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    1. Successful Sled Ride! (FA-WILD + FA)

      by , 05-22-2017 at 04:43 PM
      Ritual: The new Twin Peaks started last night, so I watched the usual Sunday shows in their second round and didn't get to bed until after 2am. I woke around 7 or 8 and looked at my iPad a bit, enough to wake up my mind, with the usual vague intention to make this into a WBTB, but the only other mental preparation I did was to remind myself that dreaming involves proprioreception, so I should pay attention to my whole body as I fell back asleep. It was 9am when I woke after the dream, which I felt had lasted only a few minutes.

      FA-WILD: During my WBTB, my husband mentioned that he was going to the grocery store this morning, so when I was half-woken by the sound of the garage door, I knew he must have left. This much was evidently a real perception, but right after that, still believing I was half awake, I heard voices. I knew my brother was in his room on the other side of the house, but I couldn't account for the other voices. [DL: My brother lives on the other side of the country, and the room I thought he was in does not exist.] Was he on the phone? But there were several voices, and the sounds of people moving around. Had he invited friends over? Then I recognized one of the voices as that of my maternal grandmother. [DL: She died over twenty years ago.]

      Despite the dreamlogic, these observations did actually make me wonder if I was dreaming the voices, not because of the incongruities that would have been obvious to a waking mind, but only because of my conviction that if my husband just left for the store, then no one else (besides my brother) should be in the house so early in the morning. I tested to see if I was getting any dream imagery, and sure enough, when I partially closed my eyes, the four flaps of a manually closed cardboard box appeared superimposed over the rumpled covers of the bed that I had thought I was seeing with my waking eyes. [DL: In retrospect, is it apparent that everything I observed after hearing the garage door was already in dream, so I was mistaken in believing that I had woken up. My mind was half awake, despite the dream logic, which is what led to the confusion about which perceptions were dreamed and which were real.]

      I realized that if I was already seeing dream imagery, then if I was careful I could probably "get up" out of bed and into the dream just like I do in WILDs. This was easily done. I crossed the room, an accurate likeness of my bedroom, and opened the window to look outside toward what I understood to be my brother's room, on the second floor above the attached shed. [DL: The shed has no second storey.] The ground was covered with snow, and I did recognize that this was incongruous with the current season. It gave me the idea to do the TOTY that I had attempted a couple times earlier, the sled ride.

      The last shot of the final show I watched last night was a woman diving backwards over the edge of a boat to go scuba diving. It made an impression on me because I had only ever dived into water face first, and at the time I had tried to imagine what it would feel like to enter the water that way. Now, as I was about to jump out the window, I decided to do it backwards like a scuba diver. For a moment I felt like I was falling and wondered if I would actually hit the ground, but then the nongravity of dream caught me pleasantly in an inverted arc, and I settled gently to my feet.

      I remembered the last few times I had attempted the sled task, and how I had overcomplicated it to the point where I kept waking up before I could finish. This time I decided I'd better just get it done, even if my solutions weren't elegant. So instead of going to the trouble of finding or manifesting the necessary sled and mountaintop, I just asserted these conditions into existence. I'm on a sled, riding down a mountain. As is typical when I "brute force" things in dream, initially it felt like a fiction, but soon I began to feel plausible sensations of sitting on a sled and sliding down the snowy slope. It was far from my best work, but it sufficed.

      I was sufficiently familiar with the task that before I had even intended it, my sled slipped through an irregular opening like the mouth of a cave, into a wide dark space. But then I wondered if this was good enough—I hadn't read the terms of the task in ages. Would a cave suffice, or did it have to be a proper hole through the surface of the earth? I couldn't remember, so I decided to play it safe and conjured a perfectly round hole, like the sort of thing you might see in a cartoon, just in front of me on the lower floor of the cave. My sled and I slipped right through, and at this point my interest perked up, because I didn't know what to expect, and had not planned or intended anything past this point.

      It was dark down here, and I had no sense of the borders of the space, yet I could see the details nearest me perfectly well in the nonlight of dream. The place felt public and even familiar—familiar as a type rather than a specific location—but I can't think of how to relate it to anything in WL. A "town square" might be the closest analogue, but of course in WL town squares don't tend to be in enormous caverns underground.

