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    non-lucid

    Non-Lucid Dreams

    1. Renewal

      by , 08-30-2021 at 02:18 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      Iím in a building that seems to be part of a university campus, heading for the top floor, which is where I have to go to retrieve my renewed passport and some other visa documents. But as I look through the doorway, into the large, open room where I have to go, I see two knights on horseback riding around Ė a pair of enemies that seem to have spawned here. Theyíre wearing head-to-foot armor of a bronzey-gold color and carrying lances, and the horses are white.

      Iím reluctant to go in, as I have just defeated another pair of these guys Ė although those were a black and ghostly variety, and these ones will be even tougher and therefore even more of a nuisance. I just canít be bothered right now. And since Iím not in a particular hurry, I figure Iíll just come back for the papers later. I head back down, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, as it is inevitable that if I get on, they will too.

      As I descend, though, I hear people talking Ė but itís rather vague, more like a combination of thinking and of overhearing conversations. I hear people talking about how many people have been faking their passports, and when you open them up, theyíre empty on the inside. But mine is real Ė and actually, thatís something I shouldnít be taking for granted.

      Somehow, what I am hearing has changed my mind: I head back up again and walk into the room. Thereís only one of the knights now, and heís holding my papers. I walk up to him and grab them. Contrary to expectations, a fight does not commence, and so I take the papers to another part of the room to look through them. My renewed passport is there, and it already has an approved visa in it. This is something I applied for previously, which required going through quite a bit of red tape Ė entrance to a country that seems to be located somewhere in Central Asia.

      23.8.21
      Categories
      non-lucid
    2. The Returning Haddock

      by , 08-04-2021 at 11:27 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      Iím in a classroom Ė itís unclear at what level Ė seated at a desk in a group of at least four desks pushed together, two rows facing each other. Iím writing a poem. It isnít for the class, though: class doesnít seem to be in session at the moment, and there isnít a teacher around.

      Iíve just finished the poem Ė the first draft, at least. All I can remember about its contents now is that it was entitled something like ďThe ReturnĒ or ďThe Returning,Ē and the first line was ďSomething has happened.Ē The guy sitting diagonal from me, who seems to be somebody I know, wants to see it. I tell him that first I have to make sure itís legible for people other than me, and after a minute of looking it over and making some lines clearer and darker, I hand it to him. (The other people in the group of desks seem to be paying attention, but in a passive way.)

      He reads it and says something to me that implies that he sees the ďsomethingĒ that happened as some negative event that hangs over the rest of the poem. I tell him that that reading works Ė but the poem is (sort of) about the Olympics. Itís not actually in the text, but itís not too deeply buried. Heís having trouble seeing it, so I tell him to imagine that Iíve titled it something like ďThe Olympic GamesĒ instead.

      He reads, and then, seemingly struck by some idea, he takes out a pen (I wrote with a pencil) and writes something on the paper. He thinks I ought to call it ďDas EntspannenĒ instead. He (correctly and unnecessarily) translates this as ďThe RelaxingĒ but then also claims (and this bit is pure dream logic) that itís also a subtle reference to haddock, whose migration routes recall the original titleís idea of returning.

      Our attention is then drawn to other events taking place in the room, and I wake up shortly afterwards.

      7.28.21
      Categories
      non-lucid
    3. Tea with the Dead

      by , 07-15-2021 at 05:22 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      I am in what looks to be some kind of large home improvement store, having travelled here to meet up with some people. It is a very large store: towards the back, the aisles actually turn into streets, which is where I need to go. Iíve been this way enough times to where Iíve got the route memorized, and when I reach the signpost with a number of street signs, I take a left onto Montaigne Street.

      Montaigne street has a rather sleazy vibe, with a sort of over-the-top neon-over-historic-district aesthetic. But it seems completely confined to this particular street, and then itís back into plain downtown area. However, something is strange: the street Iím looking for doesnít seem to be here. This is an area full of little winding streets, so I look around for a bit to make sure I havenít missed it, then head back out to where the store begins and go along Montaigne Street all over again. But the street really seems to have gone now.

      I go back to the store area and browse the stationary near the front as I consider what to do next. Maybe I forgot to check something, and the meet-ups arenít happening right now. Itís going to be a few hours before I head back, and I need to figure out what Iím going to do for dinner at some point. I also decide, in a moment of latent lucidity, that Iím going to change the name of Montaigne Street to Montero Street, as that seems to fit it better. In the end, I just decide to look around the store for a while longer.

