Friday, October 31, 2008

Dream - The descent: Witches, flying reptiles and the tall tree-like man

Starting around February 12, 2008, and very bad for a week, less bad thereafter, I was very, very sick, with a bowel obstruction, kidney stones, and a bad case of the flu. I didn't get much sleep for a week, because the pain in my side was too much when I lay down. I didn't spend much time laying down, though I did catch a few minutes of sleep that way. Sometimes I caught a few minutes of sleep sitting down and sometimes even over an hour, sometimes even a few hours. Some days, though, the total sleep was measured in minutes rather than hours. I spent long periods of time standing, sometimes assuming different positions, sometimes even bent over double, trying to relieve the pain in my side somehow.

The day before this started I had worked for about five hours on my sister's yard, starting late in the afternoon, stopping long after dark when I was too cold and sick to continue. I wasn't even wearing a coat.

For a few days before this started I had been feeling bad, and had noticed that my lips were sometimes very pale.

I had a few dreams during the time I was sick, some of them with very disturbing elements. One of the most disturbing ones happened around February 20, 2008.

In the dream, I seemed to be at a house we had lived in in the early to mid 1960s, though sometimes it seemed to be my grandmother's house instead, the one she lived in a little later on after she moved to Arizona. The houses were on the same street, but not close to each other. A lot happened earlier in the dream that I don't remember.

At some point I went out back and toward the side yard to the east. It was dark. A large number of people were there, even out in the alley and other yards. I also felt they were all over the place, even down at the end of the street. I wanted to fly, and went toward the side yard. The people, who it seems had already been witches of some kind, started to become witches in appearance, and some of them turned into flying reptiles, with some of the people riding the flying reptiles.

I was someone with magic powers, like the others, and part of the group of people. I started to change into something else and flew for a while, though I'm not sure if I changed into a flying reptile or into a more traditional witch appearance and rode a reptile (or rode something else). I flew around for a while, east toward the end of the street and back.

The dream turned darker, and it seems the witches were now out to get me, and were apparently also vampires of some type. They were also changing into various monsters, often or usually some variation on the flying reptiles theme, with huge claws even on their elbows and other places. They wanted to get me with the claws, to cut and stab me.

The houses were gone now, the scene changing to uneven ground with different places at different levels, kind of an outdoor scene except it seemed to take place inside an enormous cave. At some point I seemed to have returned to my normal appearance. I kept trying to avoid the creatures, who seemed to be in almost a continual process of slow change. They seemed only marginally aware of me, occasionally turning toward me with an evil look, especially if I got too close.

There was a tall tree-like man with fingers like long branches or roots and legs turning into trunks and roots. At first he was on an area of higher ground in the cave, a place to the side where it narrowed somewhat and then went on. The winged creatures seemed not to be concerned about him and did not pay a lot of attention to him, though there were frequently a few in his area. I went toward him, but as I got closer he raised his arms and started to try to move his legs, to try to come toward me, and I backed away.

Sometime later I noticed that he had managed to move thirty or forty feet, and was now on a lower area but still a ways out from the middle of the cave. I kept feeling that he wasn't really my enemy. I went toward him again and got pretty close, but then he raised his arms with the long root-like fingers that could stretch all the way to the ground and tried to get me again.

A winged creature was passing by behind the tree man, stopping every few feet, seemingly unaware of what was happening or that we were even there. It was bent over in almost a crouch, with extremely long arms and legs and torso. It was slim but muscular, and had big shoulders. Its head was raised up and pointing forward, and was large and bald and somewhat thin, with a greatly exaggerated nose and chin. Its eyes were large and had somewhat wavy slits for pupils, pupils that were a pale yellow in color. The eyes themselves were an odd color, slightly dark and almost clear, and tilted a little with a curved under part and an almost straight top part. The mouth was pulled up in a huge grin. The skin of the creature was a kind of pale greenish-brown, and even bent over like it was it was still about the height of a man. As it paused behind the tree man, its left elbow went through his back and out his chest, splitting it open, the elbow with its huge thick gray claw sticking out the front. There seemed to be no blood, just a big split in the chest.

The tree man stared at me in pain and sorrow, and seemed to somehow be blaming me for what happened. He was not stopped by the injury, and still reached out for me, partially changing into something else, one of the clawed creatures. I pulled back and away. The original winged creature moved on, pulling its elbow out of the tree man's chest, never once looking at us.

There were other creatures everywhere but they seemed to not be paying attention to me, just milling around. Raised areas in the ground went around the middle section of the cave in a kind of square path, or paths. Sometimes the creatures followed the paths and sometimes they didn't.

I could also see a path that led up and down along the far wall, with a creature slowly coming down it. Others had gone up and down it earlier. I felt the creature had come back from someplace higher up, out of the cave or at least a different section of it. I wondered if it had gotten orders of some kind, and was on a mission. I made my way toward it, coming from the side. As with the others, though, it seemed to have no real purpose or awareness unless I got too close, and then its head turned toward me and its eyes got slightly bigger, and long clawed fingers reached out, and when I pulled back the awareness faded, I could see it fade from its eyes, and it turned back to what it had been doing, walking slowly along the path.

In retrospect, the situation in the dream seems to have turned into some kind of a representation of Hell.

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Dream - The vault

On Thursday, October 30, 2008, I fell asleep around 12:30 PM for about ten minutes, and dreamed I was in a large dimly lit vault. In the dream I felt it was something like a bank vault, but in retrospect it seems more like a mausoleum. Along the left wall were large polished black granite panels, perhaps 16 inches high and 30 inches wide. They were in rows along the wall, which was the same color, and extended perhaps an inch from the wall. They had a little space, perhaps an inch or two, between them. I was probably six or seven feet from the back wall, facing the left wall and examining the panels, brushing them a little with the fingers of my left hand, barely touching them.

