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So I'm going to continue my post about a dream I had recently.
(Serenity spoilers ahead.)
Continued from part 1
There are a few of things to understand about my Firefly dreams.
One is that Malcolm Reynolds always knows I'm dreaming....but I don't. That's extremely weird for me. In fact, I can't think of another dream I've ever had where one of the characters knows I'm dreaming but I don't. I often know I'm dreaming, and can even control myself to some degree, and once in a blue moon, I can control and direct the dream itself, but not my Firefly dreams. I'm always deep "in character" in those dreams. But Malcolm always knows the truth. He's the one who explains to me what's going on, usually to tell me that I need to wake up and get to writing.
The second is that I fly the ship and flying the ship seems to me to be a metaphor for creativity. Some dreams seem to have Wash and Shepherd Book alive, and in some I sort of am Wash. And in some he seems to have experienced his fate at the end of a ship to ship harpoon, but regardless, I'm flying the ship and my proficiency is linked to my writing life. "Here's something you can't do," I say before I post a viral article Shirtstorm.
Perhaps the most important thing to understand about these dreams is that there are two forces we are constantly trying to avoid–forces that are ever working against us. The first is the Alliance. And the Alliance is a boring real world. It's paying bills. It's working a day job. It's dental appointments. It can be temporarily avoided but never escaped. It is a throbbing nexus of bureaucracy and the inevitable encroachment of the mundane into my world. It's constantly encroaching and no matter how far we go, we can feel its reach. When I am feeling my writing being syphoned off by too many appointments, kid watching sessions, and unfortunate banal conversations about the length of toilet spigot parts, I may dream about being detained by the Alliance or losing a shipment because the Alliance held us up. And of course ultimately if they ever find out we're harboring fugitives they desperately don't want to lose, we'll probably all end up in their custody forever.
The other force has also to do with time, or rather the lack of it, but it isn't full of bureaucracy and procedure. It is a never sated maw that wants to suck up every writing moment and leave me a failure. It wants to ruin me in its wake and scuttle the ship. Unlike the inexorable, high profile metastasizing of the Alliance, this force moves unseen. It slips behind the umbras of moons and through the magnetic interference of planetary poles, threatening me from every corner and it will destroy Serenity's ability to fly (my creativity) if given half the chance and kill us all. It is savage and it will take no prisoners.
Rather I should say THEY will take no prisoners. Reavers.
So my dream picked up right about at the third reel of Serenity. And in standard dream logic it was somehow post Wash and different even though it was using a lot of the same lines and moments.
"Bastard's not even changing course," the operative said.
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"Mal, I can't fly between them both," I said. "I can't do this."
"Son, I can fly well enough to aim this rig," Mal said. "If I didn't think you could get us down in one piece, you wouldn't be in that chair."
"I don't...." I said. "I can't...."
Mal put his hand on my shoulder. "Do you know what 'Alea iacta est' means? It means we're stuck between Alliance and Reavers and they both mean to end our trip a little sooner than'd be my preference. If anyone can get us away from the reavers without landing right in the Alliance hanger bays, it's you. Don't live in the shadow of other pilots. You tell YOUR story."
"My STORY?" I said, growing confused.
"You got this, Chris. Now wake up and write like a leaf on the wind."
He paused and blinked. "Just...you know....maybe not that exact expression."
Then I woke up.