Friday, July 23, 2010

Xanga Post 14: A Friendly Enemy

8.30.2005 __tuesday____
I had that recurring dream again. This time I was on the ledge to the right of the waterfall. And I was looking at the treetops instead of watching the girl wade out into the parasite-infested river. The top layers of leaves were black, but then the layers below them were dark green. And then it got lighter and lighter. Green, light green, yellow, until the leaves closest to the ground were white. But the fallen leaves on the ground looked like regular autumn leaves - brown, red, orange. I never noticed it before.

I mentioned the importance of the trees of the Waterfall Dreams in a previous post (that is a link). I said that I tried to look at what the trees looked like, but could never remember to do it. Evidently, I was wrong; I even wrote it down in fairly good detail.

I honestly don't remember what this looks like, anymore. Thank God I had the sense to write it down 5 years ago...
Since I don't remember this, I'm just guessing what I think is a valid point of view. When I think of tree canopies, I think about the sunlight and how powerful and quiet it is. The leaves exposed at the top of the forest are the ones that take in most of the sun. The farther away from the top of the canopy, the less exposed the leaves are. The leaves of the lowest branches of the trees remain untouched and pure: white.

The leaves are children of the branches,

which are children of the trunks,

which are children of seeds.

The youngest are the most innocent.
The oldest are the most protective.
The sunlight is both friend and enemy.

Xanga Post 13: Common Lucidity?

7.28.2005 __thursday____
Am I a lucid dreamer? Haha.. I was reading over my comments earlier, and I came across one that mentioned lucid dreaming, so I researched a little. You can't really teach someone to control their dreams. They can't help it sometimes, and just go with the flow. Well, I'm not sure.
I'm not a lucid dreamer because I can't control everything. But according to this web page, I have "high lucidity." xD
In my mind (both awake and asleep), I convince myself that I'm not really dreaming, but that I'm really somewhere else. Hehe.. I'm weird. But there are still dreams that make no sense to me, and I know they really are just dreams. They're complete nonsensical dreams that formed from what I've done or seen during the day. Others, I recognize places I've never visited while awake. Many of my dreams seem to take place in the same buildings, the same parks, the same rooms.

And I don't have those dreams that everyone else seems to have. The ones where "I'm flying," or "I'm being chased," or "I went to school naked" or "in my pajamas," or "I won the lottery"....I just think those are funny and dumb.

I have dreams about bells in towers that ring and clash and bring down walls. I have dreams about having to eat slugs as an antidote. I have dreams about climbing over walls and through tight spaces (beginning all my dreams), about wandering off to the same river of stale and murky water, and about seeing the same person who looks after me, who I (sadly) think I made up in my mind. And about balancing on logs in a dark red river.

That's so funny that I wrote that, especially after my last post on The Archidream that was about recognizing when you're given an easy opportunity to experience a lucid dream.
I stopped researching lucidity a couple of years ago. I decided I wanted to see what it's like for myself, and to find out the best way for me to reach that state of clarity. I remembered reading about how most people say it's best to have a stable sleeping pattern, and to get a good amount of rest. And to train by telling yourself what to dream as you're falling asleep.
So I tried those things, but the sleeping pattern didn't make a difference for me. If anything, having a consistent sleeping pattern made it harder for me to even realize I'm in a dream. I did try to tell myself what to dream (something as simple as, "I'm outside."), but I quickly realized that the real trick is not in what you tell yourself to dream -- it's in making sure you're mentally awake when your body is not. That's the whole purpose of the exercise.
I think I always get caught in that state before sleeping. I remind myself, too early, to be mentally awake. And I end up with sleep paralysis. It's harder to get out of sleep paralysis than it is to wake up from a lucid dream. Being stuck in sleep paralysis while knowing what you want to dream is like being separated from everything by glass walls. You know you can get to the dream, you just don't know how to. Or you have to break one of the walls to go back -- to move your body again and physically wake up.
I still don't know if everyone can be taught how to have lucid dreams. There are techniques and explanations to understand it, but I'm not sure about actually being able to apply it. What do you think?

