• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views




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    What can I say? Some dreams just call out to be shared. I've always found it interesting to read about other people's dream lives, and now I'm giving them the same chance.

    1. This Must Have Been Kafka’s Bank; Old Acquaintance

      by , 04-22-2018 at 11:09 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      It seems I’ve gone to a bank to figure out why I can’t get my checking account hooked up with Paypal. They’ve given me a form to fill out—I’m sitting at a large table with a few other customers scattered around it while a female employee stands behind a desk at one end of the room.

      But the form is proving quite frustrating. All the questions are so unclear that I keep having to call the woman over to explain what information it’s asking me for. And it seems that a lot of what it’s asking for is other people’s information—relatives, friends, people who would be able to do a particular thing for me.

      I call the woman over to explain yet another question—it claims to be questions 4 through 10, although it seems to be a simple yes or no question. What’s this one asking me for? She tells me that one doesn’t actually count for anything, and I can write anything I want there. Well, fine then. I write: “yes?/no!” below it. The woman seems a little dubious. But if it doesn’t matter, then presumably it doesn’t have to make sense. Besides, I say, how often do you get the chance to answer a question like that? And she seems to accept that.

      I had hoped to have this matter settled today, but since I’m going to have to get in touch with so many people to get the information I need to fill the form out, it looks like it’s going to drag out for a while longer. But then it dawns on me: this thing is making me think about the ways I’m connected with other people. Could it be that that’s what this was really about?

      Later that night, in a different dream, I’m going to a place like a big department store with a group of people. A lot happened in this one, but in the only part I can remember well, we have all met up at a café that's part of some larger space. We sit at a couple small, round tables to one side of the counter. There are some nice-looking pastries on display, but I don’t recall anyone actually ordering food.

      I was hoping to sit next to Katya, but she ended up at the other table, and other people sat down there before I could move over. Instead, I seem to be sitting beside an old schoolmate, someone I haven’t seen or even thought about since we were both 10. We talk about life back then. She mentions a particular boy, saying she remembers I had a lot of classes in common with him. I can’t remember whether I did or not. It’s not something I would have taken note of. I say that I remember having a lot of classes in common with another boy, though. She doesn’t remember who he is at first. But then she says, “Oh, the one with the naked fairy dream?” This is referring to the dream records that are displayed here in this café. It seems they were collected by Judge what’s-his-face from some of the students back then as part of some project—maybe like a public display of kids’ artwork, like you see sometimes— and by some massive coincidence, they ended up here, where we are.

      I have my bouzouki in my lap, in its case. I’m thinking of taking it out and playing it. It would have nothing whatsoever to do with anything that happened in the past, and that would be nice.

      22.4.18
    2. Eight Ways of Dying

      by , 04-15-2018 at 09:14 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      I am going on a trip with some other people—vague impressions of preparation, of using a computer in a lab to take care of some paperwork I need for it—some kind of registration, maybe.

      It seems to be a long trip. We are traveling by car, and after a while, we stop at a gas station. I go inside to find something to eat and am pleasantly surprised to discover they have marzipan here. I pick out a couple small bars of it, along with some other food for the road.

      A little while later, I’m in a room belonging to my friend Nina—it seems to be in the same building, with the gas station just on the other side of a door. I’m examining some small statues on the shelves. The statues illustrate the “eight ways of dying”—which actually seems to signify ways of living, the idea being that they’re lifestyles that don’t really deserve to be called living.

      There are two complete sets of the eight, and they both go about illustrating them in different ways. I looked at all of the statues, but the only one I remember vividly was the eighth one of the second set, which I was looking at as I woke up. The key symbol seems to be a snail, representing an unthinking, animal-like life. But while the sculptor of the first set has just portrayed the snail, the sculptor of the second—who seems to have a more fanciful take on things in general—has portrayed the snail crawling over a human corpse in a colorful stage of decomposition. Where’s Nina so I can ask her about these, I wonder.

      I can also vaguely remember a couple other statues, also from the second set. The second statue showed a woman lying on a massage table surrounded by jars and bottles and things, and the fourth didn’t seem to have any living figures at all, but looked like a mineralogist’s work table might—rocks of various kinds scattered over it and a jar of rocks in the center.

