I dreamed that Zanne met people on
farms who hadn’t gone mad, but I created most of the details. For instance, since this fell on a Sunday,
the guards would most likely be people with a different day for their Sabbath,
and Hassidic Jews would be distinguishable on sight due to their particulars of
dress and grooming. This also highlights
the mood of cross-cultural cooperation of All Sorts Sanctuary.
I invented the cork bead curtain, but I
did dream of Deirdre having a mission before this in Duerlongh, where most
homes do have bead curtains, and she liked them. I especially remember a dream of a woman
named Amar walking through one such, the beads outlining her form as she passed
The narcotic pastries came up in a
number of dreams, including this one of a salesman. They probably have to do with my
hypoglycemia, not yet diagnosed at the time of these dreams, and they tried to
warn me that sugar had a not-so-sweet mind-altering affect on me.
I wrote Deirdre’s religious
difficulties because dreams of her later life clearly show that her years in
the Charadoc shattered her previously fervent faith, and she could only
sometimes piece together parts, in fragments, that often fell apart again. She didn’t so much disbelieve in God as in
her own salvation.
I could, as Dolores, write extensive
refutations for all her doubts, but that wouldn’t be true to the character. She had them, she didn’t experience more than
nominal relief from them until (perhaps) the last hours of her life, and I can’t
tell her story honestly without them.
Few who have not themselves invested deeply in their faith can know how
hard this is to do, this literary restraint.
But I usually have on or near my desk, wherever I might live or travel,
a crucifix, to remind me that I must strip as naked as Christ on the cross in
the telling of these tales, and to not lie if I can help it–that is my cross to
bear. One of them.
Perhaps one purpose of such dreams is
precisely so that I can refute them when awake.
It’s the questions you don’t dare ask that trouble you the most, in the
back of your mind. It could also be part
of the package deal in God answering my request, so many years ago, to
understand people not like me. I know
from Deirdre what a prolonged failure of faith feels like.
(For the record, I could also refute
Cherone’s religious issues as well, but I am not the one to deal with that, as
dreams have pointed out.)
For that matter, Deirdre cusses, and I
have to record that. This might seem hypocritical
to some, because I kick people off my facebook wall, now and then, for breaking
my no-cussing rule there, as part of my insistence on civility in that forum
between the people of different politics, religions and philosophy who consider
me a friend. But Deirdre’s not on my
wall, engaging in debate with my friends.
I do believe that cussing has a
specific role in society—every civilization has forbidden words. They serve a purpose for extreme
circumstances, when your emotions twist you up so wrenchingly that you
absolutely have to break something—so they provide a taboo to break.
The mischief comes when you use them
all the time. The power of taboo wears
off. It’s no big deal, then, when
someone cusses, so what’s left with which to vent one’s rage? Violence.
And we have indeed become a more violent society as we strip taboo words
of their potency. People who can’t take
it anymore scream bullets now, not cusswords drained of potency. Once an F-bomb had shock-force enough to make
one’s outrage penetrate the thickest walls of indifference, but now folks resort
to IEDs. Murder has become the last
And Deirdre has become violent. Nine years before this she shocked her
friends into listening just by saying “Damn!”
Now there’s hardly any aggression that she would stick at. She’s losing everything that stood between
her and the abyss of fury deep beneath the depression of all those abandoned in
On a more positive note, trying to
write Deuterocanonical studies on a Sunday, when I normally don’t work on my
fiction at all, I nodded off at the keys and wound up instead with a dream of
being Deirdre repeatedly telling Kiril to stop loving me, and Kiril refusing,
progressing from murmurs to shouts. The
part of me that believes it imperative to see no worth in myself is losing the