Tag Archives: Reality

Recognizing Dream Lucidity

Recognition by Karen Gadient

The last few nights, I’ve noticed when I was dreaming. I mean, I dream every night and can usually remember parts of the dreams (and I try to write them down)—but lately, I’ve been aware I’m in a dream while in the dream.

Only I have yet to do anything fun with that fact. Sure, I’ve seen Inception and suspect there are levels of play within our dreams, but I don’t feel I’m in the right mental space to handle and control a lucid dream.

Still, the other night found me in a wondrous place: a city of colorful light. I was in a building where there were no floors—well, the floors were made of neon light that you could see through, level after level below, and continue to walk on. I was in a towering building. I went from room to room and finally found a window of polished glass. When I looked into it, I could see myself—drawn as light.

And I knew it was a dream. I woke up. If I get there again, I might do something crazy: jump through the window, fly across the skyline, or shatter the whole darn thing and discover another world entirely. Probably the latter.

I’m sure there are heaps of metaphors there. I’ll need more coffee to sort it out.

28 Comments

Filed under Art, Digital Artwork, Dream Stories, Graphic Design, Imagination, Journal, Psychology, The Unknown

Dreaming the End of the World

End of Earth, artwork

Plenty of people are writing holiday posts, but I’m gonna talk about the upcoming armageddon. No, I’m not talking about the movie with Bruce Willis; I’m talking about December 21st. You know, when life as we know it is going to end.

I don’t really believe the world will end before I get to the see the latest Tarantino movie. Because that would be a downer. Although, at least I wouldn’t miss The Hobbit. Well, the first movie, anyway.

Nasa doesn’t think the world will end either.

So, screw intellectual discussion. Instead, I’ll tell you a story.

Recently I had a dream where the power went out and the zombies came in. I blame it on watching The Walking Dead and Revolution in the same evening. In my dream, we were home here in Arizona, and our house was surrounded by Republican zombies—the most stubborn kind of zombies, but the most common here in the Grand Canyon State. Worse yet, I was under the distinct impression that they did not want us for our brains (or our vote) but for the plentiful supply of coffee in our pantry.

No way, no how.

The zombie situation turned out okay, since my husband and I have seen Zombieland enough times to have practiced our cardio and perfect our double tap. So we slaughtered them and buried them in the garden next to our roses. Like they said in Book of Eli: it’s good for the soil.

This wasn’t the end of the dream. Our neighborhood had gone all Mad Max and built a thunderdome near the community pool, which of course we had to check out. But just as things got rolling with neighbors about to fight the HOA, there was a screaming streak across the sky and a flash over the skyline. Phoenix was in flames. We waited for it to rise from the ashes. Nope, it just burned.

Cue long section of boring-part-of-the-dream where we roasted marshmallows and sang “Que Sera, Sera.”

Finally the dream shifted to being a combination of Night of Comet and 2012. Zombies were gone, but the yuppies were raiding the malls. While all this was going on, California must have been drowning: Tool’s Ænima in reality. Soon, the Pacific ocean washed over Yuma and was on our front doorstep.

We’d finally gotten an ocean view. Woohoo.

I’ll see you down in Arizona bay.

You’d think that’d be it. It wasn’t. The aliens arrived. However, it wasn’t like Independence Day, even if their spaceship was a huge manhole cover. Although… once I saw what it really was, I would have preferred something with tentacles: we were joined by the cast of Jersey Shore. Truly the apocalypse had arrived.

Oh, here go hell come!

On top of that, Snooki was clearly a zombie. Or maybe just drunk again.

Wait for it…

Then Daryl Dixon appeared and shot each of them in the face with a crossbow. After which, we all enjoyed some bourbon and played horseshoes until J.J. Abrams showed up with one of those power pendants and a script for the Fringe finale. We finished the bourbon and read ourselves to sleep.

What? You expected a complicated ending? I told you I blamed the dream on watching too much television. See, kids? Too much television is baaaaad for you. Either gives you weird dreams or insomnia. Stick to books.

Just in case the world ends, though: always remember the rules.

Happy holidays!

3 Comments

Filed under Dream Stories, Entertainment, Journal, Life, Science Fiction, The Unknown, Writing

Urban Myths and Memories

I grew up in Irvington, New Jersey, which I’d best describe as a suburb of Newark, despite the area not being suburban in a soccer-mom sense. Irvington has been given a rough reputation, but I’m loyal to it. It’s my hometown.

As a kid, I knew every house on my street. I knew all the blocks around me. I knew downtown and I knew the parks. I felt sad every time another neighbor moved. People tried to stay in touch, but a lot of friendships faded.

I was a kid and I did not see color. I saw people.

I still see people as people. Not their color, faith, sexuality, or politics.

But this wasn’t supposed to be a post about that. I wanted to share something weird from my childhood. I couldn’t find anything written about it, although I’d bet other people in Irvington were probably told a similar story as a kid.

