So, right off the bat I’ll tell you that I’m no dream expert. I’ve read a bit about the subject, so I’m familiar with some of the basic concepts. However, I am unaware of the names of researchers and most terminology. All this means is that if you cite someone or refer to an established concept, a brief explanation for the uninitiated would be nice.
What I’m doing here are basic experiments, decidedly non-scientific in nature, to provide anecdotal evidence of different experiences I have while falling asleep.
So, on April 20, 2010, at around 11:00pm, I fell asleep while listening to A Bit of a Chat with Ken Plume and Caissie St. Onge.
I picked this for a reason. I once fell asleep while listening to a single person telling a story with a cohesive narrative, and found myself following the story when I entered the dreamstate. I wanted to see what would happen if I was listening to two people having a conversation that was not grounded in any one topic.
The results were interesting to me, and not what I expected.
At first, I found it impossible to drift off. The rapid switching between Ken and Caissie’s voices would almost startle me awake. After some time passed (I’m unsure how long), I found myself comfortably resting while still listening. Then, finally, the voices ceased.
I had the sensation of still being awake, but didn’t hear Ken and Caissie speaking any more. As soon as I would notice that, however, I would “actually” wake up, and I would hear them again. I would find myself in the middle of their conversation, with no bearing on it whatsoever. In fact, I found it confusing trying to make sense of what they were saying at first, almost as though I was listening to a foreign language. Then, eventually, I would be fully awake, and be able to follow what they were saying.
This continued until around 12:30am, at which point I stopped and just went to bed. At no time did I experience the sensation of incorporating their words into my dreams.
An interesting side effect of this is that I remembered my dreams much more vividly this morning than I have in a long time. I was able to make another observation, I can find definite links between my dreams last night and the activities of the day before.
1) While at Madison Market yesterday, I saw a cranberry buffalo bar, made “The Native American Way,” and I remember that it made me wonder if this marketing affected some people deeply. Was there was some guy out there who wasn’t a Native American, eating one of these saying to himself, “I understand them now, I really do,” and meaning it?
Last night I had a dream that I was visiting my nephew Jeb, and that he had tons of trophies from a national college “Native American” sporting event. The participants were in feathered headdresses, leather clothes, and performed feats like throwing axes and walking on tightropes. It was a weird, borderline offensive activity, but there were tons of pictures of my nephew with tribal leaders. This goes back to my thoughts about the bar, which were that it was probably a Native American owned and operated company, so who am I to criticize some imaginary dude for feeling a connection to Native Americans after eating one?
2) I had band practice with Ben yesterday. While I was leaving I tried out a joke on his roommate and it didn’t work. I desperately tried to find another joke that DID work, even though we were running late. Eventually, I did.
Also, someone on Facebook asked if anyone knew where to get poutine in Seattle. I had it once at The Steelhead Diner and liked it, but couldn’t think of the name, “The Steelhead Diner,” and substituted “The Blue Bistro” instead. Later, I realized my mistake and amended my recommendation.
I had a dream last night that I was at The Steelhead Diner with a band I wanted to work with. We were getting along, but there was one guy who didn’t think I was funny at all. I kept trying to impress him, but eventually he left. The rest of the band apologized.
I should also point out that there were several opportunities to realize I was dreaming that didn’t take:
1) I was staying in a hotel with some college kids. I left to go to a comic books store, and suddenly realized that *I never put on my shoes.* This seemed reasonable at the time, and I didn’t wake up.
2) I was giving someone an old Dungeons and Dragons Fiend Folio from the 80s as a present, and in the back was *the same book in CD-Rom format.*
I’ve noticed that both not wearing shoes and odd books figure largely into my dreams. I’m going to start looking at these things as clues.
That’s pretty much all I got out of this experiment, but it’s definitely the best work like this I’ve done in a while. I’m going to keep trying new things. I’ll let you know what happens.