      15.4.18

      (Note: I think the Buddhist ideas here are pretty clear, but it may be less obvious that it’s also drawing pretty heavily from Plato.)
      Tags: car, snail, statues, travel
      Categories
      non-lucid
    3. The Gifts You've Been Given

      by , 04-13-2018 at 12:55 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      I’m an observer watching a scene unfold on a boat—but really, it’s more that I’m looking at it and the people on deck while being aware of the situation playing out there in a more abstract way. There are some documents I need for traveling on this boat, and I’m not sure if I have them or if I need to go through some process to get them.

      The scene shifts—I’m now exiting a bus. But instead of winding up outside as I had expected, I’ve simply stepped onto another bus. I quickly take a seat behind the two women who entered ahead of me and wonder where this one is going to take me.

      The scene shifts again—this time, I’m waking up in the back of a car my parents are driving. It feels as if I’m younger in this one. We’ve just stopped by a building I recognize as the one where my father’s workshop is. That means we’re not far from home now. I fall back asleep.

      The scene shifts yet again—this time, I’m in a grocery store. And this time, I know it’s a dream, although I still seem to think the last bit with the car was waking reality. I think it would be best if I sleep for the remainder of the trip, and so that means making sure this dream lasts.

      I look around. There don’t seem to be anyone here but me. It's reminiscent of the specialty grocer’s down the street from my old flat on Svornosti. That means there should be a counter over in the corner where I can get some coffee.

      I go over and find the counter is there, and that there’s somebody behind it. There’s nothing displaying prices, so I just put down three bills, possibly dollars, which seems like a more than fair price. But the woman tells me I have to make the coffee myself using the machine there. It’s an odd contraption, like no coffee maker I’ve ever used, but after messing around for it a bit, I get it to pour some coffee out - Turkish style, with the grounds at the bottom. I drink it. This isn’t a conscious attempt at stabilization, I don’t think—just something that struck me as a pretty good idea—but it may have had that effect, as it’s normally hard for me to stay asleep so late in the morning.

      I consider where to go from here. Perhaps home, where the car was headed—only I have no idea where I am right now. But if I fly, perhaps I’ll see some familiar landmark from the air and be able to find my way from there. And to fly, I’ll need a high place to launch from—so it looks like I’m headed to the roof.

      In the meantime, I’ve noticed six or seven wolves between two shelves on the upper story, which is a sort of balcony over one half of the store. They all trot off in a single direction as I watch. Are they coming after me? But I wasn’t planning on sticking around here in any case. I climb a shelf and phase through the ceiling.

      I now find myself in a room lit by a warm light. A long mahogany table laid with bright red dishes is some distance off—set for an elaborate meal, it looks like. It's quite pretty. I continue on my way, climbing another shelf and jumping through the ceiling.

      This time I’m in an attic-like room near a big calico cat that, in typical feline fashion, seems entirely unimpressed by my unusual method of transportation. But it’s about then that I wake up.

      I also wake up remembering something else—not something I heard, but words that seemed to be impressed on my mind. It went something like: “Use the gifts you’ve been given, human.” I don’t know who said it—perhaps it was the cat?—but it seemed somehow independent from the rest of the dream, like it was taking place on a different level. Good advice, in any case.

      12.4.18 - (Happy Lucid Dreaming Day, everyone!)
    4. Been Here A Lot Lately

      by , 04-12-2018 at 02:42 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      I find myself walking down the staircase to the basement of my M--- house. It occurs to me that this is a place I only visit in dreams—and so I must be dreaming right now.

      The room is dark, so I try to brighten it up a little bit by clapping as if the lighting there was the kind that responded to that. But that doesn’t seem to help, and the visuals, though still vivid, have an indefinite quality to them that tells me the dream isn’t very stable. I decide I’ll cut the visuals off altogether to stabilize it through other senses, but wake up first—right around the time I ordinarily wake up, which explains the instability. I seem to have completely lost the ability to sleep in nowadays.

