Sphinx in Clay
Dreamed 2017/2/25 by Wayan
A long-standing war between two species. I look human, but I'm really only half. My mom is a sphinx! I may learn to shapeshift--haven't yet, but the ability can lie latent in halfies like me. Unclear how you practice shapeshifting... and Mom can't help; she's always been a talking, winged, leopard-sized cat.
I'm in a shabby, crowded warehouse/machine shop, working on a small sculpture near an open cargo bay, where there's more light and air.
I'm talking with one of the enemy, also passing for human today. I don't hide that I know who he is, but also that I don't want to fight. Try to explain why: "My mom's magical forte is healing, so she's always hated the war; taught us to work toward peace talks, even if they take another generation." Emphasize this is my whole family's political position and not a rare one on our side; I'm holding back from fighting him on more than a mere whim.
I'm not clear, suddenly, what gender I am. But I know my orientation! I suspect the writer of this fantasy trilogy we're stuck in is plotting to make me fall for one of the enemy, play a Romeo & Juliet role. Fine, fine--as long as I get a girl I'm attracted to, not this guy! Nothing wrong with him, I'm just not into guys. Girls, dear Author, dear Creator! Human girl, antelope girl, sphinx girl... I'm not THAT fussy. But don't ask me to switch and get a boyfriend just for Your plot requirements.
And while I talk to this guy, trying to convince him we're people not monsters, and conduct a second private dialog in my head with my (literary) Creator, bargaining over love and plot... my hands are up to a third quite different dialog, on my workbench. They're shaping a pale clay figurine, not very wet but leathery-damp; still a little flex in it. The figure's a sphinx--like my mom, but younger, slender, winged, about 20 cm (8") long, lounging, almost rolling over. Elegant--all taut curves.
She seems nearly done. May be a self-portrait--me as I am when I shift. If I ever shift.
Future self-portrait? Is art how I practice transformation?
Notes in the Morning
Note Months Later
It's July now, and I've finished the figure at last. Not as elegant as in the dream--she had a cleaner, leaner curve, head-spine-tail, echoed by slenderer wings--and lighter colors, since the dream-figure was of white kaolin clay, and when I woke, I only had terracotta on hand. Painted her partly white to help. Not a total failure; traces of the seductive dream-sphinx are there.
If she's a prayer...
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