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Talisman

Dreamed 2016/3/3 by Wayan

THAT DAY

Read about Satyagraha, the Philip Glass opera on Gandhi. Daniel Mendelsohn says it pushed him to tears, made him see the power of a high moral stance... "that's revolutionary. Opera's traditionally focused on bad behavior--it's good drama."

Also page thru an art book--Frederic Remington's nocturnes. Creepy! But meant to be. About fear & danger, over & over, obsessively. As if only danger turns him on. It's an all-male universe. Humor, sex, family life, beauty... all are scant to nonexistent.

But is this greenish muddy creepiness really what he painted? To me, the color looks off. Greens where night-blues should be. Only in the last section, on conservation, do we see examples of change when they take the yellow varnish off... and it's a day scene. Not one showing a cleaned-up nocturne! I bet they were darker & bluer.

At bedtime I ask my dreams "Should I pay for Obamacare or go without care this year?" Got it last year, but it was disappointing--costly and not much use. Do my dreams think I'll need it?

THAT NIGHT

An eight-year-old boy is the custodian of a magic talisman--an antique lady's derringer, a tiny one-shot with mother-of-pearl inlay. Some Mafia types--two men & a woman--want it. I sort of do too. Feel I'd make a better custodian; eight is just too young. Native American boy in a bike race, wearing deerskin and jasper pendant. Dream sketch by Wayan.

But really it's because the kid won't lend me the talisman. I wanted to do some magic it'd facilitate, but he said "no, your spell's planned to be harmless, but may still hurt others; and at heart it's basically selfish. The talisman's not to be used for personal gain."

Stuck in a room with them all, we fight over the gun. I snatch it from the boy to keep the woman from snatching it. She comes after me and I try to shoot her with it. It won't fire. Maybe the safety's on, but maybe it has a will of its own--I rather suspect so. She snatches it. Can't fire it. Man snatches it. Ditto. Other man, ditto. He cracks it open, says "Not magic. Unloaded!"

Yes, but does it just lack ammo, or did it vanish its ammo because it has a conscience?

I feel ashamed. How was I any better than those gangsters? The kid really is the right guardian for it. He knows not to use it.

* * *

Now I'm a kid too. I'm preparing for a bike race. I wear only a ragged, untanned deerskin. Am I tribal? Seems like we're around Four Corners in the Southwest. The race seems like an ancient rite of passage to adulthood... just with bikes!

One of my rivals is the boy with the talisman--though I trust him not to cheat by using it. I've got some minor talismans that may bring me a little luck but mostly just indicate my support/sympathy for several other kids biking. Up till today I've balanced them, kept roughly neutral, indicated support for all. But today, I don a more powerful talisman definitely showing partisanship. It's a smooth but irregular dull-red waxy stone--jasper, I think--the size of my 8-year-old fist (or heart!). I hide it on a leather cord inside my rawhide vest, but the deerskin's so loose and ragged the heart will pop out eventually--my ethical rival will see it and will disapprove. But I doubt he'll take action; by the rules of the race (and tribe), I earned the right to it.

And my wearing it, and using it, has other purposes beyond the bike-a-thon. My ex-boss Susan gave it to me, as an agent of a secretive group. Wearing it is just one move in a long, morally complex game.

NOTES IN THE MORNING



LISTS AND LINKS: kids - guards and guardians - guns - does it mean death or ESP? - I'm Just Not Myself Today! - age-bent dreams - culture/race-bent dreams - Native Americans - initiation & rites of passage - sports & races - competition - gems & stones - shamans - shamanic dreams more broadly - Four Corners region - same dreamer, same night: Lie to Avoid Murder

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