      10.4.18
      Tags: basement
      Categories
      lucid , dream fragment
    5. Carved in Stone

      by , 04-08-2018 at 06:04 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      This dream took place in a city than my brain identified as Dubrovnik. And it wasn’t entirely unlike Dubrovnik—it was by the sea, and in the right sort of general landscape, only hillier, and it did have a similar aesthetic. This wasn’t the first time I had a dream set there, although I don’t think I identified it as anywhere familiar that time.

      In this dream, the city seems to be gearing up for a festival, with some tents and stalls already up, some still being set up. The city is full of people, which strikes me as an unusual circumstance, as if I’ve been living here rather than a visitor like them. As I hear people talking among the crowd about the best route to a certain location, I know the answer. But right now, they’re heading in the right direction anyway—at least, if they want to see the preparations along the way, which is what I want to do.

      Across a canal or some kind of long, rectangular pond, there are yet more people near a fountain, including someone I know—an old classmate of mine, an Italian exchange student. She and an unfamiliar man are embracing there. In front of me, some other people I recognize as classmates have also noticed, and they don’t like what they see. One young woman in red makes a disparaging comment rather loudly, clearly intending to be heard by them. I don’t know what the story is here, but I find it hard to believe that it could possibly be any of their business.

      I run into her again later on, as part of a group of performers, doing some kind of open-air act—oddly, it’s as if they’re all hovering above the water of a canal like the other one, only wider. I wave to them as I pass, and they wave back, but nobody else is even acknowledging them. I have the impression that they’re afraid to for some reason.

      At some point, I’m further up, out of the city proper. I pause to look down a broad stone staircase—really, more of a terraced sidewalk—that winds its way down to the sea. The sea is shining and calm, pale blue and pink, as if the sun only rose a short time ago.

      And further still, there's some kind of special site. I climb on a big rock to get a better look at it. The whole area is blocked off with a sheet of glass and has a rather stage-y appearance, as if it were intended to be seen from this angle. To the right is the entrance of a cave, where cacti and other scrubby plants are growing. To the left are four reclining chairs in a row—I assume that means this place will be open to the public at some point, since I can’t imagine why they would be there otherwise.

      The ground they’re located on breaks off with a sheer cliff face which I’m directly facing, and I can see something interesting there: some kind of symbol carved in the pale stone. It's a small circle with two lines inside it, which are arranged like the hands of a clock when it’s 10 o’clock, and coming off the bottom is a long, wavy line ending with a wedge, like an arrow. It strikes me as vaguely alchemical. I wonder what it signifies—it definitely seems to suggest some kind of downward motion.

      Some other people have gathered here while I’ve been looking—I recognize someone else I know. The last time I spoke to him was very awkward, but he doesn’t mention that, which I’m glad of. He’s telling me about the cave. But unfortunately, I can’t remember much of what he says—only that something important took place here a couple millennia ago.

      8.4.18
      Categories
      non-lucid
    6. Ghosts Took My Car Keys

      by , 04-03-2018 at 09:25 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      I’m in a car with my mother, driving down an unfamiliar road towards the house where she's living—it seems that I’ve come here to visit her and will be leaving soon. We aren’t far from the house, but she indicates that I should turn off to the right, where there’s a cemetery. I already have some idea what this is about since I know there’s a grave here that she’s been taking care of. We’ve already visited a couple times during the course of this visit. I turn into the entrance.

      Now we’re both walking through the cemetery. It’s a bit overgrown, but a livelier place than you might expect since there are kids running around doing kid things and other people who are here visiting.

      Some of the children are decorating the grave we’re headed for. They’re debating over where to put a special artifact—it looks like a small spiral seashell, only brown and lightweight like a cicada skin. Right now, they have it set on the leaf of a flowering plant, but it seems to be bending the leaf back too far.* (At some point, I couldn’t say exactly when, I seem to have become a different person—a friend of my mother’s, a man, maybe in his 40s or older.)

