Monday, May 21, 2012

Emily's Dream, from Girl Punches Out (Sen No Sen)

That night she brought the dingy old family sword to bed with her. It’s not that she feared losing it or having it stolen. She wanted to make up for lost time. It had been there, with her for so long, and she’d never paid it any attention. It needed to become a bigger part of who she is, that much was clear. She slept heavily, blankly, probably for several hours, until a dream of great intensity seized hold of her. She walked through the glade and the meadow, the familiar sound of the stream burbling. Two shapes awaited her in the distance, one warm and bright, the other barely a shadow. As she approached, the light grew brighter, shockingly bright, but didn’t seem to hurt her eyes. The shadow grew dark and huge, like a hole in the world. She wasn’t afraid.
She turned to the shadow and began to speak. She heard herself say: “You love my mother, so I must love you. You will show me who you are.”
She turned to the light and said: “You love my father, so I must love you. I know who you are. You are Amaterasu Omikami, and you love me. I’ll call you Granny. Thank you, both of you, for sending Kusunagi to me. Show me what to do with him.”
In a voice sweet as fire, the light shrilled at her: “The true master takes life when necessary, but gives life when it is good. You will walk on water as if it were land, and on land as if it were water. No one will be able to trick you.”
She knew how the saying ended and cried out: “Am I to be without friends forever?” Tears streamed down her face and on to her arms. She was holding a sword in one hand and a mirror in the other. Her tears rolled down the sword, and where three drops landed in the grass three luminescent women sprang up. Her tears rolled down the mirror, and where five drops landed in the grass, five luminescent men sprang up. They clasped hands in a circle around her, dancing and chanting her name:
Michiko, Michi-san, Michi-sama, Michi-kami,
Michiko, Michi-san, Michi-sama, Michi-kami,
Michiko, Michi-san, Michi-sama, Michi-kami…
She looked up to see the light and the shadow towering above her at opposite ends of the sky. She saw her place in the world now with more clarity than ever before and whispered: “Thank you, Granny.”
She woke with a start, drenched in sweat, tears streaming down her face. Sitting upright in the dark room she ruminated on what she had just seen. It was just a dream. The dingy old family sword glowed like fire next to her as she drifted off to sleep.

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