Funny Exorcism

July 13, 2013

Lots of dreams in the late morning, woke from the last one at 7:30.

I’m deep in a dream, moving around a spacious house and grounds, conscious of how I see and experience the dream space when I’m lucid in a different way from my dream partner James, for example, who may notice more physical details while I get more of a feel for the general atmosphere of places. But even as I think this I know how we experience a lucid dream isn’t really that different because we both see and grasp the nature of what we’re seeing and the details themselves are already mysteriously there inside us in the first place. Hard to describe.

I return to the spacious house which is in a minor upheaval involving my closet and mounds of clothing. It’s not clear right not, I only remember grabbing a few hangers worth of orange and white vinyl coats and dresses belonging to Mami from the 1960’s and hanging them in the back of a large walk-in-closet full of other stuff that won’t get much use anymore. There is a cart or other obstruction blocking my personal closet and a young man either delivering or removing items or both. He is definitely working there while talking about me to no one in particular, since it’s just me and him and my silent but ever present female companion. He is enumerating my various unique traits and abilities. After a while, a little impatient of his casual eulogy’s slightly ironic tone, I walk up to him and looking him straight in the face ask him in a clear voice, “Would you like to be my slave?” my expression perfectly deadpan. His smile is quite eloquent, and I savor his reaction as I turn away, beckoning my female companion to follow me because we have business to attend to on another level. I sense he was a bit surprised and quite pleased by my question, that I scored some mysterious points by not being too timid or conventional but instead daring to challenge him. This is what young people do, and this is, I realize, the attitude or way of being that keeps people young—the snake swallowing its tail.

There are two possible exits from the spacious elegant white chamber, stairs leading up to the right the more direct way to get where I want to go, but for some reason we veer left a little and take a more indirect route along a corridor. We pass, on our right, the white marble aisle of a church flanked by pews leading to the alter. I say in dismay, “Oh, no, I recognize this place from a dream!” where I witnessed a ceremony I can’t remember but which was almost farcical even as it tried to be serious, the visual echo of which I witness now in the form of a group of people “streaming” down from the alter as at the end of a rite. I’m glad to leave this section of a church behind even as I take note of how clearly, and in what lucid detail, I recognized it.

My companion and I are now upstairs in a blue-gray hallway not as well lit. This is where we have come to do needed work. A crowd of people has entered the hallway from the opposite direction, using a back stairwell, and a few in front move slowly forward as those farther back wait their turns. They are all patient, almost respectful, which is really odd because they are all ghosts haunting this mansion, but I suppose even they have to abide by certain rules. I’m not in the least bit afraid of them or daunted by the task of dispelling them. They are all dressed differently, men and women, their varied clothing and facial appearances visual expressions of their character and the type of ghost or haunting they prefer to be. Facing them square on and blocking their advance, I glance down at my black clad shoulder and brush off some imaginary white flakes. “You see this dandruff?” I say. “That’s what you all are, psychic dandruff.” I’m letting them know I don’t take them at all seriously. Music starts playing in the background and I begin dancing to it. A few of the ghosts closest to me smile and begin irresistibly dancing as well while the rest of them look at a complete loss. Telepathically I ask them if they wouldn’t rather have fun and dance, urging them to give up their “trauma costumes” and do what they secretly want to, which is relax and dance and not be confined to this silly haunting gig anymore.

Dream Notes: I often have a silent female companion in dreams. I think she must be some kind of spotter, the sort who stand by gymnasts, for example, when they’re practicing difficult routines.

A funny lucid dream is a rare treat. I shared it with my friend, Hugh O’Connor, who has a great sense of humor, and he wrote: “Lovely! Your account is my very first introduction to the concepts of “psychic dandruff”, “trauma costumes” and “silly haunting gigs”! I love the idea that ghosts would consider haunting a kind of tedious job you do for a living, or dying, if you happen to be a ghost. How do you sign up for something like that? Where are the openings posted? Is there a ghostly Human Resources Department that interviews prospective haunters and asks them questions like “Where do you see yourself in 500 years?” I can hear country-and-western ghosts singing hit songs like “Take this Malignant Haunting and Shove It!”

I replied: It does give the saying “stuck in a dead end job” a whole new twist! Seriously, the Other Side appears to be full of souls who didn’t believe they would survive the death of their physical body. I personally feel that if we “invest” in the concept that what we think, feel and imagine is the “currency” we’ll be dealing with on the Other Side, we’ll have a much better time there, and be able to travel to fascinating dimensions instead of possibly getting stuck “living” where we “died” because we lack the mysterious inner resources to move… on.

