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The Vortex

Dreamed 1990/1/3 by Chris Wayan


Among all the big dreams I've had lately, a murky fragment struck me. A couple of weeks back, I asked my dreams how to break the social bell-jar I've been in.

That night, I found myself out of my body. I was trying to cross the vast Columbia River from Washington to Oregon, in my astral form. Meanwhile, my body lay on a folded-down seat in the lounge of an Amtrak car, on a train heading up the Columbia Gorge. Worried fellow-passengers hovered round me. A nice Witch Lady in her floppy hat was trying to bring me back to my body, to wake me. She knew some good spells... they should have worked. But nothing did! I had to go across the great river. Cross the border, naked.

I woke and was bewildered. What coma? What border? What would break the spell?

I want clearer answers.

I get them.


It's the Apocalypse. Worse yet, I'm stuck in suburbia. A demon materializes at the end of the street. It's a vortex of destruction, like a tornado on steroids, thick, muscular, wrong. With a Devil in its heart, walking slowly terribly toward me. Long time I run away... but at the other end of the block is Death, in his skeleton suit, laughing as he drives me and the other stragglers back down the street into Destruction's maw.

I look for some way out--off the line between the two. A fence I might climb... I try it. Through a backyard filled with pumpkins. I steal one, hoping I can escape over the back fence and hide with the food. Through the yard behind... out onto the next street. Safe so far! And suddenly wonder how long before another Devil materializes on this street, another Death at the end... and I realize this is it. The end. The end of the world. I can't hide. A Vortex will scour every street, Death will enter every house.

And I call myself a shaman? I'm supposed to have powers, experience at this sort of thing! I turn around and start back to face the funnel looming over the chimneys. I may or may not be able to fight the end of the world but I sure feel less scared walking toward it than running. This time, in the back yard, I find not pumpkins but my computer. An Amiga. The screen's on. None of the icons are clicked open but one--Apocalypse. Inside its window are more icons. It's time for ME to decide which icons to invoke! The word originally meant images of holy powers after all. I click on Bible and Shining Sword and Fiery Chariot, that oughta help put down Devils in a Christian Apocalypse...

Suddenly I feel a flash of anger, and de-select them. Why play their game? I close the whole window--as the shadow of the Vortex covers me. It leans over me like a dying top, preparing to crush me in howling smoke. I look for programs that aren't reactions to Christian ideas of good and evil. A cluster of icons in the bottom corner say SING, PENIS, COLORS, CUNT, DANCE.

I click them all. And don't give a damn about the Vortex. It's built for guilt, fear, and courage, but I'm here for other lessons now. Thank you very much, and goodbye.

The Apocalypse fades away like summer fog.

I wake, ashamed I took so long to stand up for my own values--especially since I felt so much better when I did.

End of the world or not.

LISTS AND LINKS: apocalypse - suburbs - devils - tornadoes - shamans - invocation and summoning - assertive dreams

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