Miercoles con los Amigos Invisibles vol. 13

Senor Burns, Senor Burns
con el corazon de pero
Senor Burns, Senor Burns
el diablo con dinero!

~that one Simpsons where the school strikes oil. may have gotten the words wrong!

should I
save myself
for later
or generously
and do


Saw a rabbit this morning. I said, "Hello, bunny." It just sat there warily as I walked past, which surprised me, since like all rabbits it looked as though it were ready to bolt into the underbrush at the slightest movement.

I sometimes think my dream logs might be the most entertaining things I put on this blog, because they are colorful and action-packed. Like reading a miniature short story with a plot that doesn't make sense, but characters and images which are shiny and leave a tasty residue in the brain.

Oh, a doozy of a dream last night. A doozy! Acts 2 and 3 would make a great movie plot.

However, in order for me to understand what this dream was trying to tell me, I needed the symbolic context provided by an earlier dream. Which, in backreading, it turns out I did not write down.

The earlier one, let's call it "the laser stadium dream":

Act one. My entourage and I were hurrying through the outer hallways of an enormous building which felt like a stadium. It was well-lit and bustling with people (not pictured), its walls made of grey stone. Visible through the occasional archway in the walls (or maybe I just knew what was going on in there through dreamovision?) was a central chamber, about the size of the United Center turned on its side. Maybe a little bigger. In it, partnered teams of humans and enormous, shiny magical beasties were taking turns singing and dancing together; the music was haunting and wonderful and the dances gyrated and pranced all through the empty space. I wanted very badly to go on in and take my turn. One of my entourage handed me a vibrantly-illustrated book, and as I looked through it I realized with a jolt that I had no idea what I/we were supposed to perform. "I don't know the words," I said, stricken. My entourage-person grabbed me by the hand and we took off, flying down the halls.

Act two. We flew up and up around many halls, ramps really, and the light and the color of the stone walls gradually shifted from cool grey to a warm light tan color, like afternoon sunlight on sandstone. At last we came to a square chamber, its walls and ceiling made of large blocks of the same color of stone. Lower down on the walls there were a few round ducts or tubes, one of which we had arrived through. Instead of a floor the walls stretched down into emptiness (not pictured). I was alone. There was a round window or portal, near the top of the wall at the front of the room. The warm light should have been shining through it into the room--and thence, I understood, down into the rest of the building. Instead, there was a complicated and nasty-looking metal device which exactly covered most of the window, and in front of the device a crossbeam of iron or charred wood ran across the length of the room. In the center of the device there was a small pinhole or lens, through which the sunlight captured by the device could be focused and pointed like a laser. I floated, or was gently pulled, down into one of the tubes, and rushed out of the floorless room back down into the building.

Act three. My entourage and I were sitting at a table in a large banquet hall behind the performance chamber in the stadium. Some other people were with us--I think they may have been fictional characters or representations of people I knew, but those details are gone from my memory. The hall was crowded; everyone was eating their meal and talking and mingling. I brought my attention back from looking around at the room, and saw that everyone else at my table had gotten up and wandered off. Then laser beams, three or four of them, fired down out of the ceiling, scoring the table in front of me. I was worried by how close I'd come to being hit, and also quite annoyed.

The symbolism in that dream has come to be very understandable to me as I've thought it over! What I am fond of calling "the machine in my brain", the issues I still have that are what remains of my craziness, are represented by the machine in the window in act 2. They take something that should be wholesome and joyous and make it into a weapon. A weapon which, more often than not, is something that endangers me and drives people away from me, or me from them. The proper use of the thing the machine is sitting on top of and evilly transforming would enable me to achieve some form of awesomeness that I desire very, very much.

As I fell asleep last night, I was contemplating in some detail about some personality-construction issues that have been bugging me. It is therefore most gratifying to me that my dream-making parts were able to represent the issues with which I am wrestling in the following way! I want to call this "the pointless dystopia dream (with monster)":

Act one. Some confusion of sequentiality here. My entourage and I were hanging out in a house. I had found a seal, or went out and found a seal, who was definitely my friend. It was a happy and playful fellow and didn't seem to mind having to waddle around on land. We went into the living room of the house or were already there. A dog was there, equally happy and playful as the seal, and also my friend. I sat down on the couch to play fetch with them, and wanted them to play with each other. I had some sort of toy that I would throw across the room; whichever animal reacted first ran over to the other end of the room, grabbed it, and carried it back to me, while the other animal sat in front of me feeling miffed. When they continued in this way even after I'd explained to them what I wanted (yes, dogs and seals in dreams can have things explained to them!) I became a little frustrated and vaguely confused.