      Towards one corner, I find a series of furnished rooms. Theyíre a bit like display rooms you might actually find in a home improvement store showing off appliances or furnishings, only these ones seem to be set up as miniature haunted houses. I enter the room on the far end first, one thatís almost completely dark. This one seems to have a ďpet ghostĒ theme. As I explore the various furniture and parts of the room, certain things happen, triggered by my presence, such as noises or motion, and even the visible ghosts of cats. But I donít find the place scary at all. Itís actually rather relaxing. I lie on the bed in the corner for a while listening to things rustle and thinking about dead pets from times gone by.

      After a while, I move on, going into a couple more rooms I can no longer remember before heading into whatís clearly set up as a haunted nursery. This room has a lot more light coming in, so itís easy to see the furnishings, most prominently, a young childís bed Ė not actually a crib, but something that seems made for children about that age, maybe from an earlier era. The bed is dishevelled, and there are several piles of feces either on it or on the floor nearby, hinting towards neglect. It doesnít really look real and definitely doesnít smell real.

      As I examine a chest on the side of the room facing the store, I suddenly see a large group of ghosts standing together, looking in my direction. One of them, an older gentleman in a suit, gestures that I should come over to them. I do, and they lead me to a long table set up for a meal. It seems that the store has staffed their haunted rooms with real ghosts, and now that theyíre off-duty, theyíre closing up the rooms and inviting me to eat with them.

      Itís only once were seated and the meal begins Ė tea and pastries Ė that they begin talking, or possibly thatís just when I become able to understand them. The older gentleman is seated on my left, and we have a conversation in which I distinctly remember telling him about my cat, Thomas, who died 12 years ago.

      At some point, the scene changes Ė the implication seems to be that time has passed, and Iím travelling somewhere with three or four of them. One opens the back door of a black car, and another climbs in. I realize Iím supposed to get in as well. I notice Iím wearing a smooth black coat coming down somewhere between my knees and waist and a pair of black leather gloves.

      The scene changes further after that to a completely new setting Ė and while the store, at least, was almost certainly located in the U.S., this place has more the vibe of a developing country, possibly in the Caribbean. The man showing me around takes me past an area where many small boats are docked. He seems to feel this is a touristy area, not really representative of the place itself.

      At a clothing market, somebody comes up to him. It seems heís needed somewhere immediately, so it looks like Iím going to be on my own for the next couple hours. We agree to meet back up here in that general timeframe Ė this doesnít seem to be a place where people make appointments more precise than that.

      15.7.21
      Categories
      non-lucid
    4. Districts of Dream-Prague

      by , 07-05-2021 at 03:27 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      I am in Dream-Prague with Saimi, showing her some parts of the city I like. She and I have both just recently arrived there, although it seems as if weíre here for entirely different reasons, and the visits just happened to coincide. We seem to be in the northwest region of the city.

      The place Iím showing her now is one that not many people know about, a neighborhood of winding streets on a hill, neat rows of houses on either side of the streets Ė a quiet, peaceful place. The houses are covered with what look like enormous cobwebs, large enough to completely cover most of the roofs. I tell Saimi that in the early morning, when itís misty, they shine like silver.

      We then head down to the tram stop together. This, unlike the webbed streets, is a location thatís familiar to me from a previous iteration of Dream-Prague, although it doesnít correspond to any waking-life location. On that occasion, the whole area had a much rougher vibe and was also undergoing construction. Perhaps with this in mind, I pull out my cell phone to show Saimi a couple pictures of how it used to look.

      I input the password first, which isnít my waking-life password. This one is also six digits long, and the numbers signify a personally important date Ė thereís a charged quality to the memories the date pulls along with it. The date is December 22, I think (although I canít remember the year now, or precisely what the dateís significance was). When I find the pictures, I notice strings of triangular orange flags in some of them, which tells me that I must have taken them during the protests.

      The wait at the tram stop is rather long (justified in-dream, I think, by it being a weekend). Thereís a whole little scene here with a man whoís decided to teach his dog another song (it already knows two). Itís a large dog, but friendly: it puts its paws on me, almost knocking me over. The song heís chosen is one of those old, popular ones most people know: it has kind of a jazz standard feel to it, lots of seventh chords and a melancholy tone. The lyrics are in German. I donít remember what all of them are, though, and nobody there seems to know them all offhand, so I get my phone back out to look them up. While I do, a man in a red shirt sings a version of them in English Ė although I have the impression he only remembers about half of them and is making the rest up as he goes, and he also starts at the chorus for some reason.

      Once the tram arrives, I get my ticket punched Ė I just have a one-use one since I havenít been here long. The tram heads straight east, neither turning or changing height so that, as the ground level falls, weíre positioned high enough to see most of the city from above. I look out over it. Iím glad to be back here, and Iím already looking forward to walking around all these places again.