A Night in the Rec Room

May 2, 2013

I believe I’m awake and lying in my new LD bed in the rec room when Stinger suddenly walks in with our dog Arthur, who he mischievously drops on the bed as he sits on its edge. Surprised and annoyed in equal measure, I say, “What are you doing in here? You know I’m trying to sleep and have a lucid dream.” It’s really most unlikely he’s there and I wonder, “Am I dreaming this?” I’m not sure if I wake for a few moments after this and go back to sleep, or whether the False Awakening continues, but there is now clearly a door in the wall, a few feet from the foot of the bed, which is not really there. The door is already open and I immediately realize it leads into my parents’ old bedroom, the one they shared when I was a child. I get the strong sense of Papi, but of course he won’t be in there anymore so I close the door, feeling just a little unnerved. It’s a plain white domestic door and yet clearly this is a door I can use to take me places in a LD. It hits me then that I’m dreaming and can go somewhere now, but there’s no need to use the door since my bed is flush to the glass doors and I can just go through them. I plant both my hands against the glass and am disappointed it feels perfectly real and solid. Well, I guess I can’t go flying off into the night because, obviously, I’m awake. I hear my brother’s excited voice carrying across the house from the bedroom and soon wake for real. I gasp out loud. The bright, star-like waning moon is shining straight down on my face. I lay there for a bit absorbing its light and feeling it can help me LD.

I believe I’m lying awake on my left side facing the room, the glass doors behind me. In the dream, the flat screen TV runs parallel to the top of my head; in reality, it forms a right angle with my head. I hear a voice come from beyond the TV, a quiet, distinct, absolutely real voice. I tense. There is someone in the dark room with me, no doubt whatsoever about that. Yet I’m not as terrified as I think I should be because the voice sounded like Papi’s and spoke in Spanish. “Porfavor.” (Please.) I finally find the courage to respond timidly, “Que?” (What?) He replies, “Ven aqui.” (Come here.) I feel that is just way too much to ask, because this is really creepy. “Pero tengo miedo, Papi!” (But I’m afraid). He says something to the effect of “Move now. Don’t wait.” I struggle to sit up. It’s difficult to move, and not just because I’m scared; it’s hard to coordinate my limbs. I manage a sitting position and know I have to be dreaming when I see him sitting in front of the bay windows, the blue of his seeming sweat pants distinctly visible in the darkness. As soon as I realize I’m dreaming my fear mostly evaporates. I stand up effortlessly and walk over to him. It really does appear to be Papi and I’m not surprised because it seems like the next, mysteriously promising (if somewhat sinister feeling) step in our dream relationship. He gestures, looking apologetically at a loss because in the dream there are no other chairs in which I can sit. I say quickly, “That’s okay, I’ll just sit here” and perch on what appears to be a child-size circular table in front of him, the kind kids sit around to draw and have fun. He’s smiling at me but it concerns me a little that he looks very thin, the way he did before he died. He says something in Spanish to the effect of, “You know, when you’re rupturing inside…” and I feel he’s talking about the last few hours of his life—the nightmare ride in the ambulance in the middle of the night. I sense he needs to share this with me, for both our sakes. But suddenly I’m distracted by how oddly high-pitched and reedy his voice is becoming. I get up and moving right stand over him on his left side. “Papi, you sound funny… and you don’t really look like yourself.” The smile he directs up at me speaks to me clearly as I understand my comment is rather foolish since on the Other Side no one has any fixed form. As I study his face, familiar yet slightly different, I phase out of the dream.

Another False Awakening. My brother calls me and I tell him about my dream with Papi and he’s very excited about the one I had a few nights ago. I hang up eventually but it’s odd that I’m kneeling on the bed. I get up and move to the doors. I consider going back to sleep in my bedroom with Stinger and Arthur and the cat since it’s already late in the night anyway, and because it makes me nervous how the green curtains over the glass doors seem to have a life of their own, very deliberately moving from left to right as if trying to get my attention. Yet maybe it’s because of the wind picking up outside. I decide to stay because this supernatural storm is more fascinating than unnerving.

In yet another False Awakening later, I walk over to the Bay window on the far right when I hear voices, and sure enough, two men are casually preparing to climb into the room. Obviously they are thieves and they seem more surprised to me see me than I am to see them. I say, “Look, my husband has a gun, so I really don’t think you want to be doing this. Go away and have a nice day.” I close the window just as Stinger hurries in as though he heard something suspicious. The guy on the left, who actually looks like a nice man when he isn’t breaking into houses, asks me how to get to a certain road, pretending they just got lost and drove up the driveway for directions. I ask him if it’s on Route 50 or Route 7 then add, “Look, you better leave before we call the police.” They make to do so, but they have all this stuff with them on their truck and I “step” outside to look through it, delighted to come upon a large stash of copper measuring spoons like ones I own and love. I go through them, surprised to see odd sizes like 1.5 Tablespoon. I intend to keep a lot of them!

Dream Notes: The thieves near the end of the night might relate to my concern that some entity “broke into” my dream space pretending to be Papi. I woke too soon to hear what he had to say, but I felt comfortable with him, like he really was Papi. His voice, quiet yet a very real sound, alive with presence, sounded like Papi’s. His blue (a heavenly color) pants also seem like a clue that it was him and not a sinister impostor.  I got the feeling he wanted, needed to share the last terrible hours of his life with me. The child’s drawing table is also a positive touch, the beginning of something, learning and growing, a creative relationship between us.

