Friday, January 20, 2012

How not to lucid dream

I'm sitting on a train waiting to arrive at my stop, but I'm not sure where I am. In fact, I've been sitting here for hours and somehow I'm just at a total loss. I can't remember how I got here. The car is full of people, yet despite sitting in my seat for at least a few hours I don't recognize a single face.

But for some reason it feels like it's supposed to be this way.

I always wanted to learn how to lucid dream. I used to read how-to articles on it. Occasionally I'd ask myself in real life if I was awake or not. But I never really made a sincere effort. So to this day I still dream like I have done for years and years - unaware that none of it makes sense, and fully aware of how completely boring it is.

Sometimes when people tell me about their dreams, I'm amazed by how grandiose theirs are. I've had people tell me about learning to fly, traveling back in time or talking to animals. But my dream-self, regardless of how far out of reality she is, is also firmly within the confines of the spaces I've seen, heard or felt.

When I was around 14 or so I had a very avid Harry Potter fandom phase. One night, I found myself running through a corridor with Harry, Ron and Hermione, escaping Voldemort's clutches and coming within a moment's grasp of losing our lives. But there was something distinctive about this dream, and it wasn't that it involved magic.

I was still normal, wand-less, magic-less me. I may have been with witches and wizards and partaking in their perilous adventure, but I was still exceedingly and utterly normal. And dull, really.

And beyond my own character's dullness was the lifelessness of the setting in which the dream took place. While I can't discount He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's ability to apparate far and wide, I have to wonder if he would be interested in fighting the Chosen One in an Orange County suburban home.

Am I just that uncreative?

Somehow, even though I have the imagination to bring to life the characters from the books I've read, raise events and people from my past, or imagine myself in a reality outside of my own, I'm always on the periphery of the excitement. I'm in a train traveling to somewhere great that I don't know about or I'm watching my friends use magic and I'm just a sad spectating squib.

So the goal of my week - or at least my night since I'm known to get distracted quite easily - is to make my dreams more exciting. Maybe it means actually practicing my wingardium leviosa before I go to bed instead of just watching clips from the Harry Potter films. Or maybe it means pretending I'm performing onstage in a musical instead of just listening to the music on my iPod.

Life on the periphery is not always a terrible thing, but dreams are supposed to be spectacular. Maybe I will get lost in a city outside my train or locked in a fatal battle with Voldemort. I may wake up sweating or kicking and screaming. But at least I'll have dreams worth dreaming.

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