      Eventually, the landscape changes. We now seem to be going through a park, which is also familiar to me. Iím puzzled at first Ė I donít remember the tram going here. But I do remember seeing the tracks back when I worked in this place, and so it does make sense that it would go here.

      The plot seems to have changed now, with the dream partly drawing on memories of the old wildlife hospital, a different time and place. I still used to work here, although in the dream, it seems to be mostly a long-time crew instead of short-term volunteers. It seems as if this iteration also suffers from financial issues and is staffed at about half the level it should be to run it properly. This is currently relevant since the people on the tram are now coming to work here as well, which brings it about to where it should be Ė in fact, it seems as if Iím taking them here for that purpose.

      As we walk through the park, I lead the way. I find everybody together out back behind a building, where they're seated in rows on the ground. As I walk between the rows, I happen to glance down at my own legs and notice Iím wearing brown leather sandals and khaki pants that are cut off at the knee. Not far off is the man whoís in charge of this place, whoís grateful to have so many people coming. Thereís a sense that there was once some kind of past tension between us that was wrapped up in why I left, and heíd since come to recognize was his fault. But that all seems to be over now.

      Thereís conversation now, and something about a ceremony thatís going to take place soon, where Rae, NC and KDís daughter, will break a staff in two and then remake it.

      3.7.21
      Categories
      non-lucid
    5. The Moon has Fallen Asleep

      by , 05-31-2021 at 01:26 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      Another dream on the verge of being lucid without quite being there. In the earliest part I can remember clearly, Iím on a computer: Iím looking up some band Iím interested in, trying to find more of their music. But the dream shifts to another scenario. It still isnít lucid, but itís pretty clear Iím not actually invested in it as real. Iím initially in an outdoor farm-like area with flamingos some distance away, observing interactions between characters. I only identify with one when sheís asked a question, changing to her viewpoint and responding as her. Thereís a sense of making things up as I go along. I need to go somewhere now, and so I call to the nearby leopard, which I call Arthur, telling him to come with me. (I use the German pronunciation. I am about 90% sure I decided to name it after Schopenhauer.) It doesnít want to get up, but I pull it to its feet, which it tolerates, and we walk away.

      Next, I remember entering a building. Itís somewhat reminiscent of a building on a campsite, just a long rectangle, possibly something like an uninsulated metal frame, and has no interior divisions. Itís mostly empty and white, and thereís an even stronger sense of almost-lucidity here. Itís as if whatever plot there may have been has definitely gone off the rails by now, and Iím driving things, though not in a fully conscious way.

      I go over to the bed in the nearest corner Ė other than the one by the door I entered from Ė and sit down on it. What follows is maybe best described as a strange kind of visual thinking Ė a little like reading a picture book, where I cease to really be present in the room and am absorbed in the stories that are playing out in mental space. Itís hard to describe since it isnít exactly like anything that happens while awake Ė but itís almost like thereís another presence there telling the stories.

      They seem to be some kind of philosophical parable, and also a sort of story-behind-stories, representing something that was once commonly manifested in literature from an earlier time. The first one was so utterly bizarre that I canít remember a thing about it now Ė but in the dream, I understand it perfectly since the meaning in all its facets and interrelations is just a part of it as it is presented. I can see it all mapped out, like a complex constellation. But some of the points are placed in the wrong locations for it to reflect reality. Itís something I was already aware of, but itís a little sad to see it laid out like this so clearly.

      Thereís enough of a gap for the room to enter my awareness again before the second story begins. This one is apparently communicating the same thing as the first one did, but in a different way. I can remember the beginning of this one Ė how the wolves were all howling at the moon, but the moon had fallen asleep and couldnít hear themÖ

      5.30.21
      Categories
      non-lucid
    6. The Frozen Maelstrom

      by , 05-21-2021 at 04:00 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      This was a dream that was only a hairís breadth from being lucid Ė one of the dreams where I canít be entirely sure that the only reason I didnít realize it was a dream was that I was taking it for granted that it was one the whole time.

      I start out standing on a grassy hill outside a very large house at night. A man is nearby Ė another dreamer. Together, we fly up and then over towards the house. I have to help him part of the way because he canít get high enough, but we make it onto the roof and go inside.

      I canít remember much of the journey, which seemed somewhat reminiscent of a video game, and after a while, we reach a room with a bunch of other people. They're all dreamers, too. Theyíre chatting, messing around, having fun, but I have something more serious on my mind. First, though, I ask a woman to heal me, since I was injured by a monster on the way. (It isn't actually painful, still in line with video game logic.) I joke that I never got the hang of healing magic myself, but donít mention I have a reason for not wanting to use too much of my energy right now. I go past them, up through a door in the ceiling.

