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    About LeaningKarst
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    Music, poetry, chess

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    Recent Entries

    A Place with a Mind of its Own

    by LeaningKarst on 07-14-2020 at 08:23 PM
    (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
    Categories
    lucid , non-lucid , memorable

    Darkness and Light and Cellos

    by LeaningKarst on 05-16-2020 at 10:00 PM
    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
    Categories
    non-lucid , memorable

    The End of the World (again)

    by LeaningKarst on 05-10-2020 at 09:34 PM
    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
    Categories
    non-lucid , memorable

    Water Skating

    by LeaningKarst on 03-31-2020 at 09:40 PM
    In the earliest part of the dream I remember, I'm stepping into an elevator. I seem to be able to see through its walls, into the shaft and the mechanism it runs on, and the rough, dark area around it. I want to go up a floor, but after getting about halfway there, the elevator stops. Then it goes back down, past the floor I got in on Ė down and at an angle as it follows the track. It seems to be headed down to the basement floors, which annoys me. I hate it when this happens.

    I think it must have dawned on me around then that the earlier experience I was thinking of took place in a dream, and that this too was a dream. But itís hard to remember exactly because once Iím out, the dream turns out to be one of those lucid ones where my senses donít seem to be working properly. I canít control the dream; even moving around is laborious. But, knowing that these are problems that often goes away on their own, and that I rarely experience them in outdoor areas, I keep going, trying to make my way up to the surface.

    Eventually, I do make it up. Iím in an unfamiliar house with large, light rooms, including a sunporch, visible through a glass window. Since the problems from before donít seem to be affecting me anymore, I step straight through the glass to the sunporch, then through that glass to the area outside, where thereís a small lake.

    Thereís ice on the lake, which gives me an idea: I could try ice skating in a dream. But the ice is breaking up and thawing even as I watch, and it doesnít seem quite right to freeze it again. But this is a dream, after all, so why shouldnít I be able to skate on liquid water?

    I step out onto the lake, surrounding my bare feet with a slippery layer of air, and kick off. It works perfectly, a bit like self-propelled jet-skiing. Itís an exhilarating experience.

    The lake is long and irregularly shaped, with small, rocky islands, purple and green with lichens, and beds of rushes and lily pads. Itís bounded by a stone wall too tall for me to be able to see over, not far past the lakeís edge in some places. And there now seem to be a number of cats around, sitting on the rocks Ė watching me, perhaps. Near one of the wallís corners, I see one that looks like the feral cat my household took in but who died of cancer the previous week. I reach out and pet him Ė something he would never allow a human to do Ė and he responds affectionately.

    After making another round of the lake, Iím starting to get curious about that wall. Whatís on the other side of it? I circle back, pick up speed, and jump towards it with the intention of going through Ė and suddenly find myself bodiless in empty space. I guess there was NREM on the other side.

    I prepare myself for maintaining awareness in this state Ė but it only lasts a minute or so before I wake up.

    -27.2.20
    Categories
    lucid

    The Cipher Tower

    by LeaningKarst on 02-15-2020 at 12:24 AM
    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