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Twilight's Oval Game
Dreamed 2017/10/4 by Wayan
for Gail Carson Levine and MLP fan Softy8088
When I add to the World Dream Bank, I usually post stand-alone storylike dreams. Not today. Here's a tangle! First a day raising some uncomfortable issues, and then that night, three dreams (out of seven!) that address those issues. I do this now and again, as in The Black Current, Once a Hero, or Herself in Reverse. Why? I have double motives:
- These dreams cut deeper than many; their issues matter, though the complexity daunts me. For readers, it's a lesson in dreamwork--don't back down from the difficult ones! It's where the healing hides.
- I need to correct the impression that dreamwork's a neat process. Mine's not; just edited for clarity and accessibility. Readers do need that; dreamwork, like higher math, demands clear writing. But too neat, and I discourage you. "His dreams are so clear, and mine are a tangled mess!" Nope. I'm a mess too! And you need to know it.
I read randomly, voraciously.
Brakes squeal. Screams in the street! I leap up and look out the window. Lights flash. A bus has stopped. Hit someone? No... a gang is fighting inside! The bus driver & teens shout furiously. More yelling than blows, looks like.
- An article in The Atlantic on accidental killings. Can devastate an inadvertent killer's life. When you cause a death, but not intentionally, you're not quite innocent OR guilty. How to cope, how to heal? While perpetrators and victims of intentional violence have been much studied, little is known about inadvertent killers--neither how much guilt harms them, nor how to heal them.
- Gail Carson Levine's fantasy Two Princesses of Bamarre. Timid Addie must quest for a cure for her older, bolder sister Meryl, stricken by plague. Not an easy quest; Addie's own foster dad is out to kill her! Ingenious, bittersweet end: Addie does save Meryl, in a strange fashion, but loses her too. As Frodo said: "I wanted to save the Shire, and it has been saved; but not for me."
- An online fanfic by Softy8088: Complicated Relations, set in the My Little Pony universe. A love-triangle--Twilight, her old babysitter Cadance, and Shining Armor--Twi's brother, Cadance's husband. Cadance's generous spirit (she's become the Princess of Love) heals their guilt over a lifelong, secretive, guilty, incestuous bond. Cadance's generosity has a strong effect on me. Evidently I feel I need forgiveness. For years I felt a strong incest tension with my sister; never acted on it but I know it bothered her. It bothered ME. And still may inhibit me. Do I mistrust myself?
What would Princess Cadance do?
Strange that uniporn (sorry) can lead to spiritual insight. "Friendship is Magic", as they say.
At last, teens stomp out and scatter, scurrying fast--scared the cops will come?
My housemate Alder watches it all with interest, but I can't; cower behind the wall, fearing gunfire will erupt. Wow, that massacre in Vegas really shook me (if you've forgotten, a sniper shot hundreds, killing nearly sixty). But it's not just that; years ago, just yards away from this bus, I overheard an idle argument that suddenly burst into gunfire, hospitalizing one kid. Feel like our corner has this geological hotspot causing violent eruptions.
Dream 1: I'm a Tree-Killer! People-Killer!
As a buried memory slowly emerges, I feel a wave of guilt. I caused a magical tree to die! And when it fell, it killed someone--crushed beneath the tree. I'm not just a shamanic failure for losing that tree, I'm a murderer. Well, sort of. Indirectly.
It's clear why I buried the memory. Now that the guilt's surfaced, it's unbearable. I can't live with this!
But then, later, I realize... it was a dream. A vivid dream, yes--but one of 40,000. When you live that many lives, you can't be flawless in every one. Shamanism demands forgiveness. Including self-forgiveness.
"If George Orr had been inclined to guilt he would not have lived past thirty."
--Ursula Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven
- Accidental killing: that article today. Accidentally killing someone would devastate me; my upbringing left me guilt-prone. And the dream proves it.
- Victim's feet stick out: in The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy's tornado-borne house falls on the Wicked Witch of the East. Now the Witch of the West is after her--but she also gets magic shoes. A century before that article, L. Frank Baum was aware of both faces of accidental killing--danger and knowledge, innocence and guilt...
