Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reflection: Dreams (1)

I once read that if a dreaming person looked at a clock twice in succession, it would say different things each time. You mean other people can see clocks in their dreams? I thought. My visual acuity tends to be mole-like. A few times a year, I have a dream where I actually see print; those dreams tend to linger on in my mind and I file them away.

The night I read that article, I attended a dinner party in my sleep. The person next to me was looking at the clock repeatedly. It appeared she was doing a 'reality check' to see if she was awake or asleep, probably because she was trying to trigger a lucid dream.

It didn't make sense. "Why are you doing a reality check in my dream?" I asked.

I looked at the clock myself, willing it to say something, the way an awake person might try to call up a picture in their imagination. "It says... 2:00," I determined. I looked back at the clock, but this time I didn't put in the effort it would take to make numbers take on dim shapes. "It says 3:00," I announced glibly.

I determined that I was asleep, and wouldn't be for long.

Oddly, my visual acuity seemed to get better at the moment I knew I was asleep, like in The Wizard of Oz, when the color suddenly comes on. In the moment or two I before the dream faded, I walked to a corridor that led to a bathroom, and there I studied the tiles : They were large peach-colored slabs, like I had seen somewhere in waking life.