      Eventually, somebody gets the idea of calling up the spirits themselves and asking them how they want the grave to look. Now there are a number of them floating around, including one that is just a disembodied hand. They ask it to point to what it wants on the grave—but, unexpectedly, it goes straight for my car keys. Really? But I know I have to give them up now.

      But I also know—not from the man’s perspective, but from somewhere outside it—that they are laying claim to the keys because they like him, they think he’s a great guy, and by doing this, they can prevent something bad from happening to him that they know is in his future otherwise. The fact that he is massively inconvenienced in the process is completely incidental.

      *Note: I had spent a few hours of the previous day on website design, a lot of which is figuring out how to get thing A to location B without messing anything else up. An interesting parallel here.

      2.4.18
      Categories
      non-lucid
    7. More Than 21 Cats

      by , 03-28-2018 at 10:39 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      Last night, I once again found myself lucid, once again without being entirely sure how it happened. It felt like the dream was close to an hour long, although it was technically two dreams since there was a brief awakening and reentry in the middle. Because it was so long and I spent the whole thing just exploring the house I found myself in and messing around, it wouldn’t make for very interesting reading, and so I’ll just include a few highlights of it.

      -Finding a series of books entitled “More Than 21 Cats” on a bookshelf.

      -Devoting more attention than usual to maintaining awareness and focus. My lucid dreams almost always end with no warning whatsoever, and while I used to consider this something I couldn’t do much about, I’ve been wondering lately whether preventative stabilization might help. This intention seems to have carried over, and as the dream was longer than any I’ve had for a while, I’d call it a success.

      -Receiving a few gifts for no apparent reason from people who were around. I spent a good chunk of the dream opening them, resisting the urge to go off and do other things since it seemed like that would have been ungrateful, even if it was a dream.

      -Moving a wardrobe with my mind. I extended my hand, interfacing with it on a mental level—if that makes sense—and then pulled. And then I pushed it back.

      -Having the dream briefly interrupted by a message displayed over the scene as if it were a screen. It was a rather ominous message, but it seemed to have no immediate effect other than turning everything in the house green and shifting some of the furniture into new styles and/or positions. This may have been a direct result of moving the wardrobe as it happened shortly afterwards, and the last time I tried to control things in a lucid dream was also closely followed by something weird and threatening happening.

      -Two more visits to my M--- basement, the first before the green shift, the second afterwards to see if anything had changed. It had: the second version had a closed door where the tunnel often is in dream versions of it, as well a sort of workshop behind the same wall, visible through a couple small windows.

      -Lots of cats around, but probably less than 21.
    8. Playing with Perception

      by , 03-20-2018 at 11:17 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      I seem to have got lucid early in the night somehow and have decided to experiment with something I’ve been meaning to try out: intentionally connecting with my dream environments on the more intimate level that I sometimes experience in my non-lucid dreams. That was the general plan, but now that I’m here, I know how I’ll carry it out: doing without my vision. It’s something I’ve done out of necessity before in dreams, but never on purpose.

      I’m in the basement of my old house in M---, or the basement plus, I might call it, since it’s the expanded version of itself it usually takes in dreams. This iteration of it is completely empty and has the usual weird tunnel leading off who-knows-where. But for the time being, I’ll be staying in this room. The place is a bit creepy, but just right for what I have in mind.

      I turn off my vision and feel for the influx of knowledge that I’m confident is there, latent in the dream - and find it. It’s difficult to describe - I'm not up for trying right now, but I think anyone who plays around with dreams much will have some experience to extrapolate from. I walk around for a while like that—I really don’t seem to have any trouble navigating this way. I turn my vision back on to confirm that it’s the same bare room. It is.

      But there’s something else I want to try, so I turn my vision off again. I want to see if I can actually navigate a dream using sound, which I’ve never done before. I walk around some more, this time paying close attention to the echoes of my footsteps, trying to model the shape of the room with them. The sound seems to take on a living quality somehow, as if using it in this way has really turned it into an extension of my consciousness. And I’m actually getting an impression of a room, though a very rough one, and it’s hard to be sure when I already know it pretty well by now.

      Vision back on. And with that done, I go off and have some non-lucid dreams until about 3:30 am, when I wake up and record the experience.

