Homer's Travels: Slip Sliding Away

Friday, January 16, 2009

Slip Sliding Away

Not sure where this line of thought came from.  The past few days, when I'm lying in bed lost in thought, I've found myself thinking a lot about dreams.  I'm not one of those people who think there are messages in dreams and this post isn't about that.  Frankly I believe that dreams are just the brain's way of defragging itself.  This post is about my favorite dreams.  (I know, this is an odd post.  I'm feeling odd)

When I was in college, oh so many years ago, I read an article about lucid dreaming in Omni magazine (Omni magazine ... how I miss you.  You warped my perceptions and I thank you for that).  A lucid dream is where you become aware that you are in a dream.  When this happens you can sometimes take control of the dream and do whatever you want.  Think of it as an in-your-head holodeck.  I tried one of the techniques in the magazine article and was pleasantly surprised to experience a lucid dream the first night.

It was kind of amazing, realizing that you were dreaming and wondering what you should do next.  I tried to explore the dream world I was in ... the laundry room of my dorm actually ...  unfortunately the dream was too brief.  When I woke up I felt elated... almost euphoric ... for a few brief seconds.  I'm not sure if it was the dream or just the satisfaction of success.  I experienced lucid dreaming two or three times since that first time.  Each one was followed by a peaceful contentment upon waking.  I woke up ready for the day, energized, and happy.  I stopped trying decades ago.  Not sure why.

However good I felt upon waking from lucid dreams, another type of dream has always made me feel even better.  During dreams, some people have reported flying.  Flying like Superman.  I don't fly.  I slide.

My first sliding dream started on a winding road near the top of a mountain.  Not sure which road or mountain.  Could have been the twisting road to Chichicastenango in Guatemala.  Could have been the roads up the hillsides around the Lake of the Ozarks (not mountains but I was a little kid back when I was there and they seemed like they reached the sky).  Could have been the road up to Pikes Peak.  Probably was an amalgamation of all of these and many others.  I was sitting on the ground with my legs stretched out ahead of me.  I was sitting like I was in a car seat.  I began sliding along the asphalt/gravel road.  The surface was visibly rough but the slide was smooth like it was on ice.  I slid fast.  It felt like I was in a car only faster.  The feeling of motion was exhilarating.  The dream ended with me taking a curve too fast and busting through the guardrail.  I woke up with the falling feeling in the pit of my stomach which was overwhelmed by the continuing feeling of a speed high. A rush of adrenaline.

The next time I slid in a dream I was no longer sitting down.  I moved more like an ice or roller skater.  In reality I couldn't skate even if my life depended on it.  I was wearing shoes and I was sliding on concrete and asphalt.  I moved like a speed skater - strange since I don't think I'd ever seen speed skating before I had this dream.  I whipped down the middle of empty suburban streets.  I woke with the same exhilarating speed high.

It's been a along time since I've slid.  Almost as long as my last lucid dream.

I miss the slide.


  1. I've never managed a lucid dream but I've had those that I've incorporated into my life that day where I've been mad at someone because of the dream. I generaly remember at some point and have to apologize for being cranky. :)

  2. JaG: I hate when I wake up cranky. It can ruin your whole day.

  3. I've been able to lucid dream for as long as I can remember. The funny thing is, though, although I can make decisions in the dream, I can't always control the outcome. Sometimes I'll take a particular action, but the result won't be what I want or expect. Which might explain why I can't seem to get any action in my dreams, either...

  4. GH: You have to beat down that mental block of your.

    I lucid dream so infrequently that I don't know if the same would happen to me.