My dream partner, James, remarked: “I am most intrigued by Papi’s “move now, don’t wait” comment. I am not convinced it is meant to be taken only literally; I get the sense it’s meaning is broader. Is there something your Papi would want you to urgently move on at this point? I agree with your interpretation of the kid’s table. It seems like a creative/learning space. Again, I get the sense there is something he is urging you to dive into.”

Papi & MeI really think Papi wants me to do everything I can to develop my natural lucid dreaming ability. For more than two years now, I have simply let LD’s happen by living lucidly, setting intentions and believing in the process. That was good, but it’s no coincidence the first night in my new LD space he came to me so vividly, and on the third night he was there. My new focused dream space is a good beginning. Papi is encouraging me to “move now” with my dreams, in every sense.  I knew I had to move to the rec room on the nights I want to lucid dream, and I have since ordered some Galantamine.  The copper spoons are most interesting. Copper was a sacred metal in ancient Egypt, temple doors were made of copper, but I feel it has to do with finding the right measurement, which I think relates to how I have lingered on the fence between Have LD’s Naturally With No Supplements and Use Supplements to LD. The answer is both, just find the right measure of each.

I feel last night was a test, the most basic and yet the most important test if a higher form of education, a new level of experience, can begin: Are you ready to rise above your fears? It’s no coincidence he spoke about the last hours of his life, when his body was dying, when he was confronting the ultimate terror. The door to his old bedroom appeared at the foot of my bed, leading into the past and our physical life together. Then he greeted me with the word “Please” from the opposite side of the room. To pursue our continuing relationship in the 4th Dimension, a space between the Other Side and physical reality? That’s what I assumed in the dream, that I have opened up a  gateway to begin what I believe should be possible: an ongoing relationship with deceased loved ones that is natural rather than frightening. When someone you love dies, wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to see them, talk to them, be lucid with them on a regular basis? These are popularly considered pipe dream questions, but I think why the hell not? The Western world blew up the bridge between the worlds, and its high time we began building it again reinforced with modern foundations.

Papi’s Dream

April 25, 2012

Papi and Me

Last dream of the night after 6:00. I’m sitting in a strange place, outdoors yet partially enclosed, defined by about 3 levels I equate with beds or lying down areas forming a square. A sense of dirt and dampness, shadowy. It seems to be at the corner of a city, like a gutted parking garage, and yet it is not that at all. I’m in a false awakening, remembering my dreams and disappointed I didn’t have a really good lucid with James as we’d hoped. Then Papi is sitting before me, wearing the red and white striped shirt of our photo together in front of the Egyptian Temple in the museum in NY. He says something to the effect of: “You didn’t have a dream, but I did. I was on a journey with a woman and after a surprisingly short time we reached our destination and became immensely wealthy.” He was smiling at me and I understood these riches were a metaphor for spiritual growth and wisdom as well as literal, monetary wealth. I said something about hoping it really turns out that way. He had given me the summary of his dream, now he set out to describe it to me in detail, and as he spoke, I rested my right cheek against his chest, looking up at his face. He felt and looked exactly like Papi; I could almost smell him he was so realistically present. But the low-lying ground meant there was a swarm of a really small insect with tiny black wings, a cross between a gnat, a moth and a mosquito, and one of them was on his cheek drawing, I assumed, his blood. I tried plucking it off, it sidled away into his nostril and I determinedly plucked it out wondering if Papi would think I was picking his nose, but he seemed unaware of my ministrations as he kept talking, looking immensely content. There were other such bugs on his legs, too many to shoo away. None of them bothered me. He was going slow, attempting to convey every emotion he had felt during the dream as accurately as possible, just the way I do, I thought. He said, “You know that feeling you get when a wild dog sidles up to you, and how they can sense your fear?” to describe what happened at one stage of the journey he took in his dream. Indeed I knew what he meant but I was having a really hard time hearing him because there was this undefinable but constant ambient noise, like a low-level roar, not of traffic, not of construction, I had no idea what was causing it, but I had to keep asking him to speak more loudly. He got up for something, leaving the area, and while waiting for him to return, I moved up to a higher level, like a long bunk-bed, where Mario had just awoken and wanted to tell me his dream. Below us, I saw Papi return lugging a huge bluish-white suitcase. I mean, it was massive and completely stuffed. He didn’t see me and worried he might think I had left, I cried, “I’m up here, Papi!” as I made my way back down to him. I woke.

Dream Notes: In attempting to describe the location, it occurred to me I was in some kind of archaeological excavation of a burial mound with several layers, somewhere humid, tropical.