Act two. Camera pulled way back. Lighting went from midday summery sunlight to temperate darkness and gloom. Same location, different process, that much was clear.

(Interesting thought occurs to me here. I never experience temperature in dreams; it can only be inferred from the quality of ambient light, or more obvious visual cues like snow or fire. Must read around to try and find out which parts of the brain one dreams with. I wonder if the lack of certain physical sensations like heat and cold are due to the same limitations that prevent your body from responding to physical movements you make while dreaming?)

Mr. Burns had either knocked down his own house, or realized that it had been knocked down. He grinned evilly and made imperious gestures, and as he did so, mazelike walls and ramparts and corridoors began constructing themselves. The structures expanded out and out in erratic patterns, to fill the entire landscape. The whole thing was made of plywood which had been inexpertly painted black, like the plain boxes theaters use to make rearrangeable sets. Only here the paint job was bad and the wood looked either flimsy or old or both. Myself and my entourage had to hide in the hollow spaces inside the walls and flee from the place's security guards. Since the place wasn't ours, of course, we didn't belong there and we didn't want to be caught. So the ending image of this act was of us in flight, certain that pursuers were only a step behind us.

Act three. Did not take any longer in subjective time than the previous acts, but was information-dense, so I've subdivided it into scenes!

Scene one. I fled into something like a junkyard or a car scrapyard, still with the feeling that my pursuer was gaining on me. After a few dodges and darts I found an unlocked car and threw myself into the back seat, landing on some crumpled-up plastic. The chief security guard got into the front seat. This was her car. For a single panicked moment I thought maybe if I crouched under the plastic and stayed very still she wouldn't see me. But then she gave me a look over her shoulder and a little smile, and I knew that me finding her unlocked car was exactly the plan.

She looked a bit like Annie Lennox:

only with heavier makeup and one of those old-fashioned police hats. Scary, but rather hot. (Gee whiz, I wonder what recurring dream character we have here? Grr. Whee!) More dreams or movies about dystopian futures should have such a chica as main antagonist!

Scene two. The car was now a tank. There was more light in the sky, and scenery existed in the background. She drove us over to the edge of the scrap yard, where it bordered on the woods, and I saw something like a small graveyard. I recognized it immediately as the graves of my fellow members of the resistance, kept there in (supposed) secret from the guards. The area with the burial plots in it was marked out from the bare dirt by a loose line of pale stones. Narrow pathways marked out in the same way meandered throught the area. Instead of names and dates, the graves were marked with gaudy headstones made of brightly-colored metal and plastic. Even though the paths were extremely narrow and the ground was difficult to see from inside the tank, the chief guard lady maneuvered along the paths with delicate precision, turning with slow care, so as not to disturb anything. I noticed this and realized it for a gesture of deep respect, as between honorable enemies at the end of a long campaign.

Scene three. We moved further out, to the edge of the woods. No longer had the sense of being in a vehicle. It was just about dawn. Behind us and to the right, beyond the scrap yard, a nearly-intact highway stretched out to the horizon. On our right plains and woods rolled out, with some steel-colored old water towers standing lonely in the distance, the paint on them faded beyond legibility. (The old-school shape, like a hat-wearing cup on stilts, not the kind that are all bulbous on top.) In front of us was a wide river, and immediately to our left was a pool of water with a weeping willow leaning out over it. I/we looked around at the river and further out to the woods and plains, and thought, Maybe anyone who was left [from the resistance, that is] fled out there, into the wilderness. Then a flock of pigeons exploded out of the trees, their flight patterns indicative of panic. You know how flocks of birds get all crazy-swirly when there's a bunch of flocks that don't normally fly together trying to share the same airspace? I didn't recognize it till I ran through the images in my mind just now, but that's where I'd seen that before. After the first flock of flocks, more came; the birds were fleeing from every direction except the one from which we had come. And I had the horrified thought: Plague. Here we'd been fighting each other for control, while out there in the wilderness there was coming something that wanted to totally destroy us.

