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Friday, December 05, 2003

Limited Success 

This morning, as I woke up, I had control over my dreams. Full control and full awareness of being in the dream state. OK, not FULL control, but near enough to it. The awareness of being in a dream felt very much, at the time, to be what an out-of-body experience must feel like. You know that your current experience is not real and yet it feels 100% real. Because of this, doubt sets in. Am I really dreaming?

I found myself driving my car (in the dream) and marvelling at the level of detail the dream was providing, the almost mundane realness of what I was doing. I knew I wasn't in my car and yet I could feel the texture of the steering wheel underneath my fingers, the tension of the clutch pedal as I pushed it in, the amount of force needed on the gear lever to put the car into reverse and the distinct slip-lock motion as it did so. All of these things exactly as they should be, as they are in real life. I found myself waking up and then MAKING myself go back to sleep, actually CONTROLLING my level of consciousness and remaining in control despite being asleep.

Then, in my dream I woke up. Lying in my bed just as I had been when I had really woken up moments before. In the dream I got out of bed, tip-toed to my door and looked outside, trying to see if there was anyone outside my room. (Only later would I realise that, in this dream, the door handle was on the left of the door, instead of the right where it is in real life.)

Some other things happened, but I don't really want to share them. In short: I realised I had the power to control the flow of events in this mind made reality of mine, but had limited success in summoning gorgeous women. Only one in fact, but I was so shocked that she really WAS standing on the other side of my door, as I had simultaneously imagined and willed her to be, that I immediately closed the door in her face. And no amount of willing would bring her back. Limited success.

Later that day, whilst driving, I again thought of the dream. I thought of how vivid and REAL everything had been, of how similar it had been to what I was currently doing... Right then it took me a dangerous while to decide that I wasn't dreaming again.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Lift, wave, plonk. 

Last week I went to an old childhood haunt of mine, one I haven't been to since highschool: the Claremont Public Library. (To say that I was something of an introvert as a child is to stretch beyond measure the meaning of the word 'understatement'. By the time I was twelve I'd read everything of interest in the kids section and had wandered over to the Adult side. "Excuse me, what does 'Sci-Fi' stand for?") I found two Terry Pratchett and a Bill Bryson book that needed reading.

On Sunday I was invited to Kirstenbosch for the first 'Summer Sunset Concert' of the year. Although, to my mind there should be a space between sun and set. You don't, afterall, see the sunset; you see the sun set behind the mountain. But even that is picturesque enough and so I can say: It was great. Where else can you sit on a huge sloping lawn, be loomed over by a gorgeous mountain, nervously peered at by skittish Mongooses and shat on by stately Egyptian Geese? (Yes, the Mongooses really are there and no, the geese don't really sh-t on you.) Oh, and let?s not forget the music. Half the audience (the half that were sober, but not too sober) were down in front of the stage, dancing. This is evidence enough that things went well. The rest of us (I was a little too not sober to dance AND without any dancing company) reclined sedately on the soft grass until near the end, when everyone was somehow convinced to stand up and clap and/or bounce around on the spot.

My favourite scenes of the afternoon were of a cute little girl, maybe one or two years old who was sort of bouncing and jiggling along with the music, totally absorbed, in a way that said "I'm totally figuring out this whole 'rhythm' thing"; and then of an old man, perhaps 198 or so, leaning on a cane that he would lift into the air every few minutes, wave around in a musically timely fashion and then plonk down squarely before gravity could notice the foolishness he was engaged in. Lift, wave, plonk. I plan on going again in the next few weeks.

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