      Once again, I'm standing on the roof. Itís night out here too, but otherwise, it looks like a completely different place than the one I entered from. Almost close enough to touch is a tornado. Itís completely still though: it looks like it was sculpted out of some steely metal, frozen in place. I did this at some point in the past, freezing it in time, but it wonít be long now until it starts to unfreeze. I gauge its strength and determine that I wonít have trouble taking care of it before it unfreezes. But thereís another problem: the effect is already wearing off with some of the monsters around here, and I probably canít take care of everything at once. I may have to get some of the others down below up here to fight them Ė but I donít like that idea. Theyíd probably be happy to, but theyíre relatively inexperienced, and I donít want to get them into a potentially dangerous situation.

      I start by taking out some of the smaller enemies with lightening Ė things like little wild pigs running around. Then I see that another monster is watching me Ė an enormous cyclops goat monster. I have the impression that heís sad, like heís taking it personally that heís been unfrozen all this time and I havenít even noticed.

      This is maybe weird enough to wake me up.

      20.5.21
      Categories
      non-lucid
    7. Pony Ride

      by , 01-19-2021 at 02:27 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      Iím in a green hilly area dotted with groves of trees, alongside a group of people. It seems like weíre all traveling somewhere together and have been in this general area for several days.

      Nearby is an enormous skeleton horse with leathery wings. I think itís cute and have been making friends with it. (My waking-life sense of what is cute is pretty broad by most peopleís standards, and it seems to be even broader in dreams.) The horse is really enormous: it has its head down at my level, and it would probably be big enough to inhale me if it breathed (which seems unlikely to happen).

      Now it wants to give me a ride: it lies down, leaning to one side so I can get on. I seat myself in the ridge between two of its vertebrae. This part of it, like the wings but unlike the head and neck, is still covered in skin, which is dry and stiff, rather like a drum skin in feel and color. It takes off, and we fly around the area for a little while.

      When it lands again and lets me down, I rejoin the group, which has been occupied with something else up until now. Before long, though, as we leave the area on the next phase of the journey, I take to the air again, on my own this time. I have one eye on the rest of the group and the other on the road ahead as they walk towards a pass through taller hills.

      28.12.20 [Iíve been meaning to post this for a whileÖ.]
      Categories
      non-lucid
    8. A Place with a Mind of its Own

      by , 07-14-2020 at 08:23 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      (Note: The longer my dreams are, the harder it is for me to remember details, particularly conversations, and this was a long one. Thereís several hoursí worth of material here that I can only remember happened at all because I can remember remembering it in a later part of the dream, and this does raise questions of whether they ever actually played out. But, for what itís worth, it doesnít feel to me as if thatís what happened, and I do have many cases of knowing dream memory is working in that way to compare it to.)

      The earliest part I can remember is of a disaster taking place, a flood sweeping through a public building of some kind. Everybody is trying to get out. Iím one of the last out, but I wait, holding the door open so that the waters donít forcibly close it and trap the one person whoís still there. It took him a while to believe this was actually happening (understandable, considering how weird it is), so he didnít get out as quickly as everyone else.

      After this series of events is the biggest memory gap, which seems to mainly consist of meeting up with a large group of people and preparing for some kind of expedition together. I become lucid not long before weíre going to set off, although itís not so much me realizing that itís a dream as it is the unconscious knowledge that itís a dream, which Iíve been acting on this whole time, becoming conscious. And this sort of makes it feel as if Iíve been lucid the whole time, if that makes sense.

      Iím looking out the window of a house onto the rolling fields beyond as it happens. I still have some preparation to do here, though, so Iím still here packing as everybody else is leaving. Iím taking my hiking backpack, the black one with yellow trim. It occurs to me to wonder whether I need to do this in a dream, since I can just make things appear if I need them. But I have the impression, based on earlier conversations, that I might not be able to do that in some of the places weíre going, and so Iíll want to make sure I have essentials with me, at least. The last thing I grab is my brown aviator-style jacket, which I fold and pack into the backpack before buckling it and heading downstairs and outside.

      I can just see somebody disappearing past the other side of the house, down a broad stone staircase. Thatís where everybodyís gone. I try flying part of the way, but perhaps because of the hiking backpackóeven though it doesnít feel heavyóitís hard to get more than a couple feet off the ground. But flying seems to be slower than running anyway, so I just run around the side and down the stairs.