- Forgiveness: I just sent Selena my interpretation of her dream Demon-Summoning is Just a Misdemeanour: "Your depression's not purely biochemical. You're obsessed with flaws, feel you MUST be flawless." My dream thinks I too have such an inner critic. It IS hard to forgive yourself if you caused real hurt--even if inadvertent.
- Magical tree: the Tree of Life on My Little Pony! The main characters reluctantly gave up their strongest magical talismans to heal the Tree. Like donating a kidney! Here I think I failed a similar task.
- Guilt: on My Little Pony, semi-reformed villain Discord finds he's grown; guilt over betraying friends now outweighs the pleasure of sowing chaos.
- Buried memory: incest-tension! Complicated Relations was a sex fantasy about Twilight, her ex-babysitter Cadance, and Shining Armor--Twi's brother, Cadance's husband. Cadance's generous spirit heals their guilt over a lifelong incestuous bond. But I've never fully dealt with my own guilt over incest-tension; never had sex, but had feelings. Used to feel as if sex with others was cheating on my sister! Interestingly, that waned when she found a soul-mate. But maybe I've been unconsciously holding myself faithful, as if it's an engagement or marriage! Idiot. Go find your OWN soulmate!
- ACTION: Face that guilt still holds me back. Invoke Cadance, the spirit of love & forgiveness. Yes, I hurt my sister and she hurt me. Real love forgives. We're still friends. Move on!
Dream 2: Twilight's Oval Game
I'm in a huge echoing tech workshop, a Maker Space. Wander, perusing projects. Find a sort of pinball-landscape-table, tilted, oval, and big--over two meters long (about 4x7'). Pinball of the Gods! Occasional scoops along the rim each hide a handle controlling a flipper, well hidden in the landscape. Half a dozen at least, round the rim.
Half a dozen young guys--all guys--show me regions. Mountains open up, roar, bear crag-fangs, like the table's a huge pop-up book. Forests and towns unfold into creatures too. Clever origami! Critters and scenery have diverse styles--a chunky Cubist bear in the hills, a Deco dragon on a crag, an Art Nouveau peach-colored pegasus mare (is she Cadance?) rearing at the edge of the world... I think each designer must have built their own region. Yet it all harmonizes. Oh, I like this.
At the low end, where the town and the ball-gun and the main controls are, stands a lone girl among the boys. She shows me how to load cannonballs in the starting-gun so I can fire and try the pinball game. I fumble, can't even load it.
Embarrassed, I say "I have Lyme. It wrecks your fine motor skills and slows fast reactions. I... I won't be able to play, really." Even though I'm telling the truth, I feel like I'm making excuses.
Only as I wake do I realize that gameboard was designed so NO ONE can play well, solo. You can't reach all its flippers; just one or two. That's the lesson of the game. Play solo, if you like; but to play well, you need to play cooperatively--and a team of half a dozen is ideal. It's the game of friendship. Twilight Sparkle's game.
Dream 6: Caribbean Crystal Healing
- Tech space full of guys: Silicon Valley's geek-boy-club fulla flaming egos--a deliberate contrast with My Little Pony's egalitarian matriarchy, valuing teamwork and friendship.
- Model landscape, 4x7': as a kid, I had a model-train board, 4x8'. I sculpted trees, rocks and hills: a miniature world. My first, though I didn't know it'd lead to Planetocopia!
- Roundish relief-map game best played by six friends: the six friends in My Little Pony sit circling a Table Round with a relief-map that warns when a region needs aid. You don't play it; it plays you like chesspieces. Just as a wise dreamworker doesn't direct lucid dreams much; it's your dreams' job to direct you.
- City girl helps me prepare for a team sport: Cadance, the princess of love! In that fanfic she encouraged Twi & Shining to be open about their incest feelings. Acceptance heals.
- Ashamed, reluctant, feel I'm incompetent:
- Timid, squeamish Addie in Two Princesses of Bamarre. Learns bravery to save her sister.
- Incest guilt from my sister, like Twi's & Shinings's in that fanfic, plus male shame my reverse-sexist mom taught me (she felt all men are scum until proven not. I still doubt myself.)
- Mountains have teeth: a friendly wizard gaves Addie maps of Bamarre that mark the mountain ranges infested with human-chomping ogres & griffins.
