In my first post where I talked about lucid dreaming, I mentioned that there was a strong recommendation by experienced lucid dreamers to try flying in dreams. I expressed that I thought it sounded very juvenile, but in my second post I let myself float up and found the experience enjoyable.

Since then I have, from time to time, suggested to myself at bedtime that I would like to try floating or flying again in my dreams, but it did not happen for several months until last night. I climbed up a tree, and seeing I that I was already up in the tree, I thought perhaps I could launch myself into space and fly. And I did. Not just float, but really fly, arms outstretched Superman-style, over a European-looking city, for a very long time. I discovered that stretching my arms out this way is some sort of dream code for “keep on flying.”

While I was flying, I had the most amazing euphoric feeling, to the point that I was almost in tears. I just couldn’t believe how great it felt, which is why I kept doing it for as long as I could. And as wonderful as that is, there’s part of me that can’t help but wonder, but why does it feel so wonderful? Is it just because it’s something I can’t do in reality? If so, would I get the same experience from scuba diving in my dreams? Hmm, I see another experiment coming up…

In other dreaming news, I have had a series of lucid dreams where I just sit back and observe how incredibly detailed everything is. I am just in awe of all that my brain is creating while I sleep. After some discussion with K, we’ve concluded a couple of things about this phenomenom. That is, one’s brain must have to keep working while you sleep, just like your heart has to keep beating. So, without outside stimuli, it just goes to town with creating whatever it can. Secondly, one’s brain has a vested interest in keeping you asleep, because you need to rest. So, if it’s going to be cranking along anyway, why not create worlds that convince you that your awake, so that you don’t try to get up? (Of course, there’s insomnia, but that’s a whole other discussion).

I had a dream recently where I observed all the crazy details, and then thought, “Well, enough of this, I’d like to get up and go back to reality now.” I really wanted to wake up, but my brain was having none of it. I kept trying different things to wake up, and it kept countering me like a great chess opponent. At one point, I decided to stare into a mirror but my reflection kept disappearing. I mean, it was so obvious I was dreaming, but apparently the obviousness is just not enough to wake up. I found this whole endeavor frustrating, but I learned my lesson. You cannot will yourself to wake up when you are deeply asleep. Just forget it. In a battle between your conscious and subconscious mind, the subconscious mind wins. Which, I think, is a good thing to ponder in general.

Speaking of subconscious, as silly as this intro is, there’s still a part of me that gets excited when I watch this. When I was 3 I loved Superman more than anything.

The Nerge has been on an unplanned hiatus. We at The Nerge apologize. And by “we” I mean “me”.

There reason for this pause in posts is that I’ve changed jobs from the EPA to a Oakland-based startup. I’m learning tons of new stuff, and that plus the intense level of chaos of the new job has basically eaten my brain.

Another minor factor is that I have spent way too much time on Twitter, reading and writing in 140 character spurts, rather than doing anything substantial. That was fun for a while, but it’s time to get back to some real writing.

That being said, you’ll be happy to know that we still get regular visits from Tzipi and Mississippi (as in “Mrs. Tzipi”). Lately the rivalry between Tzipi and O.J. (for “Other Jay”) has been fairly intense.

O.J. has long legs a long tail that he holds up at a jaunty angle. His whole demeanor says “I am The Sh*t.” He has a girlfriend who seems ridiculously young and speaks in what I can only determine is some Scrub Jay type of baby-talk. I never see O.J. talking to her; she just babbles to him in her little squeaky voice. Their relation is very different than Tzipi & Mississippi, who talk to each other in soft clucking sounds with occasional barely audible squeaks. Now I may be projecting all over the place that O.J.’s relationship seems slightly fucked up, because I have a preference for Tzipi, because he eats out of my hand. I fully admit my bias towards Camp Tzipi. Anyway, just like in the human world, you can’t always understand others’ relationships.

So here in Nergeland we’ve come up with a new verb: to screep. This is when one jay (let’s say, oh, maybe O.J.) comes flapping down at another (perhaps Tzipi?) in a territorial power play, while shouting “Screep! Screep! Screep!” Tzipi often gets screeped by O.J., which is to say O.J. chases Tzipi off and walks around for a few minutes thinking he’s cock of the walk. But Tzipi doesn’t care, because he knows he’s got the ace in hole; he can get almonds from me, personally, anytime he damn pleases. This seems to confound O.J. — that Tzipi has trained me to hand-feed him tasty treats.

Mississippi, on the other hand, has been watching these transaction between Tzipi and I quite closely for some time. Yesterday she’d decided she’d observed long enough, and actually took some almonds from my hand as well. It was a fine moment. I now have images in my head of baby jays (their offspring) flocking to me some day in a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah kind of way. I, the pied piper of Scrub Jays. Without the leading innocents to their deaths, of course.
I haven’t seen this clip since I was a kid, it is way weirder than I remember.

Which reminds me of what my favorite rabbi, Rabbi Ferris, used to say (maybe he still does): if you’re feeling down, just sing “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” three times in a row, each time more exaggerated than the last. By the end of the third round, you’ll feel so ridiculous that you’ll actually feel better. Try it sometime.