      I felt my mind shift over into observation mode and began to take deliberate note of the things I saw, but at the same time I felt really hungry and couldn't resist impulsively tasting everything. [WL: I hadn't eaten much for dinner and had even felt hungry again by the time I went to bed, so this was a genuine bleedthrough sensation.]

      My sled had disappeared in the transition through the hole, so now I was on foot. The first object that I passed, on my left, was a piece of fabric that had been fashioned into the form of an elephant, about about eighteen inches wide. It was attached to the top of a pole stuck in the ground, elevating it to just above waist height. I pulled the fabric elephant off the pole to give it a closer look as I continued to walk. White was the dominant color, but the details were stitched in brightly-hued threads, red and blue and green. The base fabric had a thick pile, almost fur-like, akin to what you might see on a stuffed animal, but the object overall was flat, lightly padded like a thin quilt. My hunger impelled me to take a big bite, and in my mouth it had the taste and texture of a sort of bland taffy. (Tastes are rarely very distinctive in my dreams.) I dropped it and moved on.

      The next object I encountered was also on a waist-high pole, and about the same size as the elephant. This one was made of paper and a bit more three-dimensional—it resembled a large origami fish folded from patterned paper. The taste and texture were even less remarkable, but I was so hungry it felt good to be chewing something.

      As I observed with mild amusement the way my hunger was driving me to try to eat things that didn't even resemble food, the rational part of my mind responded that this being a dream, there was no reason I shouldn't try to eat literally anything I could see. I put this to the test, breaking off random bits of any surface I came across and nibbling on them. One thing I remember distinctly was a table. It was a round table covered by a long, dark-hued tablecloth. I think there was a vase of flowers in the center but otherwise it was bare, so I grabbed a hank of the tablecloth and started noshing on that. I was cramming far more in my mouth than I ever would in WL, but I didn't worry since I knew that this stuff had no real substance.

      I was still in snacking mode when I came across a white-bearded gentleman in a navy blue blazer. The bronze buttons caught my eye, and without so much as saying hello, much less asking permission, I reached out and twisted off the top button, bringing it to my eyes for a closer look. Tiny convex letters around the top spelled out "Bartholomew," and a small human figure occupied the center of the button. "Saint Bartholomew?" I asked the gentleman from whom I had taken the button, while trying to remember if there was really such a saint or if I was just free associating. [WL: I still wasn't sure so I googled it. Apparently Saint Bartholomew was an apostle, and although I was not consciously aware of that, I suspect the influence of day residue, because in The Leftovers last night several disciples were mentioned, and I've never been able to keep disciples and apostles straight.] The man shook his head, and when I looked again at the button I saw the letters rearrange themselves into the name "Balthus," which seemed to make a bit more sense... in a way that I can't entirely explain. Still hungry, I licked the button. I thought it tasted a bit sour and metallic, a bit like licking a D battery but without the tingle. The bronze button had been darkly tarnished but now gleamed where I had licked it, so I licked it a few more times to polish the highlights. I looked at the letters again and now they read "Ubewiz," a name meant nothing to me, though I thought it sounded vaguely Polish. [DL: I just noticed the symmetry between the verb "polish" and the adjective "Polish," so I suspect dreamlogic lay behind this observation.]

      FA: I woke up (so I thought) and immediately fished my dream journal out of the bottom drawer of my bedside table. [WL: This was a realistic detail, because although usually I keep it right on the table next to the bed, for the past few days it has been in the drawer.] I flipped through it and couldn't find a single blank page, but I didn't want to waste any time so I started writing my notes in the margins. I was jotting down keywords: "Bartholomew, Balthus, Ubewiz," read the first line. Then I included brief notes about the fabric elephant and origami fish. I hadn't gotten very far when I woke up again and realized that I had been taking my initial notes in a false awakening and would have to start over, so once again I pulled my journal out of the drawer and wrote—grateful for the blank page this time—"Bartholomew, Balthus, Ubewiz."