As for the rest of the dreams I briefly mentioned at the end -- those are written down in my journals. They will eventually make their way in here.

Xanga Post 12: Sorted Out

Do you ever try to remember numbers or words in your dreams? They're usually really difficult for me to hold on to unless I write them down immediately after waking up. I don't know what they mean, but I'm always hopeful that I'll be able to look back at them later and suddenly understand.

In this case, I still don't understand the numbers. I don't understand the word, "Heritage." I don't know if I explored that further in the dream or not; I never mentioned it again. But there's a lot to say for the rest of the entry.

7.27.2005 __wednesday____
Hahaha oh my gosh
This morning I woke up a few minutes before 9, so I went back to sleep and I had a dream that seemed really long (woke up again around 9:20)..

It was about going back to school
First off, I didn't have a roster, so I didn't know what classes I had to go to, and Prendie was different. I was in this place in another dream, but I don't know if it was "Prendie" in that one. Anyway, it had two wings, and the hall connecting it looked like a ballroom. One wing's rooms were numbered 1/17, 1/18, 1/19, etc. And the other wing was numbered 208, 209, 210, etc. Above the doorway to the second hall was the word "Heritage" - I don't know if there was a word above the other passageway to the opposite wing.

I was in a room watching Channel One, before classes started - it was like a bedroom, even with a carpeted floor and a bed, and everything was cluttered. I picked up my books in a hurry to find my roster and left the room. I asked Evie to help me, and she brought me to a room next door. And there I saw Mr. Kornaki from St. Clement, and he gave me two papers. And then I dropped my books and picked them up again. And I noticed as I was walking hurriedly that I was holding a book that said something like "St. Clement Plays."

I looked at my roster, but I couldn't remember where I was going or where I even was. And then I ended up in the main hall - but nothing was in the main hall, just a huge empty room lined with tiles or something that was made to look like several doors. Everything was old and brown. And the ceiling was high. Then a woman came in from the hallway behind me and started dancing and singing. And for a moment I was shown a close-up of her feet, and as she danced like a graceful ballerina, she leaned on her toes and reminded me of a swan. Then she led me into a library and showed me around. And pulled back a curtain (I could still hear a song in the background) to show a wall lined with books. And around, on tables and all over the floor piled on each other, more books. I saw chairs and recognized them immediately - I even knew that some tables were missing, and that furniture was being moved.

Then I dropped my books again, and so I picked them up. She smiled at me, and then Anjel came in to help me gather them. I looked more closely at them to see that they weren't at all the books I needed with me. The ones I'd been carrying had titles containing the words "Gnomes" and "Gargoyles" and "Dwarves" - faerie tale books, mythical creatures. I panicked, but I couldn't seem to get myself together, partially because I knew I wouldn't get through the first day of school.. I would be marked absent because I wasn't in homeroom. "What is my homeroom, anyway?" I wondered - it was Mr. Masluk's room xD and then I got excited and wanted to tell Mary. But then I finally realized that I hadn't seen Mary at all, or any other of my friends.

So. In a summary - I had a nightmare about the first day of school as a Sophomore. lol

It's true, of course, that dream time is different from real time. I've had dreams that lasted hours or days, only to wake up and see that 1 hour has passed by (it's a great feeling). Also, the opposite has happened: I've slept for a full 8 hours and dreamt of nothing but a face and a voice. As we all know, anything can change in dreams. Time is no exception.

This is the first time I read this entry in a few years. I completely forgot about this, but reading it again brought back clear pictures, especially the main hall of Prendie. More than once or twice, I've dreamt of Prendie's hallways and classrooms....but merged with other settings, such as bedrooms, living rooms, or something similar to a convention center.

