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    1. Another Rainbow (DWILD)

      by , 12-24-2016 at 08:09 PM
      Ritual: WTB 2am, woke up after a couple hours and strapped on the Motivaider, timed for 30m intervals. I woke up again after what I thought must be at least an hour and hadn't felt any vibrations. I decided that my awareness was not sufficient tonight to continue, removed the device, and went back to sleep. But apparently this process created an anchor for the idea of lucidity, because in my next sleep interval I became aware of lying in that intermediate state between sleeping and waking and went through the motions of getting up into a WILD. However, in retrospect it is clear that I was already dreaming at the start of this experience, so it was not a genuine WILD but a dreamed WILD (hence DWILD). It was 5:45am when I woke from the dream.

      DWILD, "Another rainbow": I am lying on the flat surface of a wooden table as though it were a bed in a large, strange room with a distant, domed ceiling. I feel groggily half-asleep, but notice the distinctive sensations in my body that make me wonder if I'm close to the dream state. I start playing with it as I would when inducing a WILD, attempting to roll and rotate my body while avoiding real physical movement. When I find myself face down and succeed in getting up on my hands and knees, I'm sure that I'm sufficiently integrated with my dream body to get off the table and explore the dream—and given that in retrospect I know was dreaming all along, it is apparent that the sense of difficulty that I experience as I carefully maneuver myself into a standing position, similar to what I experience in real WILDs, must be wholly a mental fabrication.

      My awareness is still low and initially lacking in agency, so I go along with the dream narrative for a while. The space in which I find myself is strange and hard to describe. There's a kind of reflective dome above me that rotates and shifts to reflect different parts of an upper floor or balcony. The dome moves until it is showing a distorted reflection of what looks like an early twentieth-century radio, one of the elegant ones in a large wooden cabinet. I am aware that seated up by the radio there is an older man who owns this place, and I am his guest. After this is a scene in which someone tells my brother that if he wants to get along with this man then he should take up shortwave radio as a hobby.

      Then a bunch of us are seated at a long table for a dinner party. [Source: Order of the Phoenix was on TV last night, and it has a number of scenes with people seated at long tables.] Plates are served and they all contain huge sandwiches. The older man that I saw in the balcony earlier is picking disinterestedly at his sandwich and asks where the other food is, the stuff that had been simmering in the crockpot. My brother, who had put together the food, says that it will be coming up as the next course. I'm seated directly across from the older man, who I think of as our "host," and can tell from his expression he doesn't want to eat the sandwich. I decide to be helpful and comment loudly: "That's a huge sandwich! I couldn't eat all that even for one meal." Although this is true, my intention in speaking was to save face for the other man by legitimizing the option of leaving the sandwich uneaten while waiting for the next course.

      After the sandwich course, we take a break from the meal and everyone who was at the table, about a dozen people in all, are standing in another room. The host is there, and a bunch of vague random people I don't recognize, as well as DC versions of my brother, mom, and dad. For some reason, maybe because of the lull in the narrative, I finally remember my intended task, the leprechaun TOTY, as well as how I had planned to accomplish it. My chief difficulty in previous attempts had been that once I managed to create the necessary rainbow, I got thwarted in my attempts to seek the end of it. As I had earlier been pondering this difficulty, a straightforward solution, perfectly obvious in retrospect, finally occurred to me: why not create the rainbow such that it ends right in front of where I'm standing?

      "Okay everyone, we're going to play a game, kind of like a party game." I smile at the host and add, "It'll give you time to digest before the next course." I reach out and pat his belly, an oddly familiar gesture given that the DC did not scan as anyone I know in WL. [Possible source: yesterday I was doing research related to Budai, the so-called "Laughing Buddha," and rubbing his belly is a recognized ritual gesture. But the DC did not in any other respect remind me of Budai.] I complete my announcement by telling the group: "We're going to make a rainbow!"

      The room we are in is walled entirely with glass on two sides, like a skyscraper, and I recognize that this clear view of the sky will be helpful for the task. I'm slightly more concerned about the fact that we're three or four storeys up, which means that if the rainbow ends here and I start digging through the floor, I won't actually be digging in solid ground. I remind myself that it is silly to maintain these kind waking life assumptions in the dream state. It can be solid ground if it wants to be, or maybe I can find the leprechaun in the room below us. Dream is nothing but malleable, so I really don't need to be this finicky.

      I continue with my instructions to the group: "What we need to do is hold hands and create the end of the rainbow right here." I gesture to indicate the patch of floor in middle of our circle of people. "Then we'll go through, fight the leprechaun, and take his gold." I look around to gauge the response and decide the DCs need a little more incentive. "We can split the money," I add, and am pleased to see that this perks up their interest.