      Updated 01-13-2019 at 07:42 AM by 34973

      lucid , false awakening , side notes , task of the year
    2. "No Chicken" + "No Pants" (NLD fragments)

      by , 04-01-2015 at 07:08 PM
      Recall has been terrible for the last week or more, absolutely minimal. Last night was a little better, maybe 2/10: I dreamed all night but could barely piece anything back together, even right after waking up.

      NLD fragment, "No Chicken": I was in the backseat of a car being driven by someone else. I can't remember why we needed a live chicken. Although I had no awareness that I was dreaming, I knew instinctively that I should be able to conjure a chicken out of thin air by will alone, and I got frustrated after trying again and again with no success.

      NLD fragment, "No Pants": My mom wanted to enter an underground cave complex that had been set up as a tourist site, but I was afraid they wouldn't let me in because I wasn't wearing pants. I solved this problem by taking off my bulky green sweater and slipping it on like a skirt, fastening it by tying the arms together in front. Though this left me with nothing but a sports bra on top, I buttoned my coat over it and at that point felt like I could pass muster. In the cave, I looked down at my improvised "skirt" and thought it was working pretty well—to a casual observer, it might even look like I was wearing a normal skirt with a sweater tied around my waist.

      I commented, "Okay mom, this is the weirdest thing I've ever done." Though in retrospect I have to acknowledge that it really wasn't all that weird in the great scheme of things.
    3. Freeze! (EILD-FA/DILD)

      by , 03-04-2015 at 02:57 AM
      Ritual: WTB 12:30am, woke ~6am and set vibrating alarm for 40 minutes. I don't have a clear memory of it going off the first time (~6:40). The second time it went off (~7:20) I seem to have experienced it entirely within the dream state. My lucidity lapsed shortly thereafter but came back when I noticed that the circumstances were suitable for one of the TOTMs. I must have dreamed for about ten minutes after the alarm went off the second time, waking at ~7:30 with 29 minutes left on the alarm going into its third 40 minute cycle.

      NLD: I was on a bus traveling through a desert. Looking out the window, I saw an enormous lizard resembling an early-model godzilla. [DR: an image of a similar godzilla was shown briefly John Oliver's show on Sunday night.] It didn't look real, because on closer inspection its "skin" was wrinkled and rippling like that of inflatable parade float rather than a living creature. I concluded that it must be a world boss and looked away. Even though it was so much larger than me and very far off, I was afraid that my scrutiny might draw its attention, and I was not equipped to battle it without a raid.

      Our destination was a cave, which was pleasantly cool and dark after the burning light and heat of the desert outside. I passed through the large front cavern through a door labeled "Imagemakers" that led into a back room. These "imagemakers" were literally cave painters, a studio full of artists each doing individual murals on the walls, but in a modern, Asian-inspired style. [DR: One painting seemed reminiscent of Toshio Aoki's Thunder Kami (1900), which I was looking at yesterday.]

      I comment to one of the artists how pleasantly cool it is here in the back room. She replies, "It's only 25, if you're not careful you might freeze." [DR? I had reviewed the TOTMs before bed and my notes used the word "freeze," which also ended up being the task I attempted later in the same dream.] I assume she means Celsius because it's not that cold in here, and try to remember what that would be in Fahrenheit—72 or so? I point out to her that when I start to feel cold I can just put on more clothes. Outside in the heat, there was nothing I could do, so this is preferable.

      EILD-FA: I feel the vibrating alarm and "wake up," or so I believe, though it retrospect it was obviously an FA because I was in a room with no resemblance to WL. I am sitting in bed reading a book, and after I feel the vibration I remember not to move at first, lest I break REMA. As I start to feel more confident in my dream senses, I venture to turn the page of the book. Slowly I expand my range of motion until I'm sure that I'm not going to disrupt the dream. The plot of the previous dream continues (insofar as it has any continuity, which isn't much) and I soon lose what little lucidity the alarm had prompted.

