Dreams & Portents

Some thoughts on the science fiction community

I rarely remember my dreams (thank goodness), but when I do, they often have a profound emotional effect on me.

It’s in the nature of dreams to mean far more to the dreamer than to anyone they might share the dream with;  there are levels of understanding, a feeling of deep and layered meaning that often can’t be expressed, only felt.  But I’ll try because this particular dream was, I believe, inspired by my thoughts before falling asleep.

Saturdays are quiet days here on Amazing:  (I had to promise my wife that she’d get at least one day a week of my “undivided” attention and we chose Saturday.)  The posts that go up here are usually light pieces, interesting thoughts, cool websites I’ve found.

I almost always fall asleep on Friday night trying to figure out what I’m going to put up on Saturday morning and last night was no exception.

My thoughts before falling asleep were these:  that maybe, when 2015 rolls around, we all ought to try and make a new effort to understand each other better, to be more open, more accepting:  that we should try and put past hurts and disagreements behind us and begin anew with fresh outlooks as we realize how much of a like-minded community of individuals we truly are, people of all ages, experiences, backgrounds who nevertheless have found a home in a profoundly inspiring genre.

We should be looking towards the future, just as science fiction does.  If it has taught us anything, it is that things do get better – but only if we try to make them better.  Our low-level culture war over who belongs and who doesn’t (on many different levels) does nothing but rob us of needed energy.

In my dream, I had a new family and we were all moving to a new home in a new town.  I had brothers and sisters that were drawn from every race.

The house we were all moving into had apparently been abandoned for some time and those living around it had begun to treat it like community property.  I spent a lot of time running around, asking this neighbor not to use our telephone, yelling at another neighbor not to let his dog crap in our yard, engaging in the unenviable task of trying to fit into the community while also asserting my family’s rights.

Towards the end of the dream I was chasing one non-family member after another off of our telephone (they were all running up huge international bills) and I started yelling at yet another one, only to discover that it was one of my brothers – who I hadn’t even recognized.

This brother was not of my race, but he was my brother.  I was ashamed and embarrassed for not knowing my family member.  I begged his forgiveness and woke up near tears, wondering if he would ever truly be able to forgive me.  My last dream-thought was that of course he would because we were family.

The science fiction community has often been referred to as an extended family – extended in geography, extended across time.  That house in the dream was one enormous mansion.  There was plenty of room for growth for a long time to come – even if it did need a little cleaning and paint and a repair here and there. The only fly in the ointment was my inability to recognize all of my family members.

I think there are other members of my family who have the same issue.  I’m going to try to get better at that recognition thing this year.  I hope we can all learn to recognize our family better in the months and years ahead.

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