      20.3.18
      Categories
      lucid
    9. Political Poem; And each time, it grew colder

      by , 03-18-2018 at 11:58 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      I seem to be back in my old house in M---, in the dining room/weight room area (an odd combination that is actually true to life rather than your standard oneiric mash-up). I'm reading a poem that is supposedly by Heine. It’s a sort of varied, complex, allusive thing that somehow manages to be beautiful while also having real matter to it. But as incredible as it is, there’s also a real sense it which it doesn’t speak to modern people anymore. That means there’s an opportunity for a modern take—which is an intimidating prospect since whatever I’d write would inevitably be held up next to this one.

      While pursuing this line of thought, I’ve gotten up and started walking towards the front door. The part about the different Chinese dynasties—well, no question what that would have to be now. In the original, it was totally an indirect criticism of his government—you had to be indirect about it in those days.

      I now seem to be packing for a trip I’m going to take with some friends. The next part I remember clearly is being in a train station rather like the one in L---, waiting for my train. But I notice I haven’t brought my heavy coat with me, and since we’ll be camping, I could really be missing it if the weather turns cold. I also have some plastic boxes, one of which is filled with cheese? Why is this even here?

      Looking at an analog clock, I see I still have 20 minutes left before my train arrives, and that’s enough time to pack more sensibly since I only have to go down a hallway to get to my house. I picture the hallway: it’s reminiscent of the one between Penn Station and Madison Square Gardens in NYC.

      There seems to be another shift here: I’m now watching a video— like animated drawings, black and white. It’s about three girls, one of whom I know is me, although they are all represented identically. There is also music in the background: a bouzouki playing a cheerful melody.

      According to the narration, the three girls created a world together. But this doesn’t seem quite right to me. The images are definitely showing them doing it one at a time, but the narration seems to be referring to it as a single event. Perhaps the video is just showing it that way in order to make the levels of ontological priority clear? No, the video clarifies, it really did happen three separate times. The one who is me did it the first time, and then, a while later, each of the others—but it was somehow harder for them because each time, it had grown colder there.

      And now I actually seem to be there, walking through the scenery as it’s snow falls. There are graves there, marked by headstones—the graves of the two other girls, I realize. This does not compute—especially the incongruity with the background music, which has failed to reflect the dark turn this scene has taken and is continuing on as cheerfully as before—and I wake up.

      But the last phrase of the music was still clear enough in my memory to where I was able to record it:



      As of waking up, it was on its second repetition. My guess is that this isn’t an original creation. It just seems so familiar—but then, so many things in dreams do.

      18.3.18

      Updated 03-19-2018 at 02:10 AM by 75857

      Categories
      non-lucid , memorable
    10. Insistent Melody; The Centipug

      by , 03-13-2018 at 10:19 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      I'm lying in the middle of a dark room, trying to sleep. But it’s not very comfortable there since I don’t have a pillow or blankets or anything else except the (possibly carpeted) floor. As I lie there, a piece of music comes into my mind—“Night on Bald Mountain.” It’s not as if I’m thinking of it: rather it’s as if it’s pushing all the other thoughts out of my head until it’s the only thing there, even though it's clearly in my head and not actually playing.

      It plays for a few bars, and then, just as the horn blasts the first note of the melody, I hear a loud crash from outside. A jolt of alarm—but it lasts only for a moment. The noise I heard sounds just like the falling branch did a couple weeks ago, when the winds came through, and it seems likely to me that that’s what happened now. But I reflect that that was odd, about it matching the melody—almost as if, on some level, I knew the crash was going to happen in advance.

      I’m not sure what series of events came in between this and the next dream I can remember clearly, but my memory picks up shortly after attaining lucidity somehow. I step through a door out into a hallway—tile floors, completely bare, and several wooden doors, including one with a window in it at the end of the hall. Through the window, I can see some sort of colorful projection on the wall, like a screen. I head towards it and open the door.