      We join hands around a large circle. I feel that my shirt cuffs are too long and and getting in the way, so I have to break off and fold them up in order to get proper skin contact with the people around me. Once again I wonder if I'm being too finicky. Probably. Even the hand-holding seems like overkill, but I thought it might help us join our focus on the same goal.

      My assumption had been that the assistance of the DCs would help my own confidence and focus on the task. This idea was probably based on my last rainbow-making dream, when I really did feel like I benefited from the help volunteered by the little girl. But this group of DCs is not helping at all. Like typical adults in a social setting, they are only marginally interested in my unusual party game. While I'm trying to concentrate on making a rainbow, the others are getting distracted and starting to chit-chat among themselves. This is distracting me in turn.

      "Quiet!" I rebuke them sharply. "No talking, please. I need you to concentrate. Focus your intention." I figure they could use a reminder of the goal of our task: "We're going to create a rainbow"

      Periodically I've been glancing out the windows to see if a rainbow is visible in the sky yet. This time I notice that the weather has changed. The sky is grey and a steady rain is now pouring down. Rain, well, that's halfway to a rainbow, isn't it? I let myself be encouraged that the environment is showing some response.

      I continue attempting to focus, and the DCs continue to stand around without helping much. They're quieter after my reprimand but still distracted, and I have the impression that they don't seem to know how to focus their intentions properly. This is exasperating. What good are dream characters who don't even know how to interact with a dream? My mom starts speaking and I almost raise my hand to swat at her, irritated by yet another interruption, until I realize that what she's saying might actually be helpful. She is commenting on the light, how it needs to filter through the water particles a certain way to create a rainbow.

      I had never intended to create a rainbow with meteorological accuracy, but hey, since it's already raining outside, we might as well give it a shot. If we can just get the right sort of light, it might encourage our expectations in a way that will make this easier. You know how when it rains and then you see the light break through the clouds, and you wonder if you will see a rainbow? That's the expeirence I was now trying to recreate. I look out the window and sure enough, in one direction bright sunlight is now alternating with the dark clouds. Very well, the rainbow can come from that direction.

      Once again I concentrate, reminding myself that rainbows consist of light broken into the spectrum of colors. I think I almost see them in front of me, faint and translucent, but I can't tell if I'm only imagining them until the DCs all break out into "oohs" and "ahs," and saying things like "amazing!" I smile triumphantly, amused that everyone is acting so impressed after their earlier disengagement.

      (While it seems odd to make the above distinction between something that "happens" in a dream and something I'm "only imagining," given the many times I have attempted to complete some task by imagining the outcome and it has not tangibly manifested in the dream, some such distinction seems warranted, if much less clear and stark than the difference between imagining and experiencing in waking life.)

      It is a bit odd to try to look at a rainbow head on, from immediate proximity, but I do see a faint shimmering band extending from the lit quarter of the clouds to the floor right in front of my feet. I remind everyone that creating the rainbow was only the first step. "Now we have to dig through the floor." I start scrabbling at the smooth wooden boards, trying to imagine that the floor is soft and that my hands can scoop it up like clay. I feel everyone watching (no one else is trying to help) and their expressions are dubious. If merely creating a rainbow surprised them, imagine the skepticism they must feel watching me try to break through solid floor with my hands! I wonder if I can better align the expectations of the onlookers if I use some sort of tool to dig with, but I can't think of what might be handy.

      This time it is my dad who speaks up with some advice: "The location of the floor isn't localized on the floor." I don't understand what he's trying to tell me, and I don't have long to think about it because I feel myself waking. I lose the dream and lay still for a few minutes, feeling to see if I can DEILD, but no, my body is fully awake now.

      Updated 12-24-2016 at 08:17 PM by 34973

      Categories
      lucid , task of the year
    2. Kissing Clones (DILD)

      by , 07-02-2015 at 09:46 PM
      My brother and I were visiting my mom in the new house she was buying (no basis in WL). He was somewhere getting ready to leave—he was going to drive home for a day to take care of something and then come back on Wednesday. Currently it was Monday night.

      I followed my mom as she showed me around the house. Although it was very spacious, and beautiful from the outside, it was becoming apparent that a lot of things needed repair. She mentioned water damage as we entered the kitchen, and I saw that a number of floorboards in front of the sink were a different color, evidence that they had been replaced. When she turned on the faucet a lot of water immediately started flooding out from underneath the sink cabinet, so evidently the problem had not yet been solved.

      I noticed that all around the sides and back of the sink area was a kind of moat: the floorboards had been cut away to reveal an open area full of water. I remembered our little dog that had drowned in the cistern under the kitchen floor many years ago, and worried this might be a hazard to our current pets. If one of the cats fell in, would they be able to get out? The prospects didn't look good.

