recent years I’ve dreamed, a number of times, of encouragement to fly, but
those weren’t Til dreams. Nevertheless,
the gist of them fits here. It’s something
that the Don would do. (I hope these
dreams will someday drive away the others, the sad ones that mock me for
flying, for good.) I accurately
portrayed the sense of flying in those happy dreams.
dreamed, as Zanne, of the encounter with Merrill, in the empty theater with the
“lucky seats”. I don’t recall, off the
top of my head, another dream where Zanne loses it and just starts screaming at
him. Always before, in her conflicts
with him, she has stayed icy cool, mocking, strictly in control. And maintaining that cool, by any means
necessary, became her downfall.
think this new dream shows a new degree of mental health. She finally confronts what stands between her
and Merrill, what has made their relationship toxic—which is not what I had guessed! It has never been about her forgiving him,
but about him forgiving himself.
had always been, on the one hand, my imperative to action, the impish trickster
dragging Don away from the books and out into the world, the dashing agent
tricking nations into changing direction, the daredevil who finds a new, scary
route when an enemy blocks the well-known safe routes. But in recent years I’ve seen more and more
of his insecure side, masked by his derring-do: the self loathing. And that has obscured his core self, in my
telling of his tale.
the waking world, as well, this has crippled me. I don’t act.
I imagine great things, I talk about them, but the part of me that can
actually do something about it can’t seem to function. It feels the way a wolf with a broken spine
must feel, who doesn’t even know about the nerves in his spine, and that these
don’t work. All he knows is that prey
grazes near him, and he thinks, “Run legs, run!” and the legs don’t run, and he
sees his food right in plain sight and yet he lies there starving to death.
dream tells me what has broken, what needs healed. I waste my potential for action on gnawing
over all my faults. I fear to act lest I
make still more errors. It takes Zanne,
raised in the worship of Truth, to point out that my virtues are also true.
what of her? I have often called Zanne
my Shadow side, living out everything I was told belonged only to Bad
Girls. Vain, cocky, utterly
self-confident. And normally cold when
angered. When I would try to defend
myself with logic while the rest of my
nuclear family screamed at me, they would call me the Cold Bitch. Maybe I was, but somebody had to
counterbalance the idea that anger was just some uncontrollable force that
swept through people sometimes, and that a legitimate excuse for saying awful
things was, “Well, I just said that because I was angry.” Except when I tried to use it, in which case
I’d be told, “You said it so you must have meant it”—which, come to think of
it, was a gift more than an injustice: it enabled me to realize that I could control my temper, and this gave
me an advantage in life that the rest didn’t have.
I dutifully felt ashamed of my
coldness, yet deep down I valued it for my survival. And I
discovered that I could find really cruel things to say back to others,
sharper when chiseled from ice than from fire. It became part of
my Shadow's repertoire.
as I’ve said before, a neurosis is a habit that you learn to survive a bad
situation, that goes on automatic and still keeps running long after it
outlives its purpose, and in fact has become counterproductive. I’ve tried to be all sweetness and light, but
whenever anger stirs up my Shadow side I can turn cold, and that coldness stands
in the way of actually confronting the things that make me angry.
it has become such a part of me that it has ceased to belong in my Shadow
anymore, now that I’m an adult. I don’t
feel the same shame over it, nor try to prove the accusation untrue, breaking down
and finally shrieking back. Control has
become my primary mode, and emotionality the rare, erupting shadow. Yet, however overused the explosions, my family
had a point when they said that sometimes you need a storm to clear the air.
finally, in my dreams, Zanne expresses the other side, the side that can shout,
enabling her to actually talk to
Merrill about what distresses her, instead of making all the little digs. And to actually confront me, as well, for the
need to stop tangling myself up in self-reproach. Yes, my faults are real—but they’re not the
seems so petty to record these minor childhood issues! Adults move on. Yet a crucial step in moving on is processing
your experiences through dreams, remembered or not. What I record here, principally for
dream-researchers, is how that process has worked for me. You don’t just decide to change, you must
imagine it first, and you must become aware of what needs changed. Dreams help this to happen.)