- ACTION: Seek love! I'm reluctant to; like Addie in the book, I assume I'm flawed, weak, doomed to fail. Wrong!
- Why so sure I'll fail? I think I gotta do it alone! But the Oval Table in my dream and Cadance's generosity in Complicated Relations both say otherwise. You work with friends.
- Flaws aren't dealbreakers. Flaws create your strengths. Cadance said "Love means sharing ALL of you." Worthy friends will, like Cadance in bed, accept my flaws. Since they're me.
I meet a brown girl with distinctive wideset deerlike almond eyes, and a funny aura with horizontal energy-currents (unlike Asians Euros or Africans whose auras tend to sweep up or down--all you non-psychics will just have to trust me, her aura's weird but interesting). She's Native Caribbean--Taino, I think. She takes her shirt off so her boyfriend can rub two pieces of healing-jewelry on her skin. One has a glowing red domelike crystal; the other glows blue. They look like they're half flattened avocado (with light at the pit) and half magnifying glass (with thick flattened handle).
They need to be aligned just right to heal her. The guy tries all kinds of configurations. Treats them like suspenders, pasties, collarbones... She says "The in-line vertical setup feels best, among the ones you've tried..." but is it optimal?
I don't think of the whole business as sensual let alone sexual--they're problem-solving--till right at the end when she stops focusing on the feel of the devices' energy and really notices I'm watching too. She looks embarrassed/annoyed--but not very. After all, she grew up on a small Caribbean island off Guatemala that was still largely native, though not her ancestral tribe--her people came from the big islands farther east. Anyway, it was hot and humid and mostly Indian, so when she was growing up, hardly anyone wore shirts or tops; bare breasts were normal. She's acculturated enough to know and accomodate American nudity taboos, but she just lacks gringo squeamishness.
I'm curious about the culture and ask "Do they all sense healing energy like this?"
She kind of cringes. More uncomfortable about that than bare breasts! Is she ashamed of her people? Or does she just assume from my gringo look and accent that I'll find them quaint? Superstitious primitives?
When it's the opposite. I'm hoping, against the odds, that she tells me of a society with a place for shamans like me. Since I sure don't fit in here.
- Cute funnyfaced girl (with boyfriend, sigh) from a less-clothed culture: Cadance of Equestria! (OK, Cadance is an alicorn--four legs, wings, horn and tail. Details, details! Same energy.)
- Two gems/glows, sex/healing: probably Cadance and Twilight's specialties--romantic love and friendship, respectively.
- Right alignment: it's not enough to FEEL love and friendship to heal & be whole. Acting on them, balancing & reconciling them takes trial and error.
- Islet off Guatemala: decades ago I read an anthropological study of the Isle of Providencia (I think; or Rodriguez?) off Costa Rica. Sounded friendly: unlike MY culture, it had a niche for shamans. Even if the author did have to label it psychosis. Couldn't be an effective shamanic healer of course. Only white guys in white coats can heal!
Ten Days Later
Last night, two out-of-town gangs came into our gang-free neighborhood and blasted a hundred rounds all over. Injuries, but because it was late night with few pedestrians, and heavy stucco walls that stopped most bullets... no deaths.
So my fear of bullets spraying our peaceful street turned out to be realistic. It was just before the mayhem, not after. And next morning, I found I was calm again; I knew what I'd been fearing was over. Think I'm mistaken, and I was just edgy over the coverage of the Vegas massacre? I don't. I've had premonitions of gun violence before--most notably annual nightmares about a shooting I witnessed. Not annually after the event, but before--two years, then one year, then the night before the actual murder: see Fetal Pause, A Date in Minsk and Monkey with a Gun. After such predictive dreams, I can't balk at predictive... flinches. And I'm hardly unique; see J.B. Priestley's essay on non-dream predictive emotional flashes, F.I.P..
LISTS AND LINKS:
The Black Current -
Once a Hero -
Herself in Reverse -
the Net -
I'm a Killer!
shamanic dreams -
memory & amnesia -
Twilight's Oval Game
artists & the arts -
rounds & ovals -
weird dream devices -
TV dreams -
My Little Pony
sexy creatures -
ESP in society
Ten Days Later:
predictive flashes -
ESP in general -
anniversary dreams -
A Date in Minsk,
Monkey with a Gun -
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