Papi’s summary of his dream sounds like a description of what James, my dream partner, and I are doing. He saw I was disappointed I didn’t lucid dream with James that night and surprised me by announcing that he had dreamed as though consoling and encouraging me. Insects symbolize disturbing thoughts and hidden fears. Flying insects connect to the vast mobility of our darker thoughts. In Central America, small flying insects were often regarded as the souls of the dead revisiting earth. In Guatemala, where the belief endures, they are associated with the stars.* This is very interesting because Papi spent many years of his life working with U.S.A.I.D. in Central America, and I sensed the tropical feel of the place. The curious little insects were all over Papi yet they did not appear to bother him in the least. I was aware of them, as I am aware that at this crucial stage in my dream exploration with James doubts and the fear that it’s all, literally, a dream are bound to surface, yet they did not touch me, or Papi protected me from any doubts that might have begun plaguing me by coming to visit me, more viscerally than he ever has, to tell me his dream, which is my life. Certainly what James and I are doing is potentially spiritually enriching to all.

It’s as though my father was telling me that my life now is his dream come true, no more fear of dying and death.

The roaring sound I believe relates to some of the noises experienced during Out of Body transitions. Such a phenomena has never played a part in my dreams.

The suitcase Papi lugged in was related to the dream story he was telling me. An Inner Self packed with individual souls and lives? Blue and white, spirit and substance. If we are part of a soul family, incarnating together throughout history, we would symbolically share a suitcase. My brother was there, sleeping close by, reinforcing the family feel.

I feel Papi consecrated my new Lucid Dreaming space, initiated on the full moon. I will never forget the first dream I had there. It is the most visceral and vivid dream I have had with Papi since he died, and I’ve had quite a few. All day memories of him trickled through me as vividly as though they just happened. I felt immersed in his love and support.

* From Dictionary of Symbols a Penguin Reference

Asking My Dead Grandparents Questions

April 5, 2013

A series of vivid dreams led up to my lucid:

In my childhood home, a man is standing in the foyer between the front door and the kitchen. It’s night and he’s in a dark suit and coat. We have stopped here on our way to another house directly up the street, a big white house, but getting there is for some reason not easy, some danger is involved. I’m helping him. I run upstairs into my parents’ old bedroom, my heart filled with hope I will find Papi up there, and although there is a man-size shape under the covers, I know they are only bunched up and of course he’s not there, he’s dead and will never be in this room again. Yet his ties are still here in a drawer I open, and even though it causes me pain to handle them, I choose to bring with me a lovely silky light-blue one filled with his essence. I dab some perfume on my neck and head back downstairs, where the man, who was already attracted to me, steps closer, inhaling my fragrance with an expression of intense desire. I’m pleased by his interest in me and I’m drawn to him, but we have a journey to make.

I’m part of a small group of people in a large room waiting for the speaker, a spiritual figure reminiscent of Gandhi, thin and old, and so frail he has to crawl across the floor. I am closest to him and when he looks at me I promptly lift him in my arms and set him on top of a platform from which he will address the sadly scant gathering. I stay close to him, sitting on the floor, in case he needs me. I don’t remember what he says, only that he imparts a single vital truth. Afterward, he has me take note of how many people believed him by looking across the space to the top of what I can only describe as bleachers where bare trees are growing, and amidst their branches I make out the numbers 3 and 9, meaning 3 out of 9 people have real faith. There is a woman lying on a palette directly before us, ill, dying, her face set in an expression of skeptical resistance too mild to be called despair, it’s more like her cynicism is so deeply ingrained she confuses her weak stubbornness with realistic strength. I understand all this just by looking at her and I know there’s nothing I can tell her if she didn’t listen to the spiritual teacher.

DILD (Dream Induced Lucid Dream)

I’m making my way down. The interior is amorphous and white and I have no sense of stairs, I’m simply moving down, calling out for someone, maybe Papi, as I pass what my mind equates with check out stands where there may be some shadowy figures. I don’t really notice because from far below me I hear Abuela’s voice answer my call. I keep moving downward in a broad spiral, listening to her distinct voice saying something to me I can’t make out she is so far away, but I’m really happy she’s there and that I’m heading her way. When I reach what feels like ground level, I immediately see her walk out from behind a wall, emerging from what my brain wants to see as a clothing store, probably because she worked in one for a while in waking reality. Her face and skin are distinct, it’s Abuela, and tonight Abuelo is with her. They’re here to meet me, and I’m very happy about that, it’s just like when I was a kid and the three of us would spend an evening out at the mall having dinner and then they would buy me a record or a book. I’m lucid, I know this is a dream, and I’m grateful, almost humbled, they’re still taking care of me, and yet as we walk I whine, “But why can’t Papi be here too?” realizing even as I speak that I’m acting like a spoiled child. Of course he can’t always be here on the Other Side when I am just as he was very often not home in WR, because he has work to do now as he did then. I don’t recall the transition from the white interior to a dark empty parking lot, only that my grandparents and I are in a jolly mood, in such high spirits, in fact, we’re joking about the “process” we’re all familiar with. A specific protocol has to be followed to get where we’re going that, in a serious and yet jesting fashion, symbolically involves passionately throwing two pairs of glasses onto the asphalt so that the lenses pop out of the frames. I’m smiling as I bend down to retrieve both the frames and the lenses, two of which are a dark violet color. I then open the trunk of the extremely small car and stow my small suitcase in it as my grandparents get into the front seat. I slam the trunk closed before a young woman holding her own suitcase can slip it into our car. I know she’s desperate to catch a ride out of this empty lot, but she can’t come with us. I feel a twinge at leaving her alone, but she’s got to wait for her own ride; she can’t hitchhike to the Other Side just because she’s desperate to.