      "We'll have to cover this up." As we left the kitchen, I noticed that below the floorboards that had been cut away, I could see down to the basement, where thin wooden columns were spaced widely at intervals. "It's unnerving to see how little is holding up the floor we're walking on," I commented. It was even more unnerving when I saw how many posts were missing, as though they had rotted away. Repairs were going to be expensive. I was almost relieved to remember that I wouldn't be living here, but I thought I should do something to help my mom. Would $500 be a good donation to the repair fund? It probably wouldn't go far, though, given everything that needed to be done.

      Mom wanted to show me the attic, which was accessed by climbing a ladder through a disturbingly narrow shaft. She went up first, and as I followed I had to push back a rising feeling of claustrophobia at how tight the space was. I'm not normally claustrophobic but this was as narrow as a chimney... I felt hemmed in on all sides, and was afraid of getting stuck. I reminded myself that my mom had already gone up so I should be fine, and kept climbing until I had squeezed through.

      The attic was surprisingly nice given how difficult it was to access. It was a finished space with white walls and built-in bookshelves. Books were scattered all over the floor, but from the titles—throwaway pop culture stuff—I thought they must have beened abandoned by the previous owner. More bookshelves were always a plus, though we would have to make sure to shelve things up here that we didn't need to use very often.

      Then I noticed the washer and dryer, and my heart sank. You've got to be kidding me. "This is seriously where we have to do the laundry?" My voice rose with indignant disbelief. If I could barely fit through the shaft to climb up, how was I ever going to manage with a basket or an armful of clothes? And who thought it was a good idea to route the plumbing all the way up here? "We'll need to install some kind of dumbwaiter," was the best suggestion I could come up with.

      I explored far side of the attic room. Just past the washer and dryer was a small, irregularly shaped door in the wall, only a few feet high. I've always loved the strange little doors you sometimes find in old houses. I wonder where this one leads? I opened the door and behind it was a second door, identical to the first. That's odd... why would that... wait a minute! I am stunned by a sudden recollection. I have seen this kind of thing before! The door behind a door... that's something that happens in dreams! Could I really be dreaming? It still feels unlikely, but I look down at my right hand, palm facing up. For the most part it looks normal, but the top joint of my little finger is missing. It is round and smooth like an ordinary finger, but with only one joint rather than the normal two. And the ridge of the fingernail poking up past the truncated digit is long and blue. I keep my fingernails short and never color them. This is definitely not my proper hand.

      I'm still dumbfounded to realize that I was dreaming... often I have a vague dream awareness even in my NLDs, but this time there had not even been a trace of it. I might never have discovered it at all if it had not been for that glitch with the door.

      When did the dream begin? I try to think back. I was visiting my mom at her new house and then... wait... was that a different house, or was it this house? I realize that the only way I'll know when the dream started is to figure out when I went to sleep. I realize that I don't remember going to sleep at all. I was so tired, I must have just dropped off. But where? I was visiting the house for the first time, I wasn't even sure I had been assigned a place to sleep yet. I decided that the most likely place was a couch where I remembered sitting earlier.

      So had I dreamed the part about my brother visiting, or had he really been there too, and maybe I fell asleep before I could say goodbye? I tried to reconstruct the circumstances. My brother had been getting ready to leave and I had wanted to take a shower. I had already been rubbing shampoo in my hair when my mom told me that the water wasn't running, so I was stuck with shampoo in my hair and no way to get it out. Now the puzzling part... did this happen before or after I fell asleep? Might I already have been dreaming when I put the shampoo in my hair? The illogic of applying shampoo before I even undressed or got in the shower never occurred to me. Instinctively I reached up to feel my head, even though I was aware of the illogic of this gesture: even if I had been awake when I'd used the shampoo, there was no reason it couldn't manifest in the dream. My hair felt dirty but I couldn't tell if it was shampoo residue or just because it needed to be washed. In the end I couldn't figure out at which point in the evening's events I might have fallen asleep.

      [The real answer is that my memories of the evening did not include a single accurate detail from WL other than that I had gone to bed hungry, so everything I remembered had already been a part of the dream.]

      Should I keep exploring the house? Maybe, but I want to get out of this attic... not through that narrow shaft, though. There should be a better way down. I half hope for, half will into existence a set of stairs that I "discover" when I turn around. In a flash of dream logic, while I'm descending the stairs I forget it is the attic I'm leaving and momentarily think it is the basement, so it strikes me as strange that the house has a sub-basement. But by the time I reach the foot of the stairs I'm back to thinking of my new location as the second story.

