who they're looking for? Remember her herb tea... no, Dreamy's not like the waterbearers--she went out, leaving her tea steeping in the fridge! She's human. So maybe it's someone else, hiding in her house...

Dream 2: Ignore Hairloss, Beware Limbloss!

I wake. I'm curled up in bed with my girlfriend in her bedroom. Small but pleasant, with a window on the south. I tell her my dream of meeting the otherworldly waterbearers. I end by musing aloud, "In a way, this mystery makes me happy. One strong side of me likes focusing on relationships, but another side isn't very human--more like a wolf or a working dog. That side needs a chew toy--a puzzle for my mind to gnaw on and track down."

Sketch of a dream by Chris Wayan: couple curled up in bed. Click to enlarge.
Later she and I walk down a curving, flat suburban street. She tells me "I feel a little insecure. I feel ugly. My hair's thinning already. I've lost like a quarter of it in the last seven years."

I blink, baffled. "But you're hot. Your hair hasn't thinned at all. Hairs fall out and new ones grow back in, that's all."

But she's not convinced. Net hair-loss, she's sure of it. She peels off and walks back toward home, and I get in my car. But unwilling to leave it at that, I drive backwards (clumsily, almost dangerously, since I keep leaving the driver's seat, hop to the back to shout out the back hatch as the car wobbles along on its own, though I return to jog steering wheel, back and forth...) yelling an additional thought: "Hey, that's only 0.1% of your body weight! Don't worry about it. At that rate you'll live centuries! It's when a hand or a spleen falls off that you have to worry!"

Sketch of a dream by Chris Wayan: a chart with two cartoon women announcing that hairloss is good; LIMBloss is bad. Click to enlarge.

Oh yeah, very reassuring... What am I doing? Detail of a dream-sketch by Chris Wayan: a woman in a sarong leaning on a table, holding a waterjug. Click to enlarge.


Sketch of a dream by Chris Wayan: a woman peering through a boxlike door between worlds.


I learn that the same night I dreamed all this, my friend Lily dreamt of an empty house with cardboard boxes full of vials of fluid! So what does that do to all my carefully traced-out associations and interpretations?


For years I've gotten recurring malaria-like fevers; probably Lyme disease or babesia. But I haven't been able to get treated--CDC guidelines deny the very existence of recurring or chronic forms of these diseases, so many health plans won't even test for them.

So I did my own research into nonprescription alternatives, and in late July I started taking five strong Chinese herbs (including the antimalarial drug Artemisia annua), brewed as strong teas.

Though the stuff's as strong as chemo, my hair hasn't fallen out. Or my spleen. And it's worked: after seven years of failed Western medicine, I've had months without an attack.

Still no girlfriend, but a hell of a lot of tea.

1: Honest Women with Waterjugs
health advice - food and drink - weird dream beings - nature spirits - babes and hunks - water - vessels - auras - invisibility - truth and lies - hunts and searches - shamanic dreams -
2: Ignore Hairloss, Beware Limbloss!
dream lovers - fear and worry - giftedness - body image and beauty - amputation - romantic advice - rescuing and overhelpfulness -
'Dreamy' dreams of New Bodies - dreams of/by Lily - telepathic and shared dreams - ESP in general - herbs and drugs -

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