      The room turns out to be a mid-sized lecture hall, with the seats and desks in a semicircular amphitheater arrangement. A few students are scattered throughout, and although there doesn’t seem to be a teacher here, a PowerPoint presentation is going. It seems to be a presentation on poetry.

      An idea occurs to me: I’ll write down what I see and then try to record as much of it as I can in my dream journal once I’m awake. Granted, most of it looks like the sort of word salad you might except the subconscious mind on autopilot to kick out, but it could still be interesting. I forage around for something to write on but turn up with nothing but a pencil and some kind of treated animal skin, which is pretty far from ideal, but I figure I can try writing on the leathery side. I slip into a seat in the back row and start taking notes.

      I have a good half “page” or so written by the time I wake up—with no warning, as usual. But I find I can’t remember any of it—not even the one line that actually seemed striking to me as I was recording it. The only thing I can remember from the whole presentation was the centipug (to give an appropriate name to it)—the clipart-ish picture of a pug with many sets of legs that was at the bottom of one of the slides. Funny how that works.

      13.3.18
    11. The House by the Waterfront; Furious Panda

      by , 03-07-2018 at 04:09 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      I’m driving in an unfamiliar town, where I’m going to attend an event of some kind. I have the impression it has something to do with Kyabje Düd’jom Rinpoche? At first, I’m trying to find a parking spot near a junction, but all the spots there seem to belong to the nearby buildings, so I turn the car around and head towards the waterfront, closer to where the event will actually be held. It’s a long, straight street with small, gray paving stones and narrow, wooden houses painted light colors on either side. At one end of it, I can see boats, their masts blocking the view further out—to the harbor itself, presumably.

      I look around for house no. 11, which is where the event will take place, so I can park nearby. The address plates are large and clearly display the numbers, rather like the Prague address plates do. The plates seem to be in the right general order, and so I don’t have trouble finding it—but there do seem to be both odd and even numbers on a single side. I’m not sure whether it was this that clued me into the fact that I was dreaming, but it definitely happened right around then.

      This is a dream: what will I do? Checking out no. 11 still seems like a pretty good idea, but first, I decide to take a look around the area. I walk along the street, towards the harbor—but as I walk, it seems to change from a street to an underground tunnel, and when I reach the end, I’m not by the open sea, but looking into a square room full of water. It seems completely closed off and is made of some yellow-red stone, mossy where it's close to the waterline. The water is packed with boats—not big ones like I saw before, but little ones, more on the order of rowboats.

      There’s something a little ominous about this place; it’s impossible to imagine what purpose it could possibly be serving. If this were a Zelda game, I’d fully expect the door to slam behind me and some giant monster to rise up out of the water and attack. I wait. The water seems to be rippling in a rather odd way. After a little while, a couple of larger waves swell up, rolling beneath the layer of boats. But they just die down again, and the water becomes perfectly still. I watch for a little while longer, but it looks as if that’s all that’s going to happen, and so I head back towards the house—now, an entrance partway along the tunnel. I open the door and step in.

      An Asian woman greets me: it seems I’ve been expected, although there doesn’t seem to be any kind of a gathering here as I thought. The woman also seems to be expecting me to have a female friend along. I consider telling her that I’m here alone, but actually, there’s no reason I can’t invite someone else. I tell the woman I’ll send them a text message and they should be here shortly.

      I pull my iPhone out of my pocket. But somehow, all the people I can think to invite are male. An idea occurs to me: I start spelling out A-N-I-M-A using the numbers which correspond to those letters. The phone is a bit shifty, as such devices often are in dreams, but not enough to impede me. But partway through, I remember that I’m not supposed to have an anima, being female and all. So I make it end U-S instead and send the ‘coded’ message off. Well, I guess I’ll see what happens. I put the phone back in my pocket and we sit down at the table in the next room to eat.

      The table is a large one, but there are only three places set—hers, mine and the empty one. We have some kind of fish dish, which tastes good. Not much in the way of conversation is happening, and so I’m mostly focusing on remaining aware, making sure I don’t forget this is a dream. It’s an interesting feeling, being here in this place, which feels so real and yet so unreal. I could get up and do something else, but I want to see where this is going.