Right on cue, a hideous behemoth came into view in the distance, lumbering down the highway, wide as four lanes of traffic all by itself.

I scrutinized it as best I could from afar. Didn't intend to stick around once it got near. Its basic body type, my brain had clearly gotten from the behemoths in Heroes IV (oh how I miss that game! and the broken laptop all my savegames are on!), but it was distorted or mutated way beyond that. Still had the grey fur and the lumpy physique. Instead of a face-shaped face, though, its head skewed over to one side, so that one eye would have had to be much bigger than the other. (Fortunately the small-eye side was the side facing us.) Its legs were small and stubby, almost vestigial, while its arms were freaking enormous, massive muscley claw-shaped hands nearly as long as the rest of its body. Between the arms and legs it had a mass of wavy tentacles instead of a proper front-of-torso. As it continued down the road towards the scrap yard I saw it (or perhaps another one like it?) glide through the air, using its tentacle mass as a kind of wings, so that its huge grasping hands looked like a giant scoop held out in front of it. It turned right as it came to the scrap yard, and upon closer inspection it didn't look so much like the behemoth as I'd thought.

My companion (not pictured) was now apparently carrying me by flapping with her wings; I could feel the action but was not paying attention to it yet.

The beast was headed towards the pond--not hunting us, just hunting. I looked down at the water and saw the silvery side of a fish, wide as my arm, turning just under the surface. My first thought was, Hey, a fish! Maybe we can catch it and eat it. But then it kept turning and turning--eight feet long, I thought--and I realized no fish could be that long and the still same width all the way down. The idea disturbed me and I discarded any notion of possibly trying to eat OR catch whatever it was. We hovered back away from the bank as the beast approached; it passed next to the tree, brushing back the lower branches as it went by. (This was a very tall tree.) It hitched itself over, with something like a very graceful full-body shrug, so that it could lower itself into the water tentacles down. Seen up close, it was obvious to me that it was also a kind of squid, and its tentacles up close looked a lot more like fish than like part of a furry beast. Long, silvery fish.

Just then, I could feel that the wings that kept us hovering over the surface of the water were laboring harder, that we were slowly beginning to sink towards the water.

At the thought of even touching the surface of a pond with two of those fearsome beasts in it, I felt that old familiar, "well, fuck this!" feeling surge up inside of me, and woke up.

So it'll take me some time to sort out all the symbols in there, but there are some things I can say right off the bat.

The little girl character has become a woman! No longer just an unpredictable young woman whom I love dearly and fear passionately. Now she is a sexy commandant who tricks me into the back of her vehicle, honors my fallen, and then warns me of oncoming peril which endangers us both. Oo yeah. That kicks so much ass.

Mr. Burns is me again. This is like the fourth or fifth time that an active mode entered into by my conscious personality has been represented in a dream by a male cartoon character. The flimsy dingy gloomy maze probably represents a mental state. Of, well, gloomy brooding with undertones of panic. Maybe I turn into male cartoon characters when I do things that are stupid, selfish or immature? That would make sense.

The dog and seal are an interesting image. Tentatively I'd interpret them to be the conscious and unconscious sides of my hat. The dog would represent the conscious side because it is a land creature and because it was already in the house. The seal would then be the unconscious side, because it is an underwater creature and because I just recently became friends with it. So they'll each play with me, but not with each other, and each feels sort of pouty when I pay more attention to the other one than to it. Oy vey. At least they are both friends with me, though!

Yeah, the behemoth squid thing was scary-looking. But the threat it presented was potential, avoidable, rather than immediate and certain. Like keeping an eye on the wasp in the room. All the cues point to it being something not originating from within my personality, as well, which makes it a little easier to be alert against it. Whatever it represents.

What I find most interesting from a dream tech standpoint was the car/tank/graveyard/flapping bird wings thing. Okay. We already postulate that the "wilderness" represented the world of mental experience outside my personality; behemoth came from there, I don't have that many flocks of pigeons in me, etc. Which means that act three, scene one up there either represented (if I was not traveling or there's no such thing) or was (if I can and was) me and my invisibler half moving to, and then across, the boundary between my personality and whatever's right next to it in whatever part of the world we all go to when we dream. Which, assuming the second thing, suggests several items of tech.