      Iím now in an area with several platforms rising a distance above the ground. Next to one on the far side is a cliff wall with a small tunnel partway up, a little above head height. A young women is nearby Ė it seems she had to stop to do something before going onward. I jump onto one of the platforms, where I see some piled-up clothing. I recognize it as a kind of uniform for us to wear. It looks a bit like a karate gi: loose pants and a shirt that ties around the front, white, though a little discolored with age and threadbare in places. On some of the edges, flowers are embroidered in pale colors. I put it on over my clothing.

      Jumping onto the last platform and up to the tunnelótaking off the backpack and pushing it in firstóis practically effortless, much easier than it would be in waking life, which makes it kind of fun. The tunnel is not tall enough to walk in, and it narrows considerably not far ahead, so I push the backpack in ahead of me. It barely fits, and I can see it slide down once it gets past the narrow point, where the tunnel slopes downward. I barely fit, too Ė I actually have to turn my head to the side to squeeze through. But soon, itís large enough to where I can crawl again, and then walk upright.

      The tunnel is made of squares of some smooth material, solid black in the center but with a stripe of red-orange around the edges that glows, lighting the way. As I walk, it slopes further downward and eventually drops me into a corridor with a grimy, institutional feel to it. All dimly and artificially lit, as if Iím somewhere underground.

      It has a distinctly unpleasant vibe Ė although part of the reason may be because of what I know about this place. It is actually a sentient environment, and not a very nice one, and now that Iím inside of it, itís going to be tracking my every move and shaping itself according to my actions and reactions. Itís not the destination Ė just somewhere we have to pass through on the way. Thereíll be a test at the end that has to be passed before we can get out Ė but this place doesnít like people leaving it and will be actively throwing obstacles in our way.

      My backpack isnít here Ė the place probably hid it somewhere, and so Iíll have to be on the lookout for it. I turn towards the right, reading the plates on the doors as I go by, deciding which room to enter first. The place looks to be some sort of school judging by what they say.

      As I walk, faint, unpleasant feeling-tones arise, like the ghosts of memories with an archaic, dark quality to them, although they definitely don't involve my personal past Ė not in this lifetime, anyway. Or maybe theyíre anticipations of what Iíll find here, behind the doors. Or maybe both. I also see a set of stairs leading downwards, but I donít want to leave this floor just yet.

      After reaching the end of the corridor, I head back, still making up my mind. Itís not terribly important where I go first, but I am aware that, as the first deliberate choice I make here, it will give the place some insight into me, will establish the course of how things will go. I decide on a room about midway between the end of the corridor and where I started from labelled ďFaculty Lounge.Ē

      As I open the door, Iím surprised by what I see. Itís a little room, somewhat like the bedroom of a hostel, with two bunk beds, a table off to one side and some assorted furniture Ė overall, quite nice apart from the lack of windows. But the really surprising thing is that itís already occupied by two people from the group I started with.

      Sam is thereóSam, maker of ukuleles, fixer of anything with strings and frets, host of concerts and an accomplished musician in his own right. His dog is there with him. The other person isnít waking-life familiar, although he does somewhat resemble one of my coworkers, with dark hair, pale skin and some kind of facial hair, I think. A dog has come in with me as well, a large, black one. I donít pay much attention to it besides noting that itís mine and hoping that the room isnít going to be too crowded now.

      Sam greets me Ė but he uses a different name, a manís name. They must be seeing this place and this situation differently than I do, I realize. It had been mentioned at the earlier gatherings that it would appear differently to everybody Ė but I had assumed that we would also be going through it alone, individually, and so it hadnít occurred to me that Iíd find myself in this kind of situation. But I can roll with it.

      We talk for a little while. At one point, one of them advises me to be careful not to give this place ďthe impression that Iím somebody it can f*** with.Ē Sam mentions that heís working on a puzzleóit seems to be set up on the table thereóand I say Iíll leave him to it. I mention, though, that Iím good with puzzles, and he invites me to come help put it together. This must be part of their test, I realize Ė and it strikes me that maybe it isnít a coincidence I ended up here to help them with it, although from everything Iíve heard, it would be uncharacteristically benevolent for the place to intentionally direct me to them.

      The puzzle seems to mainly feature cute baby animals, and it is close to being finished. I help assemble the remaining pieces as Sam tells me some anecdotes heís heard about a 20th century Viennese composer. He canít remember which one theyíre about. I notice, though, that the bottom edge of the puzzle isnít complete. Sam is stirring some sort of gooey blue liquid, and I realize that that will also be part of it: the tests, though different, all have one thing in common: incorporating two bowls of these brightly colored mixtures into them somehow.

