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Siphonian Quartet

Dreamed 2009/4/10 by Wayan


I began the World Dream Bank by planting twelve hundred seeds--posting my own favorite dreams, to lure other dreamers to contribute. I had definite biases: toward readable, coherent, entertaining, sexy, funny, magical, profound dreams. I wanted quality.

But quality cast a shadow. It set an unnaturally high standard for others to meet, and gave a false impression of my own dreamlife. Most nights, most dreamworkers (including me) recall just brief dream-shards, or long sprawling messes. Maybe that's inevitable in a noisy, cluttered age--my own recall is choppier now that I'm living in a noisy urban house.

Siphonian Quartet is more typical of my dreamlife today. Four short dreams in one night, each making its own point. Or do they all approach one issue from different angles? You be the judge.


My sister Miriel calls. Long talk. She says "My inner art critic's still so strong I can't stand to face it. But outside art, I've been asserting herself more. And lost a lot of friends by doing it!" I counter-confess "I'm having trouble acting for my own benefit. Terribly guilty if I even slightly inconvenience anyone else. I must be selfless, Gandhi, Buddha... what a nag to have in your belly!"

Walk round Bernal Hill with my poet friend Patagia. No new poems yet, but outlines for some.

Do some tax work for our house, tracking down some bothersome (though not fatal) missing income. Then two friends, Christopher and Alder, drop by to tell me all about their tiring days. Until I'm tired.

In the evening I read Negima!, a raucous manga by Ken Akamatsu.


1: Octopi Flood our Cliffhouse Sketch of a dream by Chris Wayan: 'Octopi Flood Our Cliffhouse'. A canyon; cliffs with window-holes. Water pours down a stone ramp from a cave-mouth. Purple octopi stand guard.

I live in a town carved into the cliff-walls of a gorge where we farm. Wiggly water-channels are carved into the rock, both for drinking water and for irrigation below. We just carved a new cave-reservoir too, reducing evaporation. But while we're in it, inspecting, the cave starts filling abruptly! We scramble but get caught in the flood. Must tread water as it rises, and try to ride it out.

This was no engineering accident, but sabotage! Part of an invasion plan by strange cave-beings. They want a flood. It won't drown the city, since the outflow pours down to the fields, but we're trapped.

At last I get out and try to climb down a ramp-trail carved into the cliff-face, behind a rail of the same soft rock. But though I try a couple of routes down, every one has an octopoid alien blocking my way. Can I fight through them? Unsure.

What do they really want?

2: Whalerider's Family

My girlfriend lives on a houseboat in a cliff-walled sound; a subtropical "fjord". Lakes and marshes; floating, flowering islands of lilypads. A lovely place, but her people disapprove of me. My sort (traders) are fine to do business with, but you wouldn't want to marry one! So around her clan, we have to pretend we're just friends.

She's a whale tamer, I think. At least that's the term her relatives use. The whales call themselves equal partners in farming these sounds (oysters, scallops, what?), but her relatives treat them as trainable animals. So around the homeboat she pretends they're just big wet farmdogs... (are you seeing a pattern here?)

Sketch of a dream by Chris Wayan: 'Whalerider's Family'. A girl holding a net rides a small whale in a flooded canyon with cliff dwellings and boats. Click to enlarge.
Eventually I'm trapped on her homeboat while she's off at work in the sound. Her stuffy aunt snipes at me till I want to scream. I flee on a raft, and spin slowly adrift below the cliffs. At first I'm too shy to paddle much with my arms or legs--will I get whale-nipped? But eventually, they tow me and play underwater games. Whales are fun. Girls are fun. Whales and girls are more fun.

A long dream--many scenes lost. I took a whole life for granted--exotic scenery, new job, new girlfriend, annoying relatives, friendly whales... a whole world.

3: Triadic Flog

I wake from this other world to find I'm in a plaza, lying on my back, naked, legs and arms up like a dead squirrel. But not dead: a huge erection. Next to me is another guy in the same position.

Around us, fluted columns and concrete balconies of an old school--worn, but once elegant. No onlookers... for the moment. But it's very public.

We're two-thirds of a romantic triad. The other third is a dominatrix. She's in full black leather regalia--spiky boots and all. And a whip! She's flogging us. That big grin says she enjoys it, too.

Sketch of a dream by Chris Wayan: 'Flogging Triad'. A booted grinning dominatrix whips two bound men with erections. One seems excited, the other, baffled.

So does the other guy--he loves it. I don't. The first lash to hit me just stings. This is fun? I seem to have borrowed someone else's sex dream without borrowing his tastes!

So I get up. They gawk at me as I leave their fun without a word--stagger off naked, with a sore and quickly shrinking erection.

I lack the slightest desire to hang around the... Old School.

4: Sheepshape

I'm back on Siphonia, my version of Earth with its seas mostly drained. I'm in the Anzac Deeps, near what was once New Zealand. I'm not sure how many miles down we are, but it's hot and the air seems very dense.

Two middle-aged women, one fat one thin, run sheep on these hills and ridges. They're Australians or Zealanders. This may be a BBC show--or more likely an Antipodal TV series, since it's a comedy making fun of Yank and Brit accents, slang and attitudes.

Me? I'm just a comic bit actor, applying for a shepherd's job on their ranch--without experience. And I don't understand the local conditions. It's hot in the Deeps, so the wool surely can't be worth much. Or is the ranch all about milk, or mutton?

And what'll the high air pressure and even higher partial pressure of oxygen do to the sheep? They may get bigger, smarter, rangier/gracile... hard to predict what's sheepshape in the Deep. Skin flaps, gliding sheep? Why not? They may need to, to escape the gliderwolves... I guess I'll learn.

Sketch of a dream by Chris Wayan: 'Sheepshape'. Two shepherdesses on a hillside above a sound don't notice the wolf gliding in on skin-flaps behind them.


Most of the dreamlets have clear individual messages, but as a group? If they're all approaching one issue from different angles, I don't see it yet.

So what to do? I write and draw them, speculate, and try to act on their individual messages, while feeling like I missed the overall point. Wait to see if themes recur, and if related dreams eventually build into a coherent all-night blockbuster explaining the whole series.

So I apologize, dear readers. I suspect nights full of such unresolved dreams are common for most dreamworkers. But I created the false impression that I dream a shamanic epic every night! Himalayan peaks are real, but foothill-dreams outnumber them. And you don't reach the peaks without climbing through foothills. Or deep basins like these.

Detail of a dream-sketch by Chris Wayan: 'Whalerider's Family'. A girl holding a net rides a small whale in a flooded canyon with cliff dwellings and boats.

1: Octopi Flood: farms - Siphonia - caves - sabotage - swimming - octopi - hunted! - humor - self-defense
2: Whalerider's Family: swimming - Atlantic Rift fracture-fjords - farms - animal people - whales - family values - bias - lies - romantic advice
3: Triadic Flog: nudity & exhibitionism - bondage & discipline - triangles & trios - sex dreams in general - pain in dreams - choice & decision
4: Sheepshape: dream jobs - other worlds - sheep & gliderwolves - heat - the Anzac Deep
General: dreamwork - epic dreams - perseverance furthers!

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