Architecturally, in real life, the combination of many settings more than defeats the purpose of a place. Can you imagine if life was full of classrooms sometimes furnished with old couches, worn beds, or kitchen counters? Of course, there are instances in which these are acceptable: culinary schools, for instance, have kitchen counters all over the place. But you would never walk into a study hall to sit on top of a small refrigerator and work on math assignments.
In dreams, though, it makes perfect sense at the time. Nothing is really too out of the ordinary, is it? So the place can be whatever you want it to be; it's anywhere. And if you keep that mentality (or at least keep yourself ignoring the rules and logic of the waking world), then you can become a lucid dreamer. Build your own world. That's just something I like to think about.

Sometimes, there is a smooth transition from one setting to another in my dreams, such as a carpet in the main hall of Prendie instead of the hard stone floors. It's not a very sudden change, but more gradual as I walk along on my way to the Old Library that has replaced the cafeteria. And in the carpeted library, once I walk through the heavy doors, all the walls and bookshelves are made of some kind of dark cherry wood. Another example of smooth transitioning is seeing a person, such as Mr. Kornacki (someone I knew from my grade school), who reminds me of another place or time that later makes its way into the dream.
Other times, the change is more sudden, like the bed in the middle of the classroom. When I dream of things like this now, I know enough that it's out of the ordinary that I feel a little strange while I'm still asleep. Like I can almost feel myself lying in bed. But I've trained myself not to linger around that idea, or else I'll lose my slight lucidity and wake up (this morning, actually, I had a dream in which I became lucid enough to project Matt as a character, completely taking the place of another person who previously stood where he was).... And if I don't notice these oddities? Well, then I keep dreaming, as I did in this 2005 dream. And I can't bring in people, objects, or places.

This dream -- a conglomeration of settings, memories, and passive associations -- screams for me to see with a lucid eye. Passive associations, by the way, are (to me) exactly that: something we associate with another, without making an effort to do so. Maybe I associate "Prendie" with "home," thus the random array of bedroom furniture and casual clutter. Or the ballerina reminded me so much of some fantasical creature that the books I was carrying suddenly had titles or key words on them: "Gnomes," "Gargoyles," and "Dwarves."

But as I was saying:
Those types of things, all those details, urge me to think of what they mean to me in real life, so that I can realize I'm in a dream. A lot of times, it's too late for me to hold on to the dream once I snap out of that puppet dreamer phase and actively take control of myself again. My heart rate goes up with excitement, and I can feel it. There are only a few seconds for me to calm down enough to stay in control; if I miss that window, I often find myself staring at my own eyelids with my eyebrows furrowed. Too much effort and awareness. I lose it. And I'm awake.

I think you're waiting for me to talk about Inception. I wish you knew how much I would love to talk about that movie and integrate the concept of familiar places with what was explained in the movie, or even to talk about time. Or, I don't know, how about dreams within dreams (the most I've had was 3)...?

But for the sake of people who have not yet seen the movie, I shall refrain from doing so. Because if I do discuss the movie, I would go into much detail.

So, there you have it. My "nightmare," going by the name for this dream as many people would describe it, was more or less a messy file cabinet of memories. It was a wonderland of triggers for lucid dreaming, but I was blind.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Xanga Post 11: Sensible Nonsense

7.23.2005 __saturday____

Just had lunch a while ago, and I asked, "Did you ever hear anything when you were half asleep and think it was real?" And I was going to explain why I asked that, but I couldn't remember everything. And then we started talking about other things.