      14.7.20
    9. Darkness and Light and Cellos

      by , 05-16-2020 at 10:00 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      I am hanging out with co-workers and getting to know somebody whoís apparently just been hired. Her name is Marie, and sheís from Canada. In addition to working here, sheís a grad student working on a music degree, which she's now almost done with. She's currently working on the composition that will be her thesis. She shows it to me Ė via some sort of electronic device, I think.

      The music is notated on manuscript paper, but instead of the usual note shapes, there are little horizontal rectangles that stretch out for as long as the note is held, rather like a midi display. The inside of each rectangle is patterned in ways that indicate something about the music. I hear it in my head as I read, with the patterns calling up images and connotations in relation to it.

      The first bar begins with two long Gs an octave apart played by instruments in the violin family Ė I donít identify them explicitly in the dream, but given that itís written in the bass clef, almost certainly cellos. The rectangles contain the patterns signifying darkness and light. The impression this makes is hard to describe. Poignant, maybe Ė a suggestion of a cavernous space vast enough to hold them both at once. It continues, but I canít remember the part after that so well.

      16.5.20
    10. The End of the World (again)

      by , 05-10-2020 at 09:34 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      In the earliest part of the dream I can remember well, Iím with a group of people from work. Weíre in a house rather than an office, a mostly empty one thatís not in the best condition and which strikes me as reminiscent of somewhere in the past (it's not a vague memory in the dream Ė rather, my waking self canít pin it down to anywhere familiar). Thereís something in the way everything is happening that suggests weíre maintaining order in the midst of a chaotic situation and extemporizing as necessary. Some disaster has struck the world Ė although it seems less like this is the aftermath than that it was so bad that what remained of humanity actually had to flee to some sort of parallel dimension.

      Kate, the director, tells us we should all go outside to see something. Stepping out of the house, I can see what looks like a large town square across the street, round-ish in shape, possibly cobbled. Above the old-fashioned buildings on the opposite side, the sky is turning pink and purple in a certain area. In the middle of it, a black spot appears, clearly visible against the light. I recognize it, as does everybody there: this was what happened before, the thing that came and destroyed the world.

      But something is different this time: instead of appearing large and far away, the spot now seems to be quite close, in the square itself. Somehow, I know that I can make things turn out differently this time around. I run towards it, the others not far behind.

      The dark sphere is floating there, too high to jump for but close to a flagpole on the far side. I scale it. The flag, which is dark blue, isnít flying Ė rather, it seems to be tied to the pole, and (on later reflection) entirely too large for it. The thing actually looks more like a mast than a flagpole. But I manage to make it up with no trouble until I'm level with the sphere. Itís very small now, smaller than a cotton ball. I reach out and grab it, enclosing it in my hand.

      The moment I touch it, it changes, becoming material, taking on a definite shape. It has become a key on a keyring.

      I know what to do now: the keyhole canít be too far away. I actually find it on the way back down, on the base of the pole. I put it in and turn, and keep turning. And as I do, something is happening to the building closest to the pole: the whole faÁade is unfolding, revealing a large airplane inside. It looks like a typical jet, but in the dream, it strikes me like something out of another era, concealed here for who knows how long.

      A dirty, light brown liquid is pooled near the nose. An inner voice that seems to belong to the plane itself tells me that it needs an oil change. I think that it probably needs rather more than that, considering how long itís been here. But Iím aware that this situation is out of my hands now. It will be others who fix it up and who make use of it somehow to avert disaster. Iíve done what I can.

      10.5.20
    11. The Cipher Tower

      by , 02-15-2020 at 12:24 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      I seem to be visiting my parents, who live on an island. Iím busy for most of the day cleaning out a cabinet or wardrobe. In only another hour or so, there are going to be guests over for dinner.

      Weíre out of the house now for some reason. Mother is concerned that Iíve been exerting myself so much, and I should drink some water. Iím not particularly thirsty but say I will. My father and I go off to a sort of convenience store-like shop nearby to buy a bottle, but the water is very expensive Ė almost 10 dollars for a water bottle (though I canít swear it wasn't some other currency). Thatís right, I remember Ė there isnít any fresh water on the island, so it all has to be shipped here, and that makes it so expensive. My father asks if itís OK if I donít get the water, and I say Iím fine with it. Again, I donít particularly care either way Ė I just want to keep them happy.

      Not long after that, I step onto what unexpectedly turns out to be an elevator Ė a floating glass elevator, ŗ la Willy Wonka. It rises up and flies partway across the island to a large building, then down several stories into its basement. I briefly see the various underground floors on the way down. I consider getting off and heading back Ė I donít want to be late for dinner Ė but rumor has it that the headquarters of the secret police is on one of those floors, and I have a history with them. Just walking through their headquarters would be asking for trouble.

