[dreams|cancer] Voyaging in the undiscovered countries of my heart

I had one of my science fiction dreams again last night. I was flying on a 747 with some other writers. Gardner Dozois was the flight attendant, and did about what you’d expect Gardner to do in that situation. His safety spiel over the p.a. system was more along the lines of “Keep your hands and arms inside the ride at all times,” which is not comforting to hear aboard a pressurized aircraft.

The plane eventually landed at the World’s Tiniest Airport™, an artefact of the geography of my subsconscious rather than any particular airport in real life. I walked alone down the airstairs and into the terminal to find the departure lounge crowded with science fiction writers, artists, critics and fans. Jenn Reese, Greg van Eekhout, and Sydney Duncan, just to name a few. Plus most of the Pacific Northwest genre community. I stopped to talk to them, but they were all leaving on Gardner’s plane. I begged people to stay a while longer, or to take me with them, but the plane was full and the place was emptying out. Soon I was left behind alone.

Later I dreamt I was in China with my family. Except they had checked into one hotel and I was supposed to be in another. I went to a store to get a few groceries, and became frustrated that they did not have Mexican Coke in China. The checker turned out to have been educated in America, and fluent in English, so after the store closed we went out to watch the Communist youth groups in their midnight parades. We started making out, then she went off to do something, and I found myself stark naked on the nighttime streets with nothing to clothe myself but Communist party banners. This seemed like a bad idea.

I am dreaming of my own death, clearly. And separation from two of things which matter most to me. [info]the_child, whose heritage is Chinese; and the genre community in which I have become so deeply embedded. My sense of loss is palpable even in my day-to-day moments, and the dreams underscore a deep sense of abandonment.

That last is a tad odd, as it is I who is doing the abandoning by contracting a fatal illness. Nonetheless, this is how my dreaming mind has chosen to interpret the matter somewhere beyond the Gates of Horn. The country of my dreams is treacherous terrain, but no more so than the country of my waking life these days.

14 thoughts on “[dreams|cancer] Voyaging in the undiscovered countries of my heart

  1. Alexis says:


  2. Julianna says:

    I am so glad to hear that even your subconscious knows that your genre community family, as well as your close friends and family, is with you for the long haul. We will stay with you during the entire ride to your tiny airport. We will stay and talk with you until we have to return to our lives and you have to stay behind in the airport (lovely analogy for the jumping off place to all wondrous destinations – very glad it had no resemblance to the John Wayne airport ;-).

    Perhaps next time you have that dream, maybe try looking out the airport window to see where you are? Hey – it could be a Hawaiian paradise where all those crazy shirts fit right in, right? 🙂 And if the windows don’t show you anything useful, perhaps the overhead flight board will give you a good indication of where your next destination lies. 🙂

    For my dad, it was a train rather than an airplane – after falling off the roof, he found himself standing alone on a small boarding platform as it was getting dark. The train was coming on, light blazing. It slowed down in preparation to stop and let him board, but he turned his back on it and it sped back up and went on by. Then he walked down the steps off the platform and recovered from that fall and lived another year before liver cancer killed him. We don’t know if he dreamed of the train again at the very end, but we feel certain that it did come back by, and that this time, he stepped onboard and set off to seek new vistas.

    We all love you and care for you and will stay with you until you have to leave us. I don’t know if you are atheist, agnostic, or have some sort of spiritual beliefs, but I believe that when you do have to leave us, you’ll find yourself blazing new paths to adventure for the rest of us to follow – just like in your wonderful stories.

  3. Sydney says:

    Oh, dear. I wish I had visited with you a little longer in this dream. I wish many things, Jay.

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