The broken mirror

In the face of dreams I had
Grimaces of pain
Now I am turning helpless
Callous and alone
Waiting for a storm to brew
To wash my dream of love and sins away

The lyrics (and post title) are from “Blizzard On A Broken Mirror” by Avantasia, and they’ve been stuck in my head all day. Why? Because there’s a storm brewing, and I’d really like this morning’s dream washed away.

Alwan is a medieval-like village housing around 250 people, and it’s one base of operations for my Otherworld series. Karston, by contrast, has a population ta least 20 times that, a century or two more in the tech department, and it belongs to the Hidden Hills novels. They’re two different places. Two different worlds, neither of which is Earth, both of which I would gladly take in exchange for this rock I call home.

In my dream, they were much closer. So close, in fact, that a person could take a short train ride from one to the other. Never mind that neither setting has trains; dreams don’t care about petty things like continuity, after all.

I was in the little village, along with most of my family, and we were getting ready to start what must have been our Christmas party. While I was walking around outside, waiting on the last straggler—my mother, as always—to arrive, I got a call saying that two others were on their way over, coming from said town of Karston via said train. Sure. Merry Christmas to all, and the more, the merrier, right?

One of my cousins has grown very…estranged in the last decade. He became a cop, then almost instantly turned dirty. You know how it is, that arrogant, holier-than-thou attitude shared by everyone with a badge. He got into bodybuilding, had an affair with his trainer, ditched his wife and three kids, and all that was years ago. This morning, the dream version of him wanted to make amends by joining the rest of us in our celebration. And I have no problem with that.

The second unexpected visitor, however, is the one who left me reeling. She texted me, then called me, then showed up, all within the span of a few minutes. One moment, I’m walking around whatever dreamscape building we had set up for the party. The next, I’m going into the dining room to find her standing there. Her greeting came in the form of a punch to my shoulder as she said, “That’s for not talking to me for two months.” Then she hugged me like all was forgiven.

But it isn’t. It can’t be, because forgiveness has to be earned, and I haven’t earned it yet. In the time I have remaining, I don’t believe I will.

Sometimes a dream is a message. This one was read loud and clear, I’ll admit. I would say part of it has to do with the holiday season. I as a strong believer in the idea that December (whether you celebrate Christmas or any other early-winter holiday) is a time to open up, to embrace the positive. Charity, goodwill, even salvation, if you’re so inclined. Those are what this time of year is for, and that transcends the social boundaries we put up. You spend time with your family, with those you love, if for no other reason than because it’s good to remind yourself that they’re there. Yes, you should consider that all the time, but not everybody can, so at least try it now.

Yet some wounds are too deep to heal, some bridges burned beyond repair. We make them that way by our actions or inaction. And that, I feel, is the message meant for me this morning. I’ve been on both sides now. I’ve suffered such a wound, and I’ve caused one. I am, as the Scarecrow said in this post’s theme song, helpless, callous, and alone.

And Acedia, the inner demon I share with this character, puts a line on his lips that rings so true for me. “Love will come in time, but I am always late.”

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