Oh, now I remember what happened last night! I was trying to fall asleep but I couldn't, so I listened to music on my CD player (didn't really help, since it was loud -_-). I was about to fall asleep, but I was only half asleep. I heard - or imagined, I guess - a conversation going on, between a man and someone else. I don't remember who else it was. But then I heard someone shout/yell, and then I opened my eyes and took off my headphones, but everyone in the house was asleep by then (that is, except for myself - and Evie, who was upstairs in her room scrapbooking until after sunrise.. lol). So I decided that it was my imagination, since I didn't hear anything after I sat up.
Then later on that night, I faced the ceiling and put the pillow over my eyes, almost falling asleep again. Then I saw inside my mind, all these doors floating in a blackness, and among those doors I came across one that didn't have a door, but had a doorway. Inside I could see something, like stairs, but they led forward instead of up or down, and a tall, thin cyprus tree. But I couldn't see beyond that because there was a mist creeping out. Then the doors slowly shifted - or I shifted - and I was led away from it; I couldn't go back because I began concentrating on going back. When I tried too hard, all I could see were the lids of my eyes.

And my dream?
Well, I don't know how one led to the other, but everything seemed to connect in my dream. We were in a mall, and two little kids ran by Evie when she was going to catch up to me from a store - one was a girl, and one was a boy, each running in opposited directions. Then Evie started talking about "children these days" and how things would be different "if" XD
And then she stopped - I thought she was thinking of what to say next to complete her sentence, but then she pulled out a square picture frame that held a snapshot of Scout from "To Kill a Mockingbird". And then we were at a house, our house, and on the wall were more picture frames. But in places were painted outlines of more frames that weren't there yet. And she placed it in one that fit.
Then we were going to Church at St. Clement, and The Beatles came out of a car o_O... And we started talking to them.. I opened the door for them.
Ringo: *sing-song* Romney!
Me: You're welcome.
Ringo: Ooo...kay..
(I think it confused him in my dream because "You're welcome" is something said in real life that makes sense at this time, and this dream made no sense)
Then we came to another door leading directly inside the church. I opened it again.
Ringo: *sing-song* You're welcome!
Me: ... Romney ...?
(And this seemed to make more sense to him.)
Ringo: Georgie!!

And that's all I remember from that point on, except for the part when I sat down in a pew by myself and beside me were the two little children again.

wth this means nothing to me

It was around this time that I started thinking about some signs of sleep paralysis. I didn't know what it was, but I knew enough about these tendencies that there ought to be a name for it.

What I imagined hearing was something with the tone of the beginning of an argument. It started out as a regular conversation, but then the voices slowly started getting higher and louder. They were interrupted by a third voice that seemed to yell at them, maybe to stop. That's when I sat up in bed, tore off my headphones, and stared into the darkness.

Sometimes, these days, I lie still when these things happen, keep myself awake enough to let it continue, and listen to what happens....
It usually repeats itself, in loops of seconds or minutes.
I hear, "Whyyy....." in my own voice, but raspy.
I hear someone call my name in a deeper whisper.
I hear resounding phrases of music.
Earlier tonight (much earlier...), when I was washing dishes with music on, I clearly heard a man's voice in the dining room behind me say loudly, "Hey! Steph!" It was a voice I hadn't recognized, so I dropped the sponge I was holding, snapped my head up, and waited. But nothing came. It's sad that I still have to turn around to make sure nobody's there. I must look like a deer in the headlights: so obvious.

The cyprus tree, and the horizontal steps.
The steps would best be described as nothing more than triangles to climb over, like an obstacle course. But in the dream, it wasn't that at all. They still worked as steps.
The cyprus tree hiding behind a curtain of fog is the beginning of another dream I had either before or after this half-dream. I think it was after this. It took place in a topiary garden/maze -- undoubtedly representing some problem I had to work out. And what was I trying to get to, in the dream? I don't know, I never finished it. Maybe that's why I've been waiting years to have that dream come to me again.

The rest of my entry isn't that important to me. But for the sake of archiving consistently, all right.

I don't know what to say about the scene with Evie talking about children, but it's interesting that she's now working on becoming a teacher for children.
Perhaps I just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird; that's my best guess.
And finally, the Beatles and Romney.
I still have no idea what that was about. But that name came up before I'd heard anything about Mitt Romney. Even then, why should his name show up in my dream? Get out.

