Dreamed 1980/8/16 by Chris Wayan
I'm hiking across Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite, with my parents and sisters and godmother and dozens of cousins. I'm attracted to one who's extraordinarily beautiful. No chance: she's deep in love with another cousin.
We all straggle up to a pass east of Tuolumne. Tenaya Lake should be visible from here. The lake we see, though, is not Tenaya: a vast hazy oval, stretching far to the north and south: Lake Tahoe! I'm puzzled, know this is impossible, it's a hundred miles away, but I can't deny what I see. I don't ask myself, "am I dreaming?"
Huge cliffs overhang the south end of the Lake, just where (in waking life) the gentlest land is--and most of the casinos. The road round the Lake is atop the cliffs. Below, the beaches are unspoiled, no glitz, no crowds. See only a couple of figures, one horse and rider. Quite a hike down to reach that water. It plunges deep, nearly the deepest lake on the continent; but its famous blue is muddied by the sky--at first I just took it for heavy haze but it's smoky, streaky. Look straight up--red and black billows trailing from a place on the western shore. The sun slants in under the plume, or we'd be in shadow. What's burning?
Walk down alone toward the lake, and soon I can't see it for the trees and rocks and hillocks. At last, reach an arm of the water in a meadow. The banks are a concrete maze: a dam and containment ponds? What for? Walk through a cracked arch of cement, with an open metal door. A small courtyard. Beyond are roofless ruins.
A stranger trails me through the gate. A young Chinese man, in monk's robes. He glances at the door, and it closes without a touch. Uh-oh! I look around the yard for another way out. None. Why's he trapped me here?
Standing calm and quiet, without a move toward me, he attacks! My mind gasps and coughs at the blow. His psychic power is staggering. He'll kill me or devour my sanity in a few moments if I don't... I don't want to fight! I decide to rise above violence as a Buddhist should.
I summon my own power, and levitate out of the ruins, up past the jagged pine tips, into the sky above the leaden lake, in the lens of clear air between smoke and water.
A dot appears to the west, and swells--a fly a bat a jay a crow, a dog a demon a diesel truck. A dragon. Come to duel.
My friends and relatives are standing on the shore, watching. Small as pine twigs, far below.
"I WON'T FIGHT!" I yell to the lean circling creature. It seems to understand, for it rolls fiercely away from me and dives for the shore. And sails over the watchers with a puff and a roar--the roar of flame. As it burns my beautiful cousin down where she stands.
In the last moment, I knew, and dove for the beach, too late for her. But not for the next. There will be a next. I have to fight, or watch them die one by one.
As I dive, the dragon turns, having made its point, and rises eagerly to meet me.
So between smoke and water, hovering high over Tahoe, I fight the dragon in a duel of rival fires. And, impossibly, I hold my own! But I can't slack for a moment, or the dragon bolts for the beach, where the fools still stand, witnessing, as if enchanted--as maybe they are.
I can predict some of the Dragon's moves now.
And its feelings. Joy.
The Dragon loves fighting me.
I feel trapped and defeated, even though I'm fighting decently--by Dragon standards, that is. Impossibly well for a human being, but I dare not pause, and I dare not think, because it's terribly obvious, it takes no dragon cunning at all, to tell what I must be to fire-duel a dragon. The dragon so obviously knows. But I dare not admit it. I keep thinking, "but I don't want to fight..."
I wake. Write the dream out in the notebook by my bed. Then add: "The dragon is my potential, my ability. If I won't exercise any other way, my Dragon will attack me or others so I'll have to fight to restrain it/me. Thus I will fight myself--better than no exercise at all, better than no interaction--and I am a formidable opponent. My abilities turn mean WHEN THWARTED."
As I write this, I see how not to thwart them...
And then wake again, confused, in the muddy darkness of waking consciousness. The analysis was by my dreaming mind, not my conscious. Spelled out by my dragon self.
And I write it all down again, and wait to wake--again. Into another form.
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