I slip into the backseat of the tiny, almost square egg-shaped vehicle. Abuela is in the driver’s seat, but I can’t say she’s driving; she just sits there wearing a contented and patient smile. I lean forward as my lucidity kicks into full gear and I realize I have a perfect opportunity to ask questions about the Other Side. I ask Abuelo, “Do you have days there?” choosing “days” over “time” as I know there’s no time on the Other Side. He says there indeed are days and the first thing they do is have a big meeting. He elaborates, “We have a lot of work to do” and I understand he means on himself, which makes perfect sense. I ask, “Who was the first person you saw when you died?” He replies, after thinking about it for a moment, “My father.” Then I ask Abuela the same question and she replies without hesitation, “My mother.” I quickly keep going, wanting to glean as much detailed information as possible. “What was the first thing you saw when you died?” Abuela answers in a dreamy, profoundly gratified voice, “Warm buff leather furniture” sounding as though that’s what she had always wanted. “Are there animals on the Other Side?” At once Abuelo replies, “No.” I echo, “No? There must be animals.” How could Merlin or Arthur not be there, my beloved doggies? He says, “Is it too much to ask that you help other people?” and I somehow clearly understand there are no animals on the Other Side because they are living expressions of the human soul which is mysteriously whole after death, and that doggies like mine are sent to earth to help people and have a different form on the Other Side, but what that form is I can’t grasp just then, maybe because this information was not contained in what Abuelo said to me. Then suddenly we’re inside a house and he’s turning to me with a knowing, fondly exasperated look, grasping my shoulders as he looks into my eyes and tells Abuela, “She’s dead” and I know he means I’m beginning to wake up. I protest, “No, I’m not!” feeling quite stable and lucid, but he’s gently pushing me back against a wall facing a small kitchen, clearly waiting for me to wake. What’s striking is that he doesn’t look like Abuelo even when he was young, and yet I know this man, he feels very familiar, like family, but his eyes, looking straight into mine, are a striking blue. I can’t look away, I’m still staring into those vivid blue eyes and seeing his knowing, affectionate smile, when I phase out of the dream.

Before waking for the day, a vivid hypnagogic image that was all green of trees bordering a field, and suddenly I saw a woman’s giant hand, the hand of a goddess, grab a tree’s long branch as though it was a magic wand.

Dream Notes:

I felt energized and happy, not at all sad. It was like the best times I ever had with them were distilled into a pure pleasure/love in each others company on a journey of growth, symbolized by the car, that would never end.

I think the vital truth imparted by the spiritual teacher was the opposite of of what the woman on the palette feared, that our consciousness relies on the physical brain. In truth it is Consciousness that creates the vehicle of the brain.

After my mother read the dream, she told me that my grandmother’s father, who died at the age of 28 when she was just a little girl, had blue eyes. I never knew that.

I also think Abuela’s happiness when she spoke of the “warm buff leather couches” has to do with finally being comfortable after years of back pain caused by a curvature in her spine, which made it impossible for her to relax in her body.

My Mansion of Many Rooms

Between 5:30 & 6:00:

I’m aware of a very special friend come to visit me before sunrise. I’m up, out of bed, very happy to see her. As I walk down an unlit corridor of my home, I suddenly see Sara G sitting in a dark corner. Sara? Sara! She’s wearing a hat, as she often did, and perhaps an elegant long-sleeved white shirt over a long skirt, dressed as eclectically as she did when she was alive. I’m surprised to see her; it’s been a long time since we even spoke, and I wonder, now, how I could have let so much time pass before calling her; before checking on her. (In the dream, I don’t remember that she’s dead.) But it’s totally wonderful that she’s come to see me of her own accord, that she just decided to show up, and I’m filled with happiness as we slip arms around each others waists and continue walking hip-to-hip down the corridor. I ask her what she’s been up to and receive a communication about a job she’s been given. She’s been working, in her condition? No matter, she seems in perfect health and we’re together and it’s a good thing that she’s got a job she doesn’t seem to mind. (I woke feeling it has something to do with me and my growing “dream walking” abilities.)