a later encounter, in another dream, I ran into Don, though I felt a bit
confused when I recorded it, writing things like, “A vacation in something like
Paris but not actually Paris,” (Darvinia) and “LA that might not be LA” (Novo
Durango) and “San Diego that might not be San Diego” (Zanne’s childhood home,
not mine.) In my sleepiness, while
writing the dream-notes down, I didn’t even make the connection that I actually
discussed the Novo Durango Shuttle with Don!
no, Darvinia is nothing like Paris, except that it’s considered a romantic
destination. Nor does Los Angeles
resemble Novo Durango, except for being a commercial hub. And Zanne’s childhood home had no resemblance
to mine. Except, I notice, all of these
have similar climates to their waking-world counterparts, but not the same
vegetation, architecture, culture, layout, or anything like that. Darvinia isn’t even a city, but a bucolic
country, and neither is Zanne’s home a city, but a walled-off village patched
together within academic ruins, with nary a canyon and only weeds for wild
nature. And of course Los Angeles is not
across a gulf from San Diego! In my
dreams I knew all of these differences, yet still my mind, groping for names,
gave them the waking-world labels.
dreamed of Don’s great joy at freshly regaining his ability to fly, conquering
his fear, and offering me a flight across a gulf; in my dream he meant to take
me to the Shuttle Station, to launch me on my next mission—solo. But I, troubled about going off without
Merrill. I wanted to delay for one night
and consult somebody about it, someone secret.
I felt a horrible homesickness at odds with being home. Only on the verge of waking did I realize
that I was Zanne, and that I wanted to find my father, Juliar Charlotte—if he
I woke I felt myself fill with the story of Zanne’s reunion with her father,
which I wrote up and put in the Backstory section, as though the dream
relentlessly continued with my eyes wide open.
The problem is, I don’t know for sure whether or not it actually
happened. (“Actually” in their world,
that is.) It might have been Zanne’s
fantasy. She lived a lot in fantasy in
her last few years. Everything else that
Alroy said in that one, fateful encounter, has proven true. So I can’t actually include it in this tale,
though you can find it here ***.
the other hand, every so often I or others dream something that completely
overturns my assumptions about the entire epic.
For instance, until the dream in this chapter, I had always assumed that
Don never recovered from the trauma of the crash on The Isle of Curses to take
up flying again. I had not yet dreamed
of him flying after that point, but now I might be able to have those
dreams. It’s really a lot like
archaeology, this writing from dreams.
One fragment newly received can overturn years of theories mistaken for
dream of it now? To assure me that
healing does happen, and that in fact it is
happening. To tell me to have faith in
the process. On a level long forbidden
to me, I can fly!
dreams can also be a pain in serial-writing like this, when you have to add
stuff to chapters already written in advance, expand them beyond reason, and so
must split them in two or more. (And
thank God for the inconvenience—Don can fly!) This chapter and the last two had to split
from a previously cohesive whole, because I had to squeeze in the Merrill and
Zanne and Don dreams. I fear they have
weakened as a result, stretched a bit too much.
I get the feeling that these new factors matter, that I must write them in so
that they can foreshadow something that I will write later, though I don’t yet know
what, or even whether it will come up in this serial or some other. I have learned to trust such feelings, and to
not bully my muse into submitting to what seems logical at the time.
is one reason I don’t sell my work to a formal publisher. An editor would improve the story short-term,
but mangle the not-yet-realized greater tale.
also dreamed of Merrill and Zanne taking separate missions at this period of
their lives, and later (my time; earlier in theirs) of Zanne considering
whether or not to take a vacation in Darvinia first, and whether or not to take
made up Mori arranging to meet Deirdre after the war, because I dreamed of that
eventual meeting. I did dream of finding
Damien stunned on the bench, thinking him drunk at first, then realizing what
really happened–or what I thought
also dreamed of their attire changing after this point—dulled down, and Deirdre
wearing mottled black. But then, the Don
has confronted her with her dark side.
She’s ready to accept that the path she herself chose requires that she
don a role darker than her ideals, to take responsibility for her choice, and
that on the road that she selected she must camouflage herself in darkness to
even without dreaming the dialogue of their meeting, I felt within the dream
his insistence that we always have choices, and that nobody forced Deirdre into
the changes that she has undergone. And
here I see my gift, my advantage over the family of my upbringing: that I know
that how I deal with my choices and my emotions lies under my control—in coldness
as well as anything else .
whether I can act? Can the soul’s spine
heal? We shall see.