      But at some point, I wake up—due to some environmental noise, possibly. But it’s only a short time before I fall asleep again, and find myself back in the house, in an upstairs bedroom this time.

      Through a window, I see branch falls onto the roof of a neighboring building—a large, blocky structure. The roof looks like it’s in bad shape, with large chunks of tile missing—this place must have got hit by the storm too, I figure.

      I’m eating a cup of yogurt there. It’s chalky and bland. Probably low-fat. Why am I eating this awful stuff? This is a dream, I don’t have to eat it. I place the cup on a dresser or some similar piece of furniture. Downstairs, I hear the door of the house opening, voices in conversation—somebody has arrived. Maybe it’s the person I invited in the earlier part of the dream. I’ll go down and check. But right now I’m wearing a nightgown, so I ought to put something else on first.

      I step over to the full-length mirror, which is standing near the door, and look at my reflection. I’m wearing a plain nightgown, like a short dress with spaghetti straps. Oddly, I don’t seem to look quite like myself—my face is different, though not completely different, and my eyes seem to be the usual color. I step back. It’s been a while since I’ve done this—and actually, I’ve never done exactly what I’m about to try, but it doesn’t seem like it should be too hard. I’ll create myself something more appropriate to wear. I extend my hands, palms upward, feeling energy gathering.

      But it doesn’t feel right—there’s some kind of a resistance there. As I notice that, I also see something standing behind me in the mirror—a furious-looking panda bear approaching me. I turn around, looking into the room—but it's empty. There's nothing there. I look back at the mirror: furious panda. Well, this is a little creepy. But because it’s a panda, being furious just makes it look ridiculous rather than menacing. I step backwards into the room with one hand behind me, feeling for the spot where the panda ought to be based on its reflection—but I wake up before I can get to it.

      6.3.18
    12. Like mesas and sunsets, but more so

      by , 03-03-2018 at 11:41 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      Once again, my memory only picks up partway through what seems to be a large, complex plot mostly full of unfamiliar people and settings. This setting, from what I recall, visually resembled an exaggerated version of the American Southwest—think mesas and sunsets, but more so— although the action and characters didn’t seem to match up with it in any discernible way.

      My friend Ona and I are swimming in an indoor pool when two men we’re acquainted with who are cousins arrive and say that they’ve reserved it for a period of time, starting now. I can see from a chart with colored boxes on a grid that they have, so Ona and I get out and sit at a table in a sort of an adjoining area overlooking the pool. There’s a hint of past antagonism or rivalry with these men, one of them in particular, having to do with things from the earlier part of the dream I forgot.

      After a little while, the other man comes over to the table. He has something for us: some ara and a loaf of fresh bread, which we accept. He doesn’t say it, but this seems to be a sort of apology for us having to leave the pool.

      Somewhere along the course of us sitting there, the area transforms into an ornate theater, where people are starting to come in. As before, we’re in a sort of raised area, this time above where the stage and the lower seats are, but there are other seating areas wrapping around it in a semicircle. Many of the people seem to disapprove of us drinking alcohol, which doesn’t really bother us, and, in any case, has happened plenty of times before. But we aren’t bothering anybody, and if they don't like it, that’s their problem. But still—even though I want to like the guy who gave us this and believe that it was a sincerely meant gift, there's also the possibility that his beastly cousin put him up to it because he knew we’d get flak for it. I examine the glass: it’s quite pretty, with some transparent colored parts in an art nouveau-like abstract pattern—and above that, a silhouette of the Prague skyline. The golden city and one of its golden ages. I briefly wonder if he has a whole stockpile of these just for giving away to people.

      The next part of the dream involves the production itself, which doesn’t seem to be taking place on a stage, but rather along a street—a straight, flat dirt road with low buildings on either side, again, with a Southwestern vibe. The audience and actors alike are here—or some of the actors, anyway. The protagonist, a woman in a green dress, will be passing along here and looking into some of the shops, having some improvised dialogue with the shopkeepers, but she isn’t here yet.