Ornate Line

Irvington has these canals. Some people call them brooks. Made of stone and pretty tall in some areas, finished with fencing and probably pretty damn old.

Anyway, when it rains, they fill up. We have them here too, but in the Southwest, they’re flatter and wider. The ones in Irvington—if you got in one, climbing out was difficult. Kids drown in things like that. Hell, kids drown in the ones here too.

My father knew how much I explored. Really, I got into everything. I had friends that had gone into the canals. Well, my father showed me this stone face in the wall near the high school. He told me several versions of how that face got there:

It was haunted. It was the guardian of the waterways. It was one of the people who built it and they got stuck and were left there! It was even someone he knew. Half the time, I suspected he’d put the face there himself.

Other kids got similar stories. One of our neighbors even told this gruesome tale of the face being the mother of some kids who drowned down there! Told all us kids that one. “If you go down there, she’ll keep you instead!” Real La Llorona.

If you’d heard that woman talk, you’d believe her too.

Kept us from going down there. Still, wonder what the true story is?

CLICK HERE for a photograph of the “face in the wall”.
I couldn’t reach the photographer for permission and didn’t feel comfortable using the image without his okay. It’s the only photo I could find of the “face”.

6 Comments

Filed under Childhood, Journal, Life, The Unknown

Thoughts from the Other Side

Reflection into another world.

I figured an alphabetical post series would be a great way to inspire more blogging, even during times when I’m super busy—which has been the case lately.

As I begin, I realize I can choose the obvious things… that I’m American (after all, it’s the 4th of July), or that I’m an artist. I could narrow that down, talking about living in Arizona or describing my favorite abstract art.

But I’d rather blog about the things I obsess about—the weird things.

I begin with the letter A, which turns out to be a fun one:

Alternate universes/worlds.

Won’t lie. I believe in them. Well, some of the time. Depends on the science news I’m reading, the television program I’m watching, or the book I’m getting lost in. It’s a fascination I’ve had since childhood—the idea that there are other planes of existence, either right along our timeline, completely removed from it, eerily similar to our reality, or as foreign as another galaxy. You tell me your tale is about alternate reality and I’ll dive right in.

I have three novels-in-progress in Scrivener right now. Two in first draft and one only a few chapters in. They all have some form of alternate universe. My artwork, when it’s not commissioned, is often drawn from worlds similar to our own but seen through strange veils.

I’m not alone in imagining alternate places. One of my dearest friends, Natania Barron, wrote a fantastic book called Pilgrim of the Sky, which contains not just two, but eight worlds. Across these worlds are facets of the gods themselves. Our own mythology could be very much real but wrapped up elsewhere, difficult to see, but possibly within reach if your heart calls to it.

One of my favorite television programs, Fringe, has shown us a parallel universe with differences in the timeline that puts Nixon on the silver dollar and drivers in double-decker cars (although we’ve only seen those as toys, never on the streets of Manhatan—spelled differently on the other side). Here, the alternate worlds are threatening to collide.

Some popular shows have featured alternate worlds and characters season after season. Doctor Who and Star Trek have a reputation for it. Even comedies like Community have had success with the concept. Mirror—especially evil—personalities make for a great plot tool.

You can’t forget alternate places like Narnia, and where Alice goes through the looking glass. Even the Wizard of Oz was a classic alternate universe tale. Dream world? Maybe. But it was Dorothy’s mundane world that remained in black and white. Personally, I’d have stayed in Oz, even with the flying monkeys.

What if? It’s the question we love to ask.

But is there—in some other alternate now—another we asking the very same thing? Would you really want to know? I think I would.

3 Comments

Filed under Creativity, Fantasy, History, Imagination, Life, Multiverse, Mythology, Science, Science Fiction, The Unknown, Time, Writing

Pilgrim of the Sky

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” ― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Sometimes the wish is real. In my case, that author is Natania Barron.

I’m biased, being linked to her through possibly a few lifetimes of friendship… but her book is delightful, full of wonder, and charged with characters worth meeting. If you’re looking for a new book to lose yourself in―this is the one.

Pilgrim of the Sky ~ a novel by Natania Barron

Pilgrim of the Sky - Cover

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Friendship, Multiverse, Mythology, Publishing

Are there worlds within the eyes of cats?

Alternate Universe Cat

My cat loves to be spun around on an office chair until he’s purring with dizziness. He meows for this every day, often several times a day.

Lately, I’ve imagined that the chair is really a machine that can spin him through the veil into another universe–just for that brief time he’s actually in motion–and I wonder what he sees. Maybe his alternate self! Or maybe alternate me. Possibly deeper knowledge than any of that; answers he can’t communicate.

It could be that other universes lie within the eyes of cats. When you look close, their eyes are tiny galaxies with a black hole at the center. Perhaps things come and go, and are born and reborn, deep within the eyes of a cat.

Or maybe I’ve had too much coffee today. Likely, but it’s still fun to think about.

Leave a comment

Filed under Animals, Cats, Ideas, Imagination, Multiverse, The Unknown