Behind me, shadowy people in dark suits occasionally came and went, one or two at a time, presumably on business of some kind. Sometimes they were not much more than just faint blurred figures, with occasional flashes of a white shirt and the suggestion of a face, looking like pictures taken with a camera that was unable to properly freeze the motion, with the ends of the arms and legs almost fading out. Sometimes they barely felt physical at all.

They never tried to talk to me or interact with me, always going past me toward the back, sometimes then turning toward the right and going somewhere away from me and out of my awareness. I felt that money was stored somewhere behind me and perhaps a little along the back wall, presumably in something like safe-deposit boxes and maybe safes, though I didn't see anything and didn't try to look for it. I was mostly concerned with the panels.

Feeling the panels with my fingers, I had found that some of them were a little rough or uneven, some much more so than others. Some of it seemed to be in the rock itself but some of it, particularly on some panels, was mostly accumulated grime, like it had been a long time since maintenance on them had been performed. I curled the fingers of my left hand and started rapidly scratching at the surface of the panels, starting at an upper one, sending tiny thin pieces of the surface off, so tiny or thin they were hard to see properly, like ashes or the memory of ashes, like the ghosts of ashes and the ghosts of powdery dust.

As the surface of a panel got smoother I moved to a lower one, and then a lower one. The third one down from where I started, the second one up from the floor, was a lot rougher, feeling like slightly smoothed-over dried soap scum. This one was going to take a lot longer.

I continued to work while the shadowy presences came and went behind me. It looked like it would take a long time to do all the panels. I wondered what would happen if everyone left and went home for the day and I got locked in. I thought that surely they would have some janitorial service that would come during the night and clean the vault, at least sometimes, so I would get out eventually, and might not have to spend a whole night or weekend there.

Scratching near a lower corner of the panel, trying to smooth out the final irregularities in that area, I noticed that I was making a shallow depressed area diagonally across the stone. I decided to leave that area as it was rather than try any more there, as it seemed like the irregularities at that point were caused by the inclusions in the rock being of different hardness from the surrounding matrix, and it didn't look like I would be able to smooth it there any further with just my fingernails. Someone would have to use real equipment to get that area any smoother, if they cared enough to go that far.

I considered whether to work on another area of that panel, which was still mostly unsmoothed, or to move to a different panel, perhaps one to the right. I was starting to wonder, also, if this project, a task I had undertaken on my own, without any prompting from anyone, was something I should continue to do. Nobody appeared to notice the condition of the panels, and they would probably not notice even if they were smooth and clean. There was also the question of whether they would mind me doing what I was doing, as I had no authority to be doing anything. It was just something that I found, something that I felt needed correcting.

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Snakes! - the poem

I first wrote this poem as a post to a thread about humorous invented words and definitions, as a reply to someone who had written a much shorter poem about snakes. Her poem was a general response to posts about snakes, and had a line that could be taken as referencing an earlier post of mine involving Medusa, the mythical figure who had snakes on her head instead of hair. The general point of her poem, given in a humorous way, was that she did not like snakes, though she did not say the word anywhere, always saying "them" instead. At the time the thread was sometimes being used by people to post humorous take-offs on the "Snakes on a Plane" movie, so quite a few posts had snakes in them, though some had versions not involving snakes.

I later changed my poem slightly, in a version not part of that thread, making it have less of a specific response, making it a more general poem about someone not liking snakes. It fits in rather well in my family this way, as my father was chased by a snake long ago and my mother, when she was young, sometimes had the experience of a particular worker on the family farm showing her snakes he had killed while mowing the yard.

In the poem below, the line "Many other places where" originally said "Places have been listed where" in the version in the humor thread, and the line "Places I have not yet given" originally said "But other places were not given".

This final version of the poem is dated 12:11 PM, December 10, 2007. The version in the humor thread was dated 8:55 AM, May 24, 2007, and the Medusa post was dated 7:40 AM, May 23, 2007. All times are Arizona Mountain Standard Time (MST).

The Medusa post:

Snakes on a Brain

What happened when Medusa's "hair" became ingrown.

The final version of the poem:


Should a snake always be inside its lair,
And not catch a person unaware?

Are there other places they can be,
Where you cannot, will not, see?

Many other places where,
You would not like to find them there?

Places I have not yet given,
Places where they could be livin'?

If one crawled swiftly up the lane,
Would it drive you quite insane?

If they came from out your pockets,
Would your eyes bulge from their sockets?

If one fell from trees into your hair,
Would it give you such a scare?

Would one in the sunshade in your car,
Really give you such a jar?

Would one found upon a pillow,
Make you let out quite a bellow?

So many places snakes might lurk,
Would they all drive you berserk?

Is there a place that I could say,
That would not make you run away?

Or would a snake found anywhere,
Be one more snake than you could bear?

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Where's my shoe?

This probably happened back in the mid to late 1980s, when I would have been in my early to mid thirties.

I was putting on my shoes in my bedroom and I couldn't find one. I looked under the bed and in the closet and everywhere else in the room, and then looked everywhere again, and then a third and probably a fourth time. I couldn't figure it out. It had to be somewhere but it didn't seem to be anywhere at all.

I finally gave up on it being in my bedroom, at least for the moment, and started walking down to the living room, thinking that maybe my mother had taken the shoes to polish them, something she had on rare occasions done. It seemed only a faint possibility, but I just couldn't find it and I was running out of places to look.

I was walking down the hallway when I realized that I had both shoes on instead of one. I had been wearing the missing shoe the whole time.

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