I was listening to a life coach talk about innate wisdom vs the subconscious. He stated that he doesn't trust the subconscious because there were too many weird things in there, where ever "in" is. The kernel of The 7th Province books emerged through a drawing a friend of mine did in high school. Imagine a man with bat wings. The head, though, was of a tiger, so I had to change it to a vampire like one, not bloodsuckers mind you. However, that drawing wouldn't let me go. Plot elements emerged like wildfire. I couldn't help but fantasize about these people. It would be close to two decades before I even came up with a name, but then that's the process.
I've always wondered where these ideas came from. Sure, many of these plot elements were inspired by things outside of me, things like other stories, history, things that affected me in my own life. But they lent themselves with no effort to the story that I wrote. Immediately, I knew these ideas came from some innate wisdom. And from researching other authors that I admired, they were hooked into this wisdom, though they may not have named it. Then pulling my own view off myself and into the universe, I knew all of us have access to this. It's just that most of the time we get in our own way, which is a great plot developing element for my character, something he has to overcome.
I tried to convey this to a woman yesterday when she asked me where I got my idea for my story from. I told her that in a lot of cases writers (and probably all artists) are chosen to do the work. That this story chose me to write it (relay, really). Why? I don't know, nor do I waste time trying to figure it out. She looked at me as if I was smoking some hybrid ganja. Truth be told, I wish I were.
But when the coach said there were weird things in the subconscious, I was a bit resistant because I always assumed that innate wisdom resided in that area. Maybe it does, since there's really no way anyone can prove otherwise. However, I had a dream that might sway the argument the subconscious is weird. Or maybe I'm just weird:
I wake with a view of a grated ramp with rows of candy bar sized holes running up the metal floor. This leads to a large window where a grand view of darkness speckled with stars opens in front of me, and I realize that I’m a princess of what’s left of the rebel force. Walking around the room, I can’t recall what I’m searching for, but I slam my foot down in various places, looking for wear and tear of some sort. Finding cracks reminds me how old my ship is, how old the tech is, how over-matched we are.
I do wonder why I’m a princess since I’m a man, a boy really, but worry of the impending doom takes me away from that thought. I round toward the rear of my starship, a massive one at that, and gleam at the last remnants of an aging X-Wing fleet. Though, I don’t recognize them as the standard, they do have additional equipment, compartments with additional armaments maybe. A hibernating crew of pilots awaits my order to attack. And, yes, we are going to attack the legendary Death Star.
I continue my walk, seeing familiar faces and quietly saying good-bye. I do not, nor do my crew, expect to come out of this alive. This is ultimately the defining moment of being a rebel. In our deaths I suppose, I’m hoping that something grander happens, but I’m not quite sure what.
In less than a blink of an eye, I find myself sitting on a parking bump at the San Francisco piers, and given how sunny it is, I take off my shorts, leaving only my boxer briefs on. Getting a tan is a pass time that I enjoy for having no purpose in it except to relax. The Pacific Ocean is at my back, a large warehouse to my front, and the Death Star to the north in the deep blue sky. A crowd gathers looking up at the monolithic battle station, and there’s a growing fear of what’s going to happen. Despite what’s going on, I continue snacking. Then the crowd goes wild and I look up.
The Death Star plunges toward Earth and explodes upon impact in the far distance. A large fiery wall rushes toward the crowd, and, to my terror, me. Part of that terror comes from being aware that my brother is next to me and the knowing that the wall of death will reach us with ease.
I urge my brother to run into the warehouse hoping that it would give us some shelter. While running, I glimpse down a street as buildings are consumed by the explosion and another knowing overwhelms me: the warehouse is not enough. As we cross the threshold into the warehouse, my last view is a flash of bright light crashing through the building’s rear. Again I find myself a boy, jump into my brother’s arms and tell him repeatedly that I love him. Yellow light engulfs us and the expected pain that comes with being burned alive doesn’t come. My hope was that death is so quick we feel nothing, and my wish comes true. Weightlessness surrounds my embrace and a moment floats by with no end in sight, no resolution of any kind, no purpose, just pure light.
A blinding glare blares through my eyelids, and I turn my head away. The sun through my metal blinds wakes me and the images of my dream are clear as day, emotions resonating to the point where I have to document them on my site. As I sit here typing away, I’m not sure what any of that stuff means, why Star Wars was the main theme in images, and even humor that Disney’s assimilation of Star Wars—resistance is futile—may in some way destroy the iconic trilogy. Not that George hasn’t ruined them already with the release of first three episodes and the many re-releases of the last three, according to many hardcore fans. Coincidentally, or maybe not, George is also my brother’s name.
Side note: Twice now that I can recall, I’ve died in my dreams. In another, I actually hit the ground falling off a building. So puts to rest the myth that if you die in your dreams, you die in real life.