of dreams and power

“Life is full of the unexpected” (Orphan of the Sun, p. 146).
Meryt-Re is a dreamer. “It is a gift,” explains the rekhat, the village wise woman, the Knowing One. “You must learn how to harness it, and use it for good” (148). Two tasks, first the harnessing, second the use. Meryt-Re learns how to do both in the span of this book, set in the village of Set Maat (whose ruins are at Deir el Medina) in approximately 1170 BCE.
As Meryt-Re struggles to decide what to do based on a combination of hard facts (that only she knows) and insightful dreams (which only she seems to have), the rekhat advises her to keep busy: “Solutions present themselves in their own way and you cannot always force them” (228). The dreams are a particular challenge. “In time, you will know which way a dream is leading. You must let your mind go. It will lead you to the truth if you allow it to” (200).
Of course it helps if your heart is “big enough to find forgiveness” (227), you persist even when it seems that there is no path ahead, and you act on your decisions when it is time. Meryt-Re spends much of her emotional energy questioning what she thinks she knows, and doubting whether she actually knows anything. And then there are the dreams, which seem scary. It takes a while for Meryt-Re to trust the rekhat’s teaching: “Seeing something does not mean that you caused it. These are two different things. The dream may be yours, but the magic [that you see] has nothing to do with you” (167).
It is a heavy load for a 13 year old girl who is being raised by her aunt and uncle since both her parents have died. It would be a heavy load even for someone from a totally happy and healthy family! “You cannot run away from this, Meryt,” says the rekhat, “It is part of you. Everything will be fine as long as you learn to understand it” (150).
Meryt chooses not to hide. She faces some huge decisions with implications for her entire town and all of the people she loves. I would certainly wish to have her for one of my friends. ­čÖé

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