      So I wait as some other people get on the elevator and it continues to the third major hub on the island Ė it isnít very large, and so there are only the three. This one is on the other end, farther away Ė a place Iíve never been before. The elevator flies over lawns dotted with groves of trees. Itís dusk now, and we approach and pass a blue light Ė some sort of decorative sculpture marking the approach. This whole area is like an estate, or a place that was one at some previous time.

      Once weíre there, I get off. Thereís a tower there Ė perhaps I have to climb down the side to get to the ground, but one way or another, I wind up climbing on it. Itís a fairly small building, though tall, made of square, grey stones, each of which has a shape cut through it large enough to make a foothold or handhold Ė circles, squares, stars, etc. Each stone is also marked with two sets of letters, one a capital letter, the others one or more lowercase ones. As I grab hold of one hollow stone, I feel a switch flip on the inside edge, causing the opening to light up. The whole thing is a giant cipher key, I realize. I donít have any messages in need of decoding Ė but if I happen to find any, I now know exactly where to bring them.

      I climb around for a bit, playing around with it to make sure I know how it works. But once Iím back on the ground, a woman starts yelling at me for climbing on the tower. Guess I wasnít supposed to be doing that. I stay calm. What sheís saying doesnít make much sense Ė really not a coherent accusation against me at all, just anger. I ask a couple reasonable questions. She answers, still in an angry tone. But then, having lost her momentum, the absurdity of it seems to dawn on her, and she starts laughing. I laugh, too. It seems like everything is OK now.

      12.2.20
      Categories
      non-lucid
    12. Mostly Travel

      by , 02-09-2020 at 03:36 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      I have arrived in a green area shaded by trees. It seems that Iím traveling somewhere, and this is a stop along the way. The dream doesnít make it explicit, but this seems to be the Czech countryside in the early 20th century Ė more or less.

      Gradually, other people arrive. I converse with a woman there as we wait. A couple large dogs arrive as well and are running around getting in peopleís way. I order them to sit, figuring that theyíve just run here ahead of their masters, who wonít be far behind. They obey. One of them lies down, then rolls over on its back, obviously looking to get pet.

      The car arrives Ė a distinctly old-fashioned one. (Although there is some uncertainty there, as if the dream canít quite decide on what sort of vehicle it should be. They all tend to be more or less interchangeable in my dreams.) There isnít enough room in the car for everybody, but since I was there first, I get to be on its first trip. The woman I was talking to has to wait for its next one.

      I look around as we ride. The man next to me in the backseat is choosing the music that plays in the car via something rather like a touch-screen tablet framed in brown leather Ė much more aesthetic than the modern ones, I think to myself. Out the window, I see a turquoise river pouring over an oddly shaped stone formation into a lake Ė a place Iíve seen pictures of before but never visited. I turn around to continue to look through the back window as we drive by.

      Iím aware, as I look around, that in the not-so-distant future this area will be devastated by war. It adds a poignancy to being here in this beautiful place.

      The train Ė sure enough, itís decided it would rather be a train now Ė approaches a platform, stopping under a curved wooden roof from which flowering vines hang down. An invasive species, I note. Parasitic to boot. But quite pretty, and so you can understand why people let it grow like this. In the future, there will be more of a push against it Ė but not so much here as in other places. A brief image comes to me of the future, of its yellow flowers filled with ash.

      It now seems as if the woman from before is on the train too, and along with another passenger, we continue our conversation.

      When I woke up, I remembered the following melody:




      I donít think it was actually playing during any part of the dream Ė my impression is that it was connected to it somehow but happening on a different level of awareness. I find it rather odd that itís in C# major since thatís not a key I ordinarily have much to do with. Maybe I waited too long before transcribing it and my pitch memory was off? Or maybe it was just in C# major.

      -31/1/20
      Categories
      non-lucid
    13. Melody Fragments

      by , 05-29-2019 at 04:55 PM (The Fourth Factor)
      I had a couple dreams with music in them last night, and was able to transcribe some of it. I had forgotten almost all of the dreams themselves by the time I'd finished, but here's what I have:



      And, from a later awakening:



      Couple interesting things about these: first, that they're both in D major, which is the scale I've been practicing speedwork on for the past three weeks or so. I don't have perfect pitch, so this suggests some kind of residual pitch memory at work.

