Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I dreamt of eagles in a gigantic tree.

Originally to be posted 3/12/2012

The entire spectacle was majestic: the birds were graceful and close together, going in all sorts of directions, and there were feathers everywhere... I could tell they were massive, at least twice my height. 

The tree itself was naked, clothed only by the birds flying around or perched on its branches. And its dark branches were old, but strong and full of character. Its roots were too large for the shallow body of water that pooled around it and extended for the rest of the scenery. I had no idea where I was because of the lack of context. .... Then the Rome group appeared, climbing the tree (which proved to be even larger than I'd thought, once I saw how they all looked like ants), sitting with the eagles, jumping from the highest points into the thin, perfect water without breaking a bone. 

And I wanted to join them. But I couldn't.

this will be just like all the other times.

Originally to be posted 7/30/2011

Another zombie apocalypse dream; how many have I had?
This one was different, however (that's what I always tell myself) -- this time, it was what happened before the end that inspired my dream.

I was back in DC, getting used to the way things are. I stood in the middle of a Metro train, gripping onto a pole and struggling to hold a conversation with my friend and roommate, Claire. It was bright and sunny outside, hinting at a late summer or early autumn afternoon, but the atmosphere seemed dead and silent. We were just rounding a corner when the train began to slow and jolted to a stop.

Nobody minded it. This happens sometimes, such as when trains of opposing traffic have to share the tracks....

Claire stopped mid-sentence to pull out her phone and read a text. As she did, the train began to move again. The lights flickered a bit.
She put her phone back in her purse and I asked, "What is it?"
After thinking carefully of how to phrase it, she replied, "They just took another one off of the train."

There was some sickness going around, some kind of fever or flu. And all the hype of its contagious nature went along with it. So, naturally, I tried to act like this kind of stuff happens all the time. It was just like the H1N1 virus going around. Everyone got it. I did. But we all got better eventually, and so this would be just like it.

But people were vomiting on trains and their skin seemed to melt off in the streets as they tiredly rubbed at irritations. And we all felt paranoid of breathing in dead skin cells or being too close to a sneeze in the more congested areas of the city.
Although there were still droves of tourists going around downtown, there were significantly less of them.
And you could feel the tension everywhere.

There was one more taken off the train. And now the train stalled. Everyone in that singular car, somewhere on the Metro, swore to themselves that they could feel themselves contracting the illness.

Someone gagged in the car in which I stood.
Another woman looked at me with bloodshot eyes.

A couple of dream-days later, I felt like I was on fire. I didn't want to be near anyone, but I didn't want to tell them, either...that while I looked fine on the outside, I could feel myself burning up on the inside with a strange fever; that the symptoms began before you could even show it; that half the "healthy" people they interacted with were probably not that healthy; and that they would feel it in a few hours.

two accounts of sleep paralysis

Originally to be posted 7/9/2011

1. Wednesday morning.
I couldn't fall asleep until after 6, and I had a doctor's appointment at 9, so I only slept for about 2 hours. When I arrived back home, I fell asleep on the couch after a while of Internet surfing. And I stayed there, unmoving, for about 4 hours.
I'm not sure how long this played out, but I semi-woke up in the middle of my nap and realized my body was tingling. My legs were hanging off of the couch as if I was half-sitting, and my back felt very uncomfortable, like I was bent the wrong way. I closed my eyes again even though they were barely open. When I squinted again, I saw Anjel walking around me to pick up her guitar and leave again.
When I actually woke up, I'd never moved from my spot, and the guitar was still there. I don't think Anjel was home. My back felt fine, but I distinctly remembered the feeling I had before, as if it was real.

2. Last night.
I heard a secret. I don't remember what it was, anymore, but I was in that almost-dead state when I heard a full-on conversation in my head. It wasn't me making it up (but of course it was) -- it just flowed, and I could tell there was some other part of me that was merely eavesdropping.
Can you imagine that, trying to figure out what you're simultaneously making up?
There were two people in the conversation, a man and... maybe another man, or a woman. I can't remember.
The first line of the conversation was the secret itself. Something I wasn't supposed to hear. The second speaker noticed I was there and said, "Don't talk about it."
1: What, you mean the _____ --
2: I said, Shh. She's listening. H.
1: B.
They went on to say a series of words and letters I didn't know or wasn't sure of.

after it's over.

Originally to be posted on 4/3/2011

A few nights ago I dreamt of "after the end of the world" -- after it froze over, that is.
The sky was perpetually dark. The only thing that still looked beautiful to us were the stars above. There was nothing warm left in the world except for that light. Somewhere, the moon was in the sky, illuminating the snow around me.

I was in a camp with a small group of other people, maybe about 20 or so. We were all spread out in little clusters, families huddled together in their tents. I didn't understand why we were all spread out, we should've been closer.
Some of them tried to build igloos but they didn't understand how to do it properly, so I decided to try to teach them myself.


