By Dolores J. Nurss

Volume IV: Braided Paths

Chapter 46




   I dreamed of a company in Vanikke making toxic cookies.  There's a bug in, I believe, Australia or thereabouts, whose females have shiny brown bodies of the same color and sheen as beer bottles.  They've become endangered from so many of the males trying to mate with litter.  Somebody gave a TED talk using them as an example of how sight doesn't necessarily give us an accurate view of reality, and he challenged the audience to consider what we think we see that isn't actually real.  Instead, it dawned on me that we human beings aren't so much deceived by sight as by taste.

Fruit and vegetables, you see, develop the maximum sweetness when they reach the peak of nutrition and digestibility, and so we have evolved to equate sweetness with nourishment.  But when you remove the sweetness and market it separately in a vitamin-free form, people gobble it down as though it had what their bodies craved, and the more they go without those vitamins, the more sweets they want.  We're like bugs mating with beer bottles.

So toxic cookies, to me, represent an instinctive deceit, or a way of tricking instinct into steering us towards what is not good for us.  I'm not yet sure where this will lead; I shall have to wait till more of that dream unfolds in this story.  It went on for months, internal time, and much of my Zanne-accounts at this point derive from it.

I also dreamed of needing help to get to the chamber-pot.  I can more easily figure out this dream of needing assistance to urinate.  In our formative years we take in both good and bad, just as when we eat we take in both nutrition and waste.  When we process our nourishment, furthermore, chemical reactions take place with byproducts that we must eliminate, and in the same way when we process our experiences, we sometimes generate not only wisdom but also byproducts of error, as part of the learning curve, that we must periodically shed.  Normally it's a natural and private process, getting rid of the bad and keeping the good, but I have been injured in my life, my cognitive faculties have suffered blows, and sometimes, humiliatingly, I need others to help me sort it all out.  The hands guiding me in the dream felt loving, gentle, strong and firm.  I can trust other people to assist me in a crisis, even when it involves embarrassing matters.  It's not an everyday need, just an emergency necessity, and nobody blames me for the existence of emergencies.  Not to dump on them by habit, but to recognize when I need help.

And I dreamed of this strange birthday feast, with Sarge all drunk and fierce and crazy-affectionate.  In childhood, a comic-book hero that I loved to hear about was Sargent Rock, a soldier in comics about World War Two, which Buddy used to read to us at bedtime.  Sarge in my dreams looks a lot like Sargent Rock, only lankier, with more humor, a more easygoing grin, and open gestures, as though you had imposed my father onto the cartoon character.  Though my father had been too young for one war and too old for the next, he had a warrior spirit, that came out in a lot of different ways.  Dad also nicknamed Buddy "Sarge", for in WWII Buddy had been the navy equivalent, a Chief Petty Officer.    So I can see Sarge in these dreams as sort of a male parental figure in a war-paradigm.  I was raised, lovingly, to have a warrior-spirit, myself.  Sometimes this serves me and sometimes it does not.

This dream tells me that there's something off-balance, something not clear-headed, about what I was born into, that it's a rich heritage but too much of it is not good for me—especially when removed from the context of defending something specific, as toxic as sugar without vitamins.  Life isn't always about doing battle.  I had a lot of work to do to curb what had originally been quite a fiery temper in order to slowly, against my inclinations, become a woman of peace.  I had to renounce the teachings of people who loved me.

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