      I know this actress personally and find her unpleasant—this also seems to go back to the earlier, forgotten parts of the dream—so I’m going to mess with her a little bit. I go to one of the shops, which is selling art, and rearrange it so that a collection of pictures titled “Halloween Bestiary” is on display on a small stand outside the door. I then flip the latch on the shop door, which is hanging open, so that the it will lock automatically the next time someone closes it. I then make sure I’m out of the way by the time the actress playing the shopkeeper arrives.

      The woman soon notices the door and is alarmed. If she can’t take the woman in the green dress inside to look at things and is stuck with the Halloween Bestiary pieces outside, the script would require her to pretend to like them, which would irritate her to no end. She is relieved that it’s still open—but just then, my aunt steps out of the shop and closes the door behind her, oblivious to the trouble she’s just set in motion.

      3.3.18
    13. Just Fighting Some Skeletons

      by , 02-26-2018 at 04:29 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      This dream is like a video game, but the scene I’m watching play out seems more like a model than something taking place on a screen. I’m in an ancient building, your standard video game temple-like structure. I have been playing for a while and there’s only one way I can go to explore further—up a staircase. I steer my character there. This triggers a couple events, including a bunch of animate skeletons coming in and filling up the room—quite a lot of enemies to face alone. I figure I should configure my spells so I can take care of them more easily—but pressing the button doesn’t do anything. Oh, right. I’m also an animated skeleton right now, and until I get this little problem taken care of, I’m not going to be able to access spells.

      Plan B: a couple of these guys are carrying weapons. I can go for one of them first—the one with the spear, I think— arm myself and take on the rest. I leap into action.

      Actually, the fight is a lot easier than I expected—it seems the skeletons have got soaking wet somehow, and they fall apart after only a couple hits each. I can continue to the next area now. But my first priority is to find an antidote for my companions. They’re lying around the area—currently represented by cats—having been drugged or poisoned at some point. I was hoping there’d be something to help them in here, but since there hasn’t been so far, I may as well go look around town before continuing - see if anything's changed there.

      Just then, my attention is drawn away from the game to the music on the radio. It sounds like that Mathews guy they’ve been playing so much lately. He’s been growing on me, even though I usually don’t care much for contemporary classical music. I look at the display on the XM radio: it reads MSO Mathews. Looks like I was right.

      Shortly afterwards, my alarm wakes me.

      (Later that day, I try googling MSO Mathews out of curiosity—and find it points me to a cellist in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. I figured it was the guy’s initials in the dream, and I have no idea whether this person writes music as well—but that's still surprisingly relevant.)
      Categories
      non-lucid
    14. Dream Assistant?

      by , 02-24-2018 at 09:41 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      It seems as if I’ve been assigned an assistant. (Although I couldn’t say who was doing the assigning. It’s almost as if the dream itself was.) He is called Ortig. I'm dubious about this arrangement, as I have done fine without an assistant until now, but I have to admit, over the course of the dream, that it seems to be working out well. I never see him—we seem to be communicating as if via headsets from separate locations as we cooperate on something—but I have the impression of a nice person, unobtrusive to the point of inscrutability, who really knows what he’s doing.

      (23.2.18)
      Tags: assistant
      Categories
      non-lucid , dream fragment
    15. A Direct Path

      by , 02-22-2018 at 06:29 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      Almost all of the details of this dream faded from memory when I woke up. All I can remember of the earlier parts was of a complicated plotline that seemed to involve three main character and ended with everybody getting onto buses.

      I was watching everything take place, and I knew that something was going to happen soon—some conflict, I think. I now had a sort of abstract representation in front of me, a rectangular box filled with a blue sand-like substance. It was arranged in little wavy lines, most of them going only a short distance before being interrupted by other little wavy lines going in different directions. I traced a wavy line going all the way from one corner of the rectangle to the opposite one, cutting across the other lines. This would allow the people in the dream to move into action quickly once it became necessary. Their reinforcements would be able to arrive in the same amount of time as it would have taken them to travel along only one of the hundreds of tiny lines.

      22.2.18
      Tags: blue, buses, lines, travel
      Categories
      non-lucid , dream fragment
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