[Note: To see the amulet and find out about Maggie, who carved the piece and the dream that inspired the carving, read yesterday's post, "Raven Woman."]
Maggie didn’t want to carve it at first. She hated taking direction when she had a vision. She did consent to listening to the dream. Once she heard it, she told me she’d carve the figure, but it would be her interpretation of my dream. When she was done, I could pay for the piece or refuse it, and not have to pay. I agreed.
Two weeks went by and I had to sit on my hands not to write Maggie and ask about the piece. But I said nothing. A wave of work hit, and I forgot about the amulet. A box arrived with Maggie’s return address. I opened the box. There, nestled in cream-colored mulberry paper, was the Dream Woman. She was carved from a fossilized walrus tooth. She was perfect in every respect: big hands, wearing a shawl, and on the back, an intricate and complete constellation Orion. The constellation had magic figures and sun sign icons carved into it. I was speechless.
The invoice said simply, “pay me what you think she’s worth.” My first thought was “I don’t have that much money.” Eventually, I paid her more then she asked for.
That night, I tucked the amulet under my pillow. I fell asleep almost immediately. I awoke at 2 a.m., sure someone was in the house. All three cats lay in the bedroom, fast asleep. They miss nothing, no one was there. I fell asleep to fitful chase dreams. I awoke exhausted and tired, as if I had been running. Today was a training day, and trainers have to be sharp. I left the amulet under my pillow and dashed off to help 12 adults learn how to write for the Web.
I arrived home, exhausted from lack of sleep and the effort of training. A short nap was interrupted by the feeling someone was next to the bed. No one was.
That night, and for the next three nights, the dream repeated itself. I was being chased through a house I had never lived in. I could describe the house in detail, but did not recognize it. An older model car pulled up, headlights shining through a low hedge. The chase would begin. A small, dark-haired child darted under furniture. I had been blond as a child.
On day four, I pulled the amulet from under the pillow, wondering why the magic it contained was not the magic I had hoped for. The dream that created the amulet and the dream she carried were so different. The creation dream had been peaceful and mysterious. These dreams were harsh and cruel.
At breakfast, a chilling idea hit me. I left my cereal uneaten on the newspaper and raced to the computer. Opening a blank email, I typed, “Maggie, when you were young, did you live in a house with a full front porch? Did the porch have a lattice that led to a crawlspace? Did you have a brown plaid couch? Did you ever have to run from someone?”
Two hours later I had my response. “You are dreaming my life when I was 8,” Maggie wrote. “I was thinking about it when I did the carving.”
Maggie didn’t tell me any more, nor did she need to. I had all the information I needed. Acting on her instructions, I left the amulet in full moonlight, then dug a hole and put the story of the dream in it.
I never had the dream again.
Maggie died recently, and my dreams are for her happiness and rest now.
–Quinn McDonald is an artist and writer. She is a certified creativity coach. See her work at QuinnCreative.com