Monday, June 21, 2010

midnight again and again

The Insomnia Archives: notes from an old dream journal

These are offered here for those who want to get a feel for the role of lucidity in dreaming, and also for anyone who finds dream accounts inexplicably interesting. /b

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Lucid and Non-lucid Dreams-- Intense, high resolution night and morning dreams
August 12, 2001
Notes made the following afternoon (Monday)
Includes extensive personal notes

It’s been an emotionally exhausting but fascinating week. Saturday night we had our 30-year High School Reunion. Sunday we had a reunion picnic. Last night I went to sleep around 1 AM. I had a lucid dream right away, sitting up in bed with the light still on. My sleep schedule had been severely different than normal and there was definite REM rebound effect. This was a fabulous combination... I really think the affect of emotions on dreams is considerable. Recent stimulation of having old memory banks dusted off and opened up, metaphorically speaking, has helped my dream life considerably.

Dangerous Man in My Room

I was in some sort of a room that I understood to be my room. It was like a hotel room or small apartment, and was unfamiliar to me-- I don’t remember dreaming about that room before, and it wasn’t like anything in my real life. It was simply furnished, and I think the door was open. This was in some kind of urban setting.

I was in the room, and a man came in. He looked at me and smiled but it was really ominous. He was average and ordinary-looking, middle-aged, white, dressed in some kind of sportcoat and slacks, medium build, and I think his hands were in his pockets. He was sort of wandering around the room like someone would do if he was in a store, looking at items. I became very afraid. I slipped out the door and went to a nearby place, another room close by. I asked someone there if I could use the phone because I wanted to call 911 for help because the man was dangerous and in my place. I tried several phones but could not get a dial tone on any of them. I should have then realized it was a dream, or at least did a reality check. One was an old bakelite phone, another was a pay phone on a wall, and then I think there was some other phone I at least looked at. In the dream I actually picked up receivers on the first two phones. I was also speaking to others there about my situation. I don’t remember who was there or what they looked like or what they did. I don’t remember how the dream resolved, either. It probably changed to another situation. The most striking thing about the dream was the sudden fear that I felt, and the need to immediately do something about it.

Sleep Onset Lucid Dream

Close to Him, but Not Alone
Scary Tide Pool: Too Deep

Sitting with X [from very long ago]; he was seated behind me in a kind of snuggling embrace. I could feel his legs and arms somehow close in around me, and he was being endearing in a way that was slightly out of character. Then he began reciting something, like he was quoting from literature. What I felt most about this situation was the physical proximity, and the voice proximity. I was aware I was hearing prose, real words coming out in fairly rapid delivery, and I was becoming lucid enough to realize I wouldn’t be able to remember what was being said, which was frustrating. My thinking was still sort of limited at this point. I was immersed in the feeling of that situation, and it seemed to distract me from full appreciation of my options. In a moment, I heard another voice coming from off to the right; [female]. She unexpectedly was completing the recitation of prose. This puzzled me in the dream; I realized having her there too was not what I wanted to happen. I had been having a kind of reverie during the dream, a kind of fantasy about what we could do, but this fantasy ended with my hearing the voice on my right. I realized if she was part of the dream, it would kill the eroticism of the original fantasy; this was almost an idle thought, a brief dream-within-the-dream.

The unusual, poetic formatting in the account below was an accident that happened during the original dream entry in my notebook computer. I decided it was interesting, and left it that way(!)

Dangerous Waters

At this point the dream shifted. I was with X in a pool of water that was immense, like an indoor ocean.
We were along the left edge, near a kind of corner. We were holding onto each other in the water, and the
dream somehow alternated between feeling like I was experiencing this with him, from a realistic-feeling point of
view, to a kind of wide shot where I saw the ocean pool more from a distance (although without seeing
myself and him in this view). The feeling was somewhat poignant and hauntingly romantic, somehow,
with an indefinable sense of meaningfulness. The striking thing about this ocean pool was that there was
a tide [I read about a pool in Japan that is like this, and saw a photo, about a month ago. Also, with X
there had at one time been such a conversation in real life]. The water was lapping up almost in
slow motion. The tide was what scared me, and also the fact that I knew the water became suddenly deep,
quickly. We held onto each other and I could feel the pull of the water around me. It was somewhat
frightening but still had a romantic feel. I knew we had to hang on and not be pulled by the deep water.

In case anyone besides me ever reads this account, I do not really know how to swim in real life.

Water has been appearing in my dreams lately as, apparently, a metaphor with several layers. I have been in a retrospective mode lately, with my 30-yr. reunion. Because I felt isolated for so long while I was growing up, this is still a charged emotional realm for me...

Vertical Platforms, Levels of Education

Following the semi-lucid dreams, I became completely lucid. I began to fly upward, but instead of being either in my typical indoor environment or my outdoor one, I was flying upward quite quickly along a series of vertical platforms.

As I was doing this, I was wishing I could slow down the flying, as I do enjoy looking at my environment in a dream. But I seemed unable to control the speed of my flying. I looked down for a bit, to see my arms and legs. They were fairly convincing. I wished, as I have lately, that I could have been wearing my Red Dress. [Fictitious garment worn in romantic dreams; it was a feature of many dreams I’ve had as an adult; I always enjoyed the idea of wearing it].

I seemed to have been wearing slacks. I looked as best as I could at the platforms, and I realized somehow that the dream was a visual metaphor for levels of education. I was pleased that I was able to grasp some significance of the dream while I was dreaming it. Eventually I ended up landing somewhere, and was reading some notices on a wall...

I had a fascinating series of dreams after this, and what I wrote above was just what I was able to remember the next day after only putting down the most rudimentary bedside notes. I woke up at 6:30, knowing I still wanted to sleep some more. I had a glass of sugared iced tea, and returned to sleep. I had the following lucid dream, followed by a non-lucid one.

Clever Dream-Character Surprises Me

I was, I think, in my backyard of my father’s house near the back door. There is a lot of stuff stacked around. A man is there [from real life], someone who resembles a guy whose name came up at the reunion picnic but was not actually there. [He was someone I hardly knew at all].

I understood completely that it was a dream, and I wanted to try an experiment with the dream. I asked him if he had any consciousness, and he answered immediately, “Not around here, I don’t.” This struck me as extremely interesting, even funny. I enjoyed how, even though I knew it was a dream, his answer surprised me, and as a dream event the remark came as a surprise and was out of any conscious control. I further understood it to mean that he couldn’t be conscious in my dream because it was my dream, not his. I was the one who was conscious, or even, I was the one who was real. This raised some humorous what-is-what issues for me in the dream, which I enjoyed thinking about while the dream was happening.

He was going to look for something for me, and I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting if you could get a dream-character to do tasks for you, to use them as a convenient method for extracting information from your own brain. What he was looking for was a box that had something of interest for me, but the dream changed before I could look in the box.

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