At this point, every time I realize I’m dreaming, I immediately try to fly. Part of me feels this is incredibly unoriginal, but it is so fun that I can’t seem to think of something else to try.
I had another weird experience recently which involved lucid dreaming and flying. I dreamt I was at my office, which, as always happens in my dreams, was much larger than it is in reality. I dropped something on the floor, but when I looked down, it was nowhere in sight. I thought… “that can’t be, things just don’t disappear… Hey, I’m dreaming!” At this point I decided to get up and jump out the window and fly. My coworkers just stood by in a huddle as I rushed to the window. When I got to the window and looked out, something strange happened. I guess I had realized I was dreaming so fast that my subconscious mind hadn’t bothered to draw in all of the view outside. So what I saw was a partially-drawn urban landscape that just faded along the right side into nothingness. The “nothingness” was just a blank, light-gray fog, something one often sees around here in the Bay Area. My brain just hadn’t bothered to draw in that part of the scene, and I guess since I already knew I was dreaming, it just left it that way.
After I was done being amused by the nothingness, I did indeed leap out the window and fly around for a brief time. Every time I noticed the lucidity fading, I was chant the line “I’m dreaming” over and over again. This did help me stay lucid for a little longer than usual, but I find it’s still hard to stay lucid for more than a minute or two at this point.
In the dream I had last night, I was talking to my sister when I realized I had just talked to her just behind me… that there were two of her. When this thought occurred to me, I said to her, “Wait, there can’t be two of you, I’m dreaming!” I grabbed her hand and said, “Come on, let’s float up!” and we did, laughing.
After a few moments, as we tried to go higher, there began to be obstacles in our way. This is another common problem I’ve been re-experiencing when trying to fly up: that suddenly there are telephone lines, overhanging roofs, and all sorts of weird shit suddenly appearing for the sole purpose of keeping me from flying up “too high.” Why my brain feels a need to do this, I don’t know.
This time I kept climbing through the obstacles and knocking them out of the way, over and over, until the way was clear. Somewhere in the melée I ended up on my own. By that time I was floating very far above the earth and I laid down on my back and looked up. Above me were the stars, and I was looking straight up at Orion. I couldn’t believe I had made it this for, it was yet another level of euphoria. As I just laying there, floating, staring at the stars, I slowly starting falling back down. And here was another great thing: although I was falling, I was not afraid, because I knew I was never going to hit bottom. I could just enjoy the feeling of falling. Eventually this scene and my lucidity vanished and I was on to the next dream.
So, I guess it’ll still be a while until I try to do anything else when I’m lucid, because the feeling of flying of dreams is just too amazing.
K and I have noted recently that the structure of the middle-class family in the U.S. has changed. Particularly, the expectations and desires of young adults today (which I’ll identify as anyone 18-30) are completely different from our generation. This stems from entirely different parenting styles than we experienced.
When we were growing up, it was the norm for parents to expect their kids to be out of the house and self-sufficient when they finished school, which could be high school (K), technical school (my brother), or college (me). Parents made it clear that after that, you were on your own. Although this frightened some of us (me, for one) a little bit, we did fantasize about having complete autonomy and living our lives on our own terms. But also, one was considered a complete failure if one lived at home much past the age of 21, and open to mockery.
The other reason many of us would rather starve than return home is to avoid the dysfunctionality that was our homes. Hell, we often moved thousands of miles away from our parents to ensure we had as little to do with them as possible while we forged our paths as adults. Paths, I may add, that were often stupid, naive, and reckless, but ours nonetheless.
This has clearly changed. I work with a 29-year-old who lives down the street at his parents’ lovely home. He is clearly not embarrassed in the least to be doing so. He has a girlfriend and she certainly doesn’t care that he doesn’t have his own pad. (The latter is especially bizarre to me; I could never imagine having sex in the vicinity of my parents when I was young. ) His parents evidently enjoy having him close by as well; they seem to spend a lot of time together.
That would have never happened our young adulthood. Our parents made it quite clear that once we were adults, we were to get out. Prior to that, when we were young, parents often said things like, “You’ll see what a pain it is to have kids when you grow up.” Statements like this clearly indicated to kids that 1. We were considered annoying 2. Our parents were hoping we would be as miserable as they when we grew up.
It’s funny now, since we didn’t have kids, that our parents probably don’t remember framing parenthood as a hellish, doomed state. They used to be perplexed and disappointed that we didn’t have kids; they’ve stopped communicating about it because they’ve given up the fight. They certainly didn’t make it seem like a good fate, and it never occurred to them that someone could opt out of the whole thing.
I’m sure the 29-year-old never heard these kind of statements, and was probably met with support and encouragement throughout his childhood. Many parents today go overboard in this respect by curtailing all criticism even if it’s constructive. However, it seems that being a cheerleading parent, for all its drawbacks, is better than a bitter, fucked up one. Which may explain why some adult kids today can live with their parents: their parents openly enjoy having them at home. It’s hard for me to even picture this, even though I can observe it myself.