All in all, my current response to this particular dream night is


wth this means nothing to me

To be nicer about it, and to give an explanation I'm sure a lot of people can relate to,
not all dreams mean anything. You can try to pull them apart and read into them in more depth, but I think that's just trying too hard. Most of the time, you're probably going to end up with something like, "I have a problem."
Well, yeah. You just dreamed about nonsense. I'd say you're pretty crazy.

Just kidding. I shouldn't be one to talk about that.

But most, if not all the time, dreams contain things that we've experienced during the daytime. It may not be that obvious when the dream is ongoing, but when you think about it later, it's crystal clear. Even if it's not very evident, it's there: things seen, heard, felt throughout the day. Things you want to ignore that cross your mind before you can stop and bury them again.

Dreams are so personal and intimate. If you had the most ridiculous dream but woke up with a bittersweet feeling, nobody else would quite understand when you try to explain it (and they may even laugh, as I'm sure you might have if you've read any of my other entries and wondered why I'm so serious about them). That emotion is attached to you and the dream; it probably is also attached to a memory or a thought, which is what makes it so personal. Trace that emotion back to its starting point, and you could actually find an underlying meaning in the nonsense you've dreamt up.
You've already done this. That bittersweet feeling I mentioned -- you know what it means when you first wake up. But then it escapes you. So either hold on to it, or try to hold on to the emotion and trace it back.
Have you ever stopped think about how vulnerable you are when you sleep, both physically and mentally?

Vulnerable to everyone, including yourself.

Xanga Post 10: Denying

Okay. Well, first of all, I apologize for the neglect of this blog in the past month... It started out as a lack of inspiration and, unless I'm writing for a grade, I really don't see much motivation in doing something as analytical and detailed as going over my past thought processes and personality.
Then I was actually busy with things around the house, and then Independence Day weekend came around, and then ---- - - - -- I got lazy.

But after seeing Inception once, I wanted to write again. After seeing Inception for the second time today, I decided I had to get this thing moving along. I mean, come on. Lucid dreaming, architecture, people formed by your subconscious, absolutely no limitations as to what can happen and what our minds can create.... Take what you've seen in that movie, and think about how much more we can dream of that can't even be recreated by computers and special effects. Colors we don't have names for, time fragments overlapping yet making perfect sense.

Too many times, I've started something and haven't followed through with original plans. Projects, papers, stories that stop after 2 chapters (the farthest I've ever gotten in a fictional story is 15's lost somewhere in a floppy disk). The only things that I know I've completed time and time again are my treasured journals. And while there are things that I will never share with everyone on the Internet so obviously, I will share myself in a different way, even if still as completely.

One day, I will tell you more about the Waterfall. For now, let's continue, shall we?

7.15.2005 __friday____

My dream was very... It.. It told so much about myself. I don't know myself because I want so much to be someone else. The only reason I can think of that I don't know myself is that I refuse to believe it. But I know..

In my dream last night... This boy - after not seeing him for a long time, I met him again (you can decide if this sentence has to do with my real life or my dream - or both). And I thought it would be fine. I thought I'd be okay with it, that I got over it, but I don't know if I did. Maybe that's one of the things I refuse to listen to when my inner light says something.


In the dream, we were just hanging out. I don't remember where we were, but I think we were at my old house. And something happened. So I became upset. And I didn't want everyone else to know, so I went up to what was my room. I didn't expect him to follow me, but he did. And I shut the door, and turned around to see his concerned and inquisitive face watch me, and I knew he wanted to know what was the matter...

I really had no real reason to be this angry. I had no reason to lock myself in my room and sulk. But I told him my secrets about myself and opened up to him like I've never done before, whether in life or dreams. And he hugged me, but at the same time he was still sitting on the edge of the bed next to me, staring at the floor. Then he helped me pull myself together.