I lose track of time when I doze off on the couch.
And the noises in my head aren't necessarily loud. They're just many.
They drown out sounds like the AC window unit.

Just imagine me reading this aloud to you. A normal, conversational level of sound.
Now multiply that by 30..... 30 people in a living room.

Those are so many voices.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Into a Memory

I'm finished school. For now, anyway.
Grad school will happen in a year or so, but until then... well. We'll see. :)

With all this spare time I have now (it's actually not that much, but I'm no more busier than I was before), I've been having such long dreams again. They never really went anywhere, because I'd been dreaming more frequently nearer to the end of the school year....but I missed them. I'm not sure if you know what I mean.
I think I just missed the feelings that come with dreams so strongly, sometimes.

There was one dream in particular, a couple of weeks ago, in which I found myself in my old house. It was as if it was present day - I was back from school for the weekend, so I didn't bring any clothes with me. I would just use whatever clothes I left at home.

I went up to my bedroom and opened the closet. There were all my clothes from when I was younger.
Younger...like 11 or 12 years old. A shirt I'd never thought about since it was either given to cousins or donated to some charity hung on a plastic hanger. I touched it, and it still felt as smooth as the last time I wore it. It was one of my favorite shirts; I liked the way it made my arms look. I'd forgotten about that.
There was a faint scent of moth balls coming from somewhere on the shelf above, now closer to my head than when I was child. A Halloween costume of a magician's assistant was in the same place I always kept it. I forgot about it at one point, growing up. But by the time I remembered it again, I was too big for it. I never wore that costume. Yet there it was in the back.
Even my old shoes.
Waiting for me.

Now that I think about it, I again can't remember what some of those clothes looked like. But when I opened that closet and saw all of that, there was no inkling of a doubt that I was looking at my old wardrobe. I became so aware of myself that I knew I was dreaming.
And so I explored that memory. It's as if I was sucked into a picture. Where would the boundary end? How far could I go into the closet before everything got blurry?
Sure enough, the closer I moved to my sister's side of the closet, the less often I found items that meant something to me. I could feel myself falling back into the dream as a passive dreamer. But if I stayed in my area, I could change that closet as much as I wanted to and I felt no weight of the dream. Nothing was in danger of being completely changed when I moved things around. Every item of mine was so thoroughly defined in color, texture, fabric, wear and tear...simply from memory. In fact, the longer I stayed there and moved my clothes around, the more surely I felt the carpet beneath my feet and smelled food cooking downstairs and even felt the warmth of the window sunlight falling on my leg.
I felt like I was in my house.
And I felt so out of place...like I was invading someone else's mind. Breathing someone else's air.
In dreams, as I'm sure many of you have experienced, words might not actually be spoken or thought. Language doesn't work the same when you don't have to physically speak to communicate.
So I didn't actually think any of this word-for-word. But I suppose it went through my mind in a blink of an eye somewhat like this:
This isn't me. This is who I was. I don't know if I've changed or by how much, but I would rather not find out so bluntly from my own younger self. Please don't walk into the room. If I'm different, let it come as news from someone else who's also grown up and changed. Not you. Not me. 
Luckily, I woke up in bed right as I felt her presence growing stronger in the hall, accidentally summoned by my own thoughts. Scared awake.

One of my good friends from when I was that age (and who did grow up and change, as we all do) gave me a present the other day: a book about the psychology involved in architecture.

So attentive are our eyes and our brains that the tiniest detail can unleash memories. The swollen-bellied 'B' or open-jawed 'G' of an Art Deco font is enough to inspire reveries of short-haired women with melon hats and posters advertising holidays in Palm Beach and Le Touquet.
Just as childhood can be released from the odour of a washing powder or cup of tea, an entire culture can spring from the angles of a few lines  
- Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness 
 (yes, it is the book from "500 Days of Summer" if you've seen it) 
I'm not sure if I like dreaming of memories. Even still-frames like how that dream felt. That makes me feel even more trapped, because there's really nowhere to go.

And I know there's nothing to be afraid of in being told that I've changed. Of course I've changed; I like to tell myself they're for the better. I guess I just don't want to meet my younger self and find out that I'm a disappointing adult. If I forgot that I remembered those clothes and shoes, imagine what I could remember of my own self that I'd forgotten. Where did I think I would be in 10 years, and have I reached it? We like to think of the past as if it was awesome -- and it was. But then there are things that happened. We didn't just play around as kids until the sun set, scuffing our knees and yelling. We observed things. We learned. And we thought - a lot. We had our own opinions of things, whether or not we shared them with others.
If I spoke with her and she seemed to have a mind of her own (a thorough definition such as my shirts), she could speak for herself without a problem. I could move her around and she wouldn't change her mind. I could ask her questions and she would answer. But I didn't know what she would say. I might get stumped. Then what?
The memory of a person, even if it's subdued, makes that person......real, in a dream. And possibly unpredictable. That's what I realized as I went through my memory closet.

That's what terrified me.