My cup is running over this morning—my two best friends suddenly showing up for a visit! It’s unfortunate they arrived before sunrise because it means that if X planned to LD this morning, I won’t be asleep and able to meet him. I’m thinking this as Sara and my other unseen friend, who is nothing more than a presence, enter a more well lit space that feels public, like a cross between a post office and the glass & metal walls of a small airport. X is there. He looks wide awake because of some pressing situation that has come up at work. He speaks to me but he can’t stay; he has to get to work to deal with the issue. I watch him go relieved to know he was also awoken early so that my friends arriving and waking me before sunrise didn’t disrupt a possible shared dream.

I’m walking side-by-side with Sara again. She is completely present and smiling at me happily, and yet also perhaps a touch ruefully, as I tell her eagerly, wondering why on earth I didn’t make this invitation before, “There are countless rooms in my house, it’s vast, endless, it really is! Later we’ll go exploring and you can choose whichever room you like and you can stay there whenever you come to visit me!” implying there won’t be any reason for her not to come much more often if she can stay in a luxurious beautiful guest room of her own choosing. This sense of living in a vast, endless house is a recurring dream of mine, and combined with Sara’s presence I’m filled with so much joy and excitement I can scarcely contain myself. I sense a very specific area to this house, a door or gateway leading into even deeper levels of my already magnificent home, and I want very much to make sure it’s really there and explore it, once and for all. But Sara and my other friend and I are planning an outing first and so it will have to wait until evening.

We enter a room, a sample bedroom. I see the furnishings very clearly, lots of plain but quality wooden pieces, antiques, old-fashioned, and I explain this room probably belonged to a servant. Seeing no bed, and judging by its spacious dimensions, I add that it might have bee a relaxation room for the servants. We linger there and now it’s much larger as I sense the presence of other women without seeing them, but I hear them attempting to determine the square footage. My other featureless, there-but-not- there, best friend is leading the discussion and she estimates 500 square feet. I look around me, assessing the space in relation to the few objects in it, and remark that it looks more like 250 sf to me because I used to live in a town house that was 500 sf. I’ve become aware of a glass display case on the far left of the room and walk over to it. It’s filled with antique dress hats and gloves, I’m thinking 1930’s or 1920’s. I remember dark-blue, and tastefully silver highlights. They all belonged, I somehow know, to one woman, the room’s former occupant, and I wonder why she departed, and left everything here, as I enjoy studying the collection, moving from left to right. I pick up a hat with a buckle, and maybe a beak-like front, and try it on but, naturally, it’s much too small for me. I think at this point I begin waking up, because I don’t remember anymore about Sara’s visit.

4 vivid hypnagogic scenes:

An elephant, large, with somewhat hairy ears, facing me, and I somehow know that elephant is me, and perhaps an invisible male presence on my right tells me it is, or confirms this impression, which is strange because the elephant looks male and I’m female. (Elephants are associated with long, far, memories.)

A man abruptly enters my house through the sun room door. I’m not frightened even though I don’t recognize him; it’s sudden but okay.

A man, perhaps the same dark-haired man that entered the house earlier, picks up several boxes of different sizes, balancing them in his arms as I try ineffectually to help him. He tells me firmly, as I sit passively before him, that I needn’t do anything with the boxes until he tells me to.

I am told my name, Mirabel or Meradin? I remembered it clearly when I woke, but after falling asleep and another vivid hypnagogic scene, it slipped away and left only the certainty of “M” and “b”.

Holding Papi’s Hands

October 28, 2012
Note: 3 drops of Mugwort tincture before bed for the first time.

Lots of dreams that felt very much like being awake, with time passing as it does in WR to the point where I felt bored. The last dream of the night, after 6:00 a.m. is the special one. I’m standing in a home reminiscent of my childhood house in layout, but it’s different. I’m one of the first guests at a party hosted by a woman, who has already laid out a couple of platters of food on the table. I hosted a similar gathering last Saturday in waking reality and it’s nice not having to do the work even as I wonder if she will put out as much varied food as I did. I get a very real sense of time passing and going to pass and wonder if I’ll get bored but for some reason I’m here and will make the best of it. Mami is with me and she dips a cracker into a greasy sliced sausage platter and immediately drops it into the mixture, changing her mind, which I think is a good idea because it doesn’t look that appetizing and its not healthy and she should pace herself. All this time I’m aware that Papi is in a room that opens off this one, sitting on a couch. I can’t really see him from where I’m standing, but I know he’s there.

Abruptly, I make the decision to walk into that shadowy room and am surprised to see that Papi is sitting by himself on the large black leather couch like the one I once owned. He’s comfortably ensconced, perhaps one of his legs crossed over one knee, with paperwork strewn across his lap. He’s wearing a white dress shirt and apparently doing some office “homework.” I say, “I thought someone was in here with you” and he replies, “No” smiling up at me with his special, unique smile that looks as it sometimes did in WR reality when he was a little tired and preoccupied with business but still happy to see me; a wistful, somewhat sad, slightly bemused and yet accepting, profoundly contented smile, as though life was just going too fast and throwing too many responsibilities at him which didn’t let him slow down and savor moments like this one enough. I saw-felt all this in his expression.