Then time went by and the dream skipped the rest to go right to the next important part. (But in my head, I knew what happened in the time skipped - after much talking and sharing secrets with each other, we felt like we didn't even need to talk, and just sat there in silence - but not an awkward silence.) We were still in my room, but he was asleep and curled up on my bed. I was sitting on the farther end of the bed, left with my own thoughts. Had I been alone, I would've been talking out loud.. But since he was there (even though he was asleep), I didn't say anything. Even in my dream, I was thinking about how I don't know myself, and how even I didn't expect to tell him that much. Then I stopped thinking altogether and waited. I don't know what I was waiting for.

Then someone was able to open my locked door.. And made me wake him up. He looked like he was never asleep, because he woke up easily and wasn't groggy. He looked at me and gave me another hug, but again, at the same time, he stood up and led the way out of the room. Then we went downstairs. I noticed by the time the dream was fading out that he had his arm around my shoulders to comfort me and let me know he was there for me. I was thinking that he wasn't really doing that, just like he might not have been hugging me. But he was.

But he wasn't.

And then the dream ended.

Does anyone else seem like English, in dreams, just doesn't work? Do you have a different language? Because.. I do.. am I just weird? There are feelings and explanations that can't be translated into English, and that's why my dreams to me make so much sense, but I can't decipher it in the language that all of you would understand. And that's why I always wish I could capture them straight from my "imagination" and literally show you my mind..

Oh, I know there's my whole life that's contained in that one dream, and I can put to words only so much. And even if I tried for a day, I couldn't explain it all to you. You know, I'm a lot more than you think I am. I know because I have many different faces. And I only show less than half of them. The others are in my words. And blank stares. If you've been able to pick them out, thank you.

Later on in my entry, I mentioned that the boy in my dream was not Alex. But when I think about it, I vividly remember sitting beside a boy who looked and acted like him. He wore a white T-shirt, blue jeans, had dirty blonde hair, and deep eyes. He would be the one to silently remind me of reason and keep me calm. If I try to recall other dream characters, familiar and unfamiliar alike, I can't quite pick another one out who was as reasonable, sane, or reassuring as him. Like I mentioned before (or perhaps I haven't yet, here): he was my protector. He'd keep me from dying, from being caught, from being seen. Who knows what I was running from?

I do.

(or i think i do)

Matt is very much like him when he needs to be...

I also do remember dreaming of my old house. No longer am I unsure of what the setting was in this dream from 5 years ago. It's as if it's a memory from last year. I was in the living room of my house, with the furniture set up as it was a couple of years before we moved out. There was a house party going on, with aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins everywhere. And the boy.

There was music playing, people were laughing, and the smell of food was in the air. It was mid-afternoon when I remembered something from my past (even in the dream, I thought of things that actually happened), and my disposition turned sour. It was dangerous, I thought, to remain in the company of all those happy people, so for their sake and, I guess, for my own, I went upstairs to the bedroom I shared with my sisters and walked across the floor.
After I turned around and saw Alex standing by the dresser like a curious, sympathetic cat, I let him come inside and locked the door. I wasn't quite sure if that was the right thing to do or not, but it was the safest thing for me to do.

The rest of the dream is accurate.
Again, it's easy yet difficult to explain the issue of overlapping instances of time. Easy, because obviously I could find the words to describe it as best I could: it happened, but it didn't.
Difficult, because..... well, can you imagine it without exerting a lot of effort? It happened. But it didn't. He hugged me. But he didn't. I'm not being figurative at all. He literally (well, "dream-literally") hugged me, and yet he was 5 feet away from me, sitting on the carpet.

One more thing I've noticed this time around.
Thinking about my subconscious, isn't it a bit strange that I wanted to hide something from people who weren't real? People I created in my mind? I was hiding from myself.
I used a similar vocabulary in the first paragraph of that original entry, but I don't think I understood it the same way. I just saw myself as wanting to hide things from people in real life.

Now I see myself as having attempted to hide things from none other than my self.

Denying who I was. Possibly, who I am.

When I began typing tonight, I didn't know I'd end up writing these things.
This dream blog is getting dangerous.