      I don't want to waste the dream wandering around aimlessly, so I pause and try to think of a task. What were those new TOTMs? Plant a seed? I want to do that one, but I'd rather save it for some time when I find myself outside. Hmm... there was the one about cloning. It might be tough, given my usual difficulties summoning DCs, but I figure it is worth a try. I notice a tall mirror in the room and decide to use my reflection as the basis for the clone. The reflection looks satisfyingly accurate, and I see that I am wearing a loose ankle-length white dress. My hair is down but held back from my face with a headband. I decide that the simplicity of my appearance will make it easier to create the clone, so I simplify it further by removing the headband. I consider trying to pull my reflection out of the mirror to serve as the clone, but reason that a clone is not the same thing as a reflection, so instead I focus on recreating a copy of myself in the same room. This goes surprisingly well. I turn and look expectantly to my right, and there she is!

      I take my double's left hand in my right, and side by side we start walking together. I recall the TOTM instructed that we are supposed to perform some activity together, either cooperative or competitive. Walking is an activity, I suppose, but not very interesting one, so I suggest, "Let's skip!" Hand in hand we skip along for a few paces. Then we stop and look at each other. I am fascinated by the conviction that she really does look just like me. I should check, though... maybe she has a different idea of the situation.

      "Who are you?" I inquire, watching closely to observe her response. She briefly considers the question.

      "You're here," she replies, touching her fingers to the center of her chest.

      I am touched and delighted by her confirmation of our bond, our shared identity. At the same time, I start to feel something unexpected. The longer I look at her, the more attractive I think she is... more attractive than I usually see myself. Is it strange to be attracted to your own double? Does this reflect on me in some way? Moved by growing desire, I ignore the psychological quandaries and step very close to her.

      "Can I?" I ask suggestively, letting the question trail off.

      "Like, sexually?" She seems to understand what I am hinting at, but wants confirmation.

      At my nod she indicates that she is willing, so we embrace and start kissing one another. Our desire is mutually reinforcing, and things are heating up fast. At the same time, the clinical part of my mind is reasoning that this is very odd and unexpected, on both our parts, since I am not normally someone with a strong libido. But we all know how raunchy dreams can be! Still standing, my clone and I paw and grind against one another until I orgasm and wake up.

      Updated 07-02-2015 at 10:29 PM by 34973

      Categories
      lucid , task of the month
    3. Ambiguous RCs and False Memories (NLD)

      by , 01-08-2015 at 04:38 AM
      I was stressed about work. How am I going to complete all the obligations piling up this month, which is already getting shorter? I figured it would be best to prioritize. I should be able to finish the map in an afternoon if I get the right materials together. I thought about what I would need to finish it, and came up with vellum and archival paper. Fortunately I knew I already had these somewhere and was pretty sure where I had last put them, in a box in the storage area. I could see it in my mind's eye. I had woken up early and wanted to go retrieve them, but the rest of my family was still asleep.

      My mother, brother, and father were all staying with me in the house and I didn't want to disturb them by walking through the building and rummaging around in boxes. I decided to go outside for a walk instead. I walked down the stairs, which were littered with all the discarded santa masks. This struck me as odd at first, but I reasoned we must have had a holiday party yesterday.

      Outside it felt like early morning, and there was a narrow stream of clear water nearby. Next to the stream was a small building of naturally weathered wood, a sort of shed. Just after I entered it, it occurred to me that even though I know I'm awake, I should practice some RCs to instill good habits. No one else was around and there was no reason not to do a blatant one, so I jumped. Yes, just as I thought, it's obvious I'm awake, because that felt perfectly normal. But just for good measure I should do it a few more times in order to internalize the feeling of what a proper jump feels like in waking life.

      So I jumped in the air several times in succession, concentrating on that critical moment at the apex, when the upward motion reverses and gravity takes over. I knew that I would be able to tell if I were dreaming because the timing would be off, that moment would feel drawn out slightly, extended. Hmmm.... it isn't, is it? Was that a touch of hesitation at the top? No, I'm pretty sure this is natural. I've just never concentrated on it sufficiently before, my attention is making it seem more pronounced.

      And yet... it does seem a trifle too long. Could it be...? What if...? I had just begun to seriously consider the possibility that I might be dreaming after all, when I woke up in bed. Only very slowly did I come back to myself and realize that all the things I had taken as evidence that I was awake were wrong or askew, signs of false memory. The building and surroundings that seemed so familiar at the time were pure dream space, unlike any place I know in waking life. It made sense at the time that my whole family was there, but the only accurate part is that I'm currently sharing a hotel room with my mother. The anxiety about work is real enough, but it was only well after I had written down my initial notes that I realized that in the dream I had felt responsible for an additional project that didn't exist in WL, in addition to the real ones. Finally, as I initially lay in bed reviewing the dream, I didn't even notice how I slipped back briefly from genuine waking into an FA, and briefly found myself another place entirely, which only transitioned again to lying back in bed once I reached the point where I felt I had enough grasp of the memory to get up and write.