I sit down beside him, very happy to be there with him. On our left, glass doors open up onto a sunny day and a driveway where cars pull up as guests arrive. But I’m alone now with my father and I take both his hands in mine, or suddenly I’m holding them tightly, semi lucid now as I clearly experience the sensation of his fingers gripped in mine, the reality of his hands. I deliberately hold onto him, to the feel of the physical form his spirit is inhabiting, thinking that I will clearly remember how it felt when he once again slips out of it. I am looking down at our hands, that’s all I see as I remember the way I held my grandmother’s hands like this the night after she died and told myself I would know it hadn’t been a dream, that we were really together somewhere. I feel tears in my eyes and the slight congestion in my sinuses when I know I’m about to cry and turn my head away, not wanting Papi to notice them, not wanting to upset him.

And even as our fingers are fervently entwined, I also see him get up and look out the glass doors and then come sit beside me again. I ask him when our plane will be flying back from Portugal. I know we’re leaving there for the weekend but not sure if we’ll be returning Sunday night or Monday morning. He tells me it will be Monday morning, first things in the morning, which makes sense, because that will give us two nights there and best to start early. I’m not too keen on flying again on Tuesday, because—and this is a recurring element in last night’s dreams and in other dreams—we’re already on a trip, somewhere in Europe, and this brief stint to Portugal is a journey inside a journey where he and I, and sometimes my sister, leave the rest of the family behind and take off for 2 days or more before we rejoin them and all of us finally head for home. I wonder that I didn’t bother to print an itinerary and bring it with me, but there was no real need as I knew Papi would know the flights and times, that I’m not alone. I see myself on the plane Tuesday morning, too accustomed to flying to be nervous about it, probably sleeping through most of the long flight home.

Dream Note: Planes and short journeys within a longer journey may be symbolic of lucid dreams or OBE’s I have during the course of my life, going home at the end being Home on the Other Side. I long ago realized my sister often represents my physical self. “Portugal” sounds very much like “Portal.” It’s full moon on Monday. I’m thinking I should do everything in my power to become lucid this coming week. I think Papi is trying to help me with my lucid dreaming practice because of other dreams I’ve had with him, especially the one where I was working in my study at 2:30 in the morning and he came to me and said, “This is the future, we’re living it” referring to the work I’m striving to do in the middle of the night.

Dreams of Merlin

A nice young woman we (Stinger and I) trust has come to take Merlin away with her. I get the sense they’re going on an airplane? Stinger and I are with them in a parking garage, deserted otherwise, at night. She has a small white car. I sit on the hood as she prepares to take Merlin away and she says, “Be careful, it will turn full circle.” I do, indeed, spin around in a full circle, once, twice, maybe a third time before I reach out for Stinger and exclaim, “Grab my arm, I can’t make it without your help!” The young woman starts walking away with Merlin and I run after them crying, “Wait! What’s your phone number?” She replies, “47-PRIMITO.” But I still keep running after them, upset they have gotten so far in so little time, crying, “Wait, wait!” The gray concrete floor angles up sharply but I make the ascent. Merlin and the girl have reached a narrow rectangular threshold leading out into the night. I catch a glimmer of two golden headlights and fear the oncoming vehicle will crush Merlin, but he turns back to face me, perfectly safe, and I cup his head in my hands and kiss his head and tell him how much I love him looking into his big dark eyes. I feel he knows me even though he’s not his usual alert-shining-eyed self; he’s subdued but he’s not in pain or afraid.

One month after the unthinkable happened and I had him put to sleep, on the night of October 31 and November 1, 2009, on the full moon, I had this dream:

I thought I woke up in the middle of the night and the full moon was shining straight into my room. Then I saw Merlin. He was standing beside the bed looking up, the way he had in the last year of his life when he wanted to come up but felt he couldn’t manage the jump and was waiting for my help. I tried to ignore him because obviously he couldn’t really be there, but he was. He had been a mix of white and tan, with an adorable black mask around his eyes when he was a puppy, but now he was mostly a pure white. Yet he was clearly there, my little boy, so I reached down and lifted him onto the bed with me. I watched in awe as he walked over to his usual spot and rooted a little. “Stinger!” I called quietly. “Merlin is here!” He came downstairs and sat down on the edge of the bed. I whispered, “Can you see him?!” He said quietly, “Yes.” I knew my beloved pet couldn’t possibly stay for long and a part of me was afraid to touch him but of course I couldn’t resist. When I reached for him he rolled onto his back and I rubbed his belly just as I always had. I could truly feel him, the unmistakable shape and sensation of him. “You’re such a good boy!” I cooed as I stroked him. “And you always will be!” I glimpsed his little teeth, shining white in his black mouth, the way I’d seen them the night before I had him put down because his enlarged heart was failing and his body was slowly drowning in its own fluids. A piece of my brain kept insisting this visit was only an illusion sent by a demon that would bite me any second now if I kept petting it, but the rest of me felt otherwise; my heart knew better. I was so happy Merlin had come to see me! I continued caressing him, filled with wonder at how long he was staying. I dared to touch his head and look straight into his eyes as I told him again and again what I had told him just before I left him in that terrible room at the veterinarian’s office—“I love you! I love you! I love you!” I was so close to him I could hear his breaths and they sounded like a dark, soft echo, “Love you, love you!” Content, I lay back against the pillows and woke up. The full moon was, indeed, shining right on the bed where Merlin had scratched around and where he normally slept. The room looked and felt just as it had in the dream. I knew he had come to visit me.