      NLD: Now everyone's talking about a bride who is coming, also on a bus, and someone instructs me to go to a counter to buy a present for her, "a small dog." I had envisioned a tiny dog that was only a few inches long, but the two available at the counter aren't small by any reckoning; they must weigh 40 or 50 pounds. The clerk asks me what I want the dog to be able to do. I think this over, rationalizing that it is a gift to someone who might not be expecting it, so it would be best if it isn't too high maintenance. "Ummm.... sleep a lot?" is my first suggestion. I try to think of other possibilities. "Stand up? Lick? Can they do that?" The clerk looks at me and answers in a tone that suggests he thinks I am an idiot, "Yeah, they can all do that."

      While I'm deliberating someone has come up and bought one of the two dogs, so I'm stuck with the one that is left. I think it's really ugly, with shaggy beige fur, and I hope the bride likes it or I'll be stuck with it. At least the dog has a good personality, friendly and responsive, nuzzling up to me like it wants to be liked. I go to another room and start talking with two girls. Suddenly the dog starts humping the floor, which embarrasses me. "I hope he doesn't do that around her," I say, meaning the bride. One of the girls laughts comments that the way she's been carrying on with her new husband, she probably won't be offended.

      DILD: As the conversation continues, I suddenly notice: hey, I'm in a room with DCs, this would be a perfect opportunity to try the "freeze" TOTM. I mean, okay, there's only two of them, but we are in a room, so that should qualify as a "roomful."

      "Freeze!" I say suddenly, interrupting whatever else we were talking about. The girls stare at me with looks that say "WTF." They're still moving normally, so I issue the command again, attempting to focus my will by tensing my body. That doesn't work either, and I realize that I have the wrong approach. I need to be focusing my mind, not my body. "Freeeeeze," I say cajolingly, drawing out the word. At this point they do stop moving, but I have the impression that they're just playing along. I decide to try the narration technique. "Your body feels so heavy, you can't move. You're paralyzed, like when you sleep." That reminds me, of course we're not completely paralyzed when we sleep, and I'd better not kill them by overdoing it. I hastily add, "You can breathe, of course, just like when you're sleeping."

      The girls seem to be complying now, so I study them closely to be sure. I also remember that I should take conscious note of their names, which I had instinctively known earlier in the dream but had almost forgotten on going lucid. The smaller one on the left, with the dark hair... I think back and all I can come up with is "Calm." It sounds odd, but that's the only name that I remember for her. The plumper girl on the right, a blonde, I know for sure is called "Amy."

      The smaller girl seems completely comatose now. I lift her arm and drop it, and it falls with satisfying limpness. The larger girl is also lying still, but I get the impression she's just pretending: one of her arms is in a position that could only be maintained by exerting muscle control. I lift it and it is stiff in my grasp.

      Then I realize I'm going about this all wrong. I try to remember the specifics of the TOTM. Was I just supposed to freeze them in place, or was there something about actually stopping time? I can't clearly remember the wording. I decide I'd better try the latter in any case, it might work better—and I won't have to worry about the girls accidentally suffocating if time itself has stopped.

      "Freeze!" I shout, now indicating not only the two of them but the whole environment, with only myself as an exception. I find that the logical impossibility of this trouble me: if I continue moving normally, then in what sense can time itself be said to have stopped? It doesn't make any sense. I remind myself that this is a dream, and I'm not obliged to work out the physics of it. I look at Amy to see if my new strategy has resulted in any improvement. No, although she is lying quite still, and her arm looks properly limp now, she's actually tapping the fingers of one hand.

      "Freeze!" I shout again, looking directly at her hand. Still tapping. "Freeze!" I yell, glaring at the hand. Tap... tap... tap. "Freeze!" I insist, mustering all my intent. The hand finally goes limp. It occurs to me that at some point I'm going to need to write all this up, and the thought wakes me.

      Notes: I never did remember the second part of the TOTM, not just in the dream but even after waking up, recording my notes, and going about my day... but I had the feeling that there might have been more to it, that I left something out, and on coming home from work and checking the forum, I see that there was a whole second part of the task that I skipped!

      Updated 03-04-2015 at 03:02 AM by 34973

      lucid , non-lucid , false awakening , task of the month