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Jay Lake
Date: 2013-04-30 05:40
Subject: [dreams|cancer] Voyaging in the undiscovered countries of my heart
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, child, china, dreams, family, friends, health, personal, publishing, travel
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.

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User: barbarienne
Date: 2013-04-30 20:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You're not doing the abandoning. You're being forced away, through no fault of your own.

It's exile, maybe? Forced emigration for reasons no one can control or stop?
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User: fledgist
Date: 2013-05-01 00:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Intriguing. I've had dreams of loss and abandonment myself, and they've involved travelling by plane and going through airports. I wonder if there is something about aircraft and airports as metaphors that makes them important as symbols of either loss or transition.
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January 2014
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