      Also, they both seem familiar, particularly the second. I want to say it's from a rock song? But it's hard to tell whether music in dreams only seems familiar the way things in general seem familiar in dreams or because I've actually heard it before.
      Tags: music
      Categories
      non-lucid
    14. Cold Water Casino

      by , 05-15-2019 at 03:06 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      Iím on a trip with my parents and an unfamiliar young man. We were all supposed to go to a casinoóand they did actually go. But I didnít care much for that plan, and so Iíve been off doing something else and only arrived back at the hotel room in time for their last trip there, late on the final evening.

      I have the impression that this is a place theyíre familiar with, but this will be my first time there. Iíve been told not to bring my purse with me for whatever reason, but I donít like going around without writing materials on hand, and so I say that Iíll just take my wallet out before I go. But it seems my parents are so eager to get back that, rather than waiting the couple of minutes this will take, they go on without me, leaving the young man to drive us there.

      Outside, itís raining hard, and has been for a while, judging by all the standing water in the streets. As we go on, it only gets deeper, until the car, which is a fairly low one, starts having trouble moving forward. Some light on the dashboard has come on. He curses at the caróand quite probably my parents, who would have had no trouble handling this in theirs. I suggest that we just pull off the road onto higher ground, as some other cars seem to be doing, and walk the rest of the way there. It isnít very far. He agrees to it.

      The next part I remember clearly is being inside the casino, in a large room with a grand staircase, crowded with fancily dressed people. On the upper floor, near a restaurant area, I meet up with my parents again. Itís sort of like a buffet, with tables in a horseshoe shape, each one with an attendant behind them, offering samples of various kinds of foods to the guests. Mother is going to get a chocolate milkshakeóapparently, a favorite of hers thereóbut my father isnít interested. The idea doesnít appeal much to me either, and anyways, this is all new to me: I want to try things out before I order anything.

      He heads off somewhere else. I get some kind of a soup, and then head over to where theyíre serving white wine. I try the sample they have there, which is pretty goodóbut they have all kinds of interesting drinks here, and this would be a good chance to try things I wouldnít necessarily want a full glass of. And my mother is trying to get my attention from across the room, so I leave the table without ordering anything and head over in her direction.

      Then, suddenly, I feel a spray of cold wateróand the people around me do as well, judging by how theyíre crying out. It seems someone is spraying people with a hose. I move out of the way, wondering what that was about. Maybe the casino staff themselves are responsible. The whole reason this place exists is to take money from people, after allóI think itís best not to lose sight of thatóand it wouldnít surprise me at all for one to start charging people to keep things going nicely, once theyíve got them used to it.

      Once out of range, I pause and kneel down to make sure the cat is still with me. He is indeed still there and comes to get pet. Heís an orange cat, an adult, though on the small side, and has been here with me this whole time. So far, nobody has noticed himóor else they just donít care. But itís still a little dangerous for him to be here with me, and so Iíve been making sure he stays close, waiting until I feel him against the back of my ankles before moving on.

      11.5.19
      Categories
      non-lucid
    15. In Media Res

      by , 12-03-2018 at 04:58 AM (The Fourth Factor)
      Itís sometimes disappointing to wake up with only fragmented memories of dreamsóbut sometimes, trying to image what the context might have been is almost worth it.

      In the beginning of the dream, Iím walking into a building. Many people are already thereóit seems like some event is taking place, possibly multiple events. A couple men are entering at the same time as I am. One of them seems to be able to see meóalthough he doesnít say anything to meóand the other doesnít. Iím keeping track of the people who are able to see me since Iím really not supposed to be here, and Iím trying to keep a low profile.

      The space Iím entering is basically a circular building with a separate central area, although the specifics kept changing throughout the dream. The first area I walk through, going clockwise, seems to be a restaurant. I pass people sitting at tables, including one thatís occupied by dreadlocked guys dressed in Jamaican colors who seem to be having a lot of fun.

      [Note: today, the day after the dream, I was given a story to work on about reggae becoming a UNESCO intangible cultural heritageóso maybe thatís what they were so happy about.]

      There was a lot that happened after that, most of which I canít remember very clearly. But, towards the end, the space was like an auditorium, with a lecture area in the center and areas for students to sit all around it and higher up. I had put the table I had surreptitiously borrowed from Nancy Pelosi among the tables in the student area while I went and did some other stuff, but in the meantime, students had come in, including my friend Dirk. And somebody, noticing that the table is more wheelchair-friendly than the standard tables there, which have metal bars crisscrossed underneath them, has set him up with it.

      Now, I had totally been intending to give Nancy Pelosi her table back. Itís what I came back here to do. But Dirk is clearly getting some good out of it. Also, Nancy Pelosi was more of a jerk than I had expected. I figure she can just buy a new table or something.

      1.12.18
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