The night after he died, as we were pulling out of a restaurant parking lot, I looked up at the sky and cried, “Oh my God, it’s Merlin!” because I distinctly saw his profile, his adorably regal head, colossally shaped by moonlight, clouds and sky. My little boy’s unmistakable countenance dominated the heavens for a few undeniable and blessed seconds. Then he was gone. After that, I felt just a little less miserable. I felt some magical force touch me, soothe and energize me with a vision of the little being I loved so much. And as the days slowly passed, his absence began feeling like the unreality while his continued presence became an undeniable fact. It didn’t matter that he lived “only” in my memory now, I could still feel him, almost even see him at times, and I knew, deep in my heart, we would be together again. I couldn’t possibly doubt that for a moment. More than once in those first few desolate weeks, I dreamed of Merlin playing happily in a gated garden with other dogs his size. For most of my adult life, I shied away from using the term “God” which in my eyes had come to represent so many things I didn’t believe in, but the grief and hope that ignited in my heart when my precious little dog died made meaningless ashes of semantics, blown away by the force of my emotions which could have only one source, one end, one solace and one eternal hope—God. My faith is stronger than it ever was and my beloved pet—like a four-legged guardian angel who was my constant companion as boyfriends came and went—has everything to do with it.

Excerpt from my diary, November 1, 2009:

At twilight, we burned the box in which, the day Merlin died, I placed his pillow, his blanket and his old, least favorite toys (I’m keeping his favorite ones for when he returns to me) along with the basket he kept them in. Later I added his medical records. Stinger said as we sat together watching the bonfire, “It’s burning magically well”  and then I saw my Merlin sitting in the heart of the flames, a distinct blue-black silhouette, his front legs stretched out in front of him. I saw the unmistakable shape of his head and gazed at in love and wonder for a long time before it turned away. Then he seemed to lay his head down on his paws the way he always did, and finally the top of his head fell off. To hell with the brain I thought, it’s the heart that burns forever. Cayotes howled in the distance as we walked inside.

From my Dream Journal, January 22, 2010

A living room somewhere, mine and Stinger’s home. Merlin is there lying on his back on the floor, his paws up in the air, a totally happy doggie as Whispers (our black cat) gets playfully on top of him and licks him. They’re getting along splendidly (not so in WR!) I think or say to Stinger, “He’s really here!” I can see him clearly; he is luminous. He goes to lie in a corner and I follow him in awe of the fact that he seems made of light as much as material substance; I can see the light shining through the veil of his skin and in his eyes. I position myself very close to his face, wanting to kiss him even though he seems reluctant for me to get so close. I kiss his mouth and hear a woman say gently, “He’s gone.” Then she adds loudly, almost yelling at me impatiently, “It’s time for you to move on and bring someone very special into the world!”

I had taken as a clue the phone number the young woman (I saw her as an angel) who took Merlin away gave me. 47-PRIMITO. PRIMITO = 774-6486 and also essentially translates into “The first little one.” I didn’t know what to make of the 47, but in March of 2009, I was missing Merlin so much! My husband was out of town and I looked at the calendar and saw that Easter fell early in April this year, around the 7th, and I thought perhaps the 47 was 4/7, a date. I began an online search for a Shih Tzu puppy and the 774-6486 phone number. I spent hours trying different combinations on Google. I was about to give up when suddenly, on my final search, the website of a local breeder came up that has just posted a new photo of a puppy from a litter. I saw it and cried, “Merlin!” for it looked just like he did as a tiny puppy. I called the breeder. She had several male puppies, 7 1/2 weeks old, ready to go. I explained my husband was out of town and I didn’t have a car and when she asked me my address it turns out she was only 6 miles away! She brought two of the male puppies for me to look at and when she opened the back of her van one of them literally leaped out into my arms and began licking me. I brought him into the house and he ran around with the joyful air of “I’m home!” while his brother sniffed around warily and was shy of me. His name is Arthur, and though for a day or too I stubbornly tried to believe he was Merlin reincarnated, he made it clear from the first instant that he was most definitely himself. We spend every day together, and whenever I have an OBE that takes place at home, Arthur is there with me.