Item the first, sexy scary chick is the person/represents the aspect of me who/which has the ability to direct energy extensions out of my personality. Textev: car belongs to her. Car becomes tank as we approach boundary. Once we cross the boundary, the tank becomes unmanifested, implying that what feels big and bulky when on the inside is like a minimal requirement for movement on the outside.

Item the second, what I refer to as "my entourage" in dreams, whoever or whatever they are, are not of use or do not manifest separately from me when outside my personality. This is the meaning of the graveyard scene. Now, I don't take that scene to mean they are dead or disempowered or whatever. I would be very surprised if they were absent from my next dream. Rather, I think it is location and function-dependent. Like in the card game Magic, when a creature you had in play is put into the graveyard, that doesn't mean it's no longer a factor in the game. There are spells that can bring cards out of the graveyard, shuffle them back into your deck, or that simply act differently when certain things are in your graveyard. So the term, and the image, are pretty fluid for me. But the whole no-entourage-outside-the-ego-boundary implication is pretty unambiguous.

Item the third. This is not a conclusion, only a suspicion. I have seen dream-beasties before which resemble the behemoth squid monster. For lack of a better word, an organism/idea/experience of the sort represented by that dream image is the sort of creature I do refer to as a demon.
(I've talked about this before and at length, but to recap a bit. In common parlance, demons and angels are like anthropomorphized quanta of moral energy under direct control of either god or the devil. According to that system, only the direct (god speaketh!) or indirect (I speaketh in the name of god with his/her permission!) intervention by one of the two ultrapowers will affect their behavior. In my personal made-up lexicon, demons and angels are either A. organisms which don't have bodies, B. memeplexes which seem to behave organically, or C. there is no difference between the two descriptions. Which means they can be treated like organisms; communicated with, befriended/tamed, chased away, eaten etc. My favorite is C, by the way.)
So then. What if, when a thing like our friend Uglybuns over there gets inside a personality but doesn't actually subsume it, part of it can turn into something like the laser-window machine from the laser stadium dream? Like a...hell, hard to think of a good metaphor for this one. Like if a lion tried to gouge out your guts, maybe, and while you were fighting it off a piece of claw got lodged in your small intestine, so that from then on all the food you digested had to move around it, so you got fed more slowly and had diarrhea no matter how much you ate?
Okay, that metaphor sucks. I'm usually better at metaphors. But, dangit, at least half of being good at metaphors is being able to notice when two things resemble one another, even (or especially) in a totally non-obvious way. And those two things did, some way or another, even though I can't possibly show them to you because my brain assembled them out of bits and pieces of sense-memory and shoved them into my dreams to try and get me to pay attention to parts of my personality that need fixin'.

Peter Carroll once wrote something to the effect that even a small ability to change oneself is greatly preferable to a large, impressive ability to perform useless parlor tricks. So even though my metaphorical analysis is gappy as of yet, the goals they describe are clear to me. Metaphorically speaking: I must get to be on even better terms with this dream lady with the too much eye makeup, and/or convince my dog and seal that they really can get along, even if the one doesn't swim too good and the other finds walking a chore. Then I will perhaps open up several new, improved avenues by which to be able to change myself into someone even more fun to be around!

Then, not only will imaginary lava want to be my friend, so will other people maybe! Teeheehee! *tents fingers and tries vainly not to giggle*

That means, "I'm not crazy anymore"--in my made-up space language.

~ Saturday Night Live, one of the Jeopardy sketches

Ach, time to go home from work.


Amber E said...

Hi Sweetie,
Wow you dreams could be a mini series, you seem to be doing interesting self-psychoanalysis. Miss you and hope all is well.

Fiat Lex said...

:D Thanky! I am indeed well. Mentally and emotionally, leastwise. Winter bites and I need to remember to take my vitamins, so as to keep the old immune system perky and vigilant.

Miss you too! I really need to email you back already. Mostly to catch up (I have started reading Starswarm! it is excellent!), but also for plans of an Xmasy nature.

Love and bubbles!