You walk through the shadowy woods, searching.
A craggy mountain range rears up.
Your feet take you to the mouth of a dark cave.
Hesitating only slightly, you walk into the darkness.
But before long, the dark gives way to twinkling lights.
Natural crystals jut out from the walls of the cave.
The deeper you go, the more there are,
Glowing with a clear blue light.
You wonder at the eerie beauty of the mineral light
Illuminating every rock and crevice.
You notice that some emit a pale green instead of blue,
Increasingly as you go further.
Then you see a dim pink crystal among its blue-green brethren
And soon spot a few more.
Something about them fascinates you
And one in particular draws you closer.
It’s fixed on the wall at the same height as your eyes.
It seems to glow stronger, and redder, as you come near.
As your right hand reaches up to touch it
It burns like fire and almost blinds you.
Surprisingly, it’s cold to the touch
And immediately fades back to its faint pink hue.
But then you feel that it’s loose
And you instinctively grab it,
Fitting it snugly in your palm.
It seems to pulsate in your hand,
Fierce flames dancing within.
You imagine
That it’s your very own life that rests in your hand.

You keep walking
Until the passageway opens up onto a vast cavern,
Extending in all directions.
The far walls cannot be seen
But for the luminous crystals on them.
The sides of the great hall,
All covered in the shining gems,
Curve up and form a domed ceiling of rock.
The crystals no longer radiate only blue and green light,
As grey white, deep purple and pale yellow shimmer all around.
Amazingly, the walls also curve downward,
Forming a basin as deep as the vault above is high.
It is as though you are standing at the entrance of an enormous orb
With little lamps all around its inner surface.
You walk forward.
After a slight downward slope
You reach the edge of a black lake
Extending to the far end.
You realize that the hollow below is merely the reflection of the ceiling
In the obsidian water.
You ponder how to cross this immense lake,
Because you are reluctant to go back,
Ever feeling a need to press on.
Suddenly swans appear,
Gliding about on the lake like white clouds piercing the night.
At first they move in their own inscrutable pattern,
A dance of a secret language.
But ever more seem to find their way
Towards the spot you are standing, on the water’s edge.
Bending down, you reach out your left hand,
Holding it above the swirling surface.
You spot your own reflection below—
A face lit with shifting colors
And filled with wonder, curiosity and purpose.
The birds gather around near to your outstretched hand.
The closest ones lower their necks and rest their beaks on it—
Then, after a moment, break away
And let others take their place.

Then something dark grows ahead,
Blotting out the crystalline lights with its large shape.
It is not black, but iridescent midnight.
Its slatelike surface shimmers darkly
Of the cave’s crystal colors
And its form is of a swan.
The white swans part and let the great one through.
Your heart is beating fast but you do not feel fear.
The dark swan lowers its head
All the way down to the ground where you stand.
Its red-orange beak, the size of your body,
Now rests in front of you.
You carefully sit down, straddling the beak
And the swan immediately lifts you up
And deposits you on its back.
You land on your back,
The large feathers catching you softly.
You wonder if you are supposed to sit up—
But the symphony of the twinkling lights above
Dazzles and soothes you,
So you don’t move.
You feel the giant bird turn around
And glide out on the lake.
Lifting your head you see the white swans
Following beside and behind you.

After a while you hear a flapping of wings.
One of the white birds is taking flight.
It rises up in the air,
Drops down again
And shoots away close to the water.
After a few moments, the swan comes back,
Descending through the air.
It lands next to you on your avian barge,
Wings still outstretched.
Its eyes seem to ask something of you.
All you have is the pink crystal in your right hand.
Without hesitation you offer it.
The swan takes it in its beak,
Flaps its long wings
And flies off.
You can see your gift blazing red again
As it is carried away ever farther into the cave.
The rest of the silvery birds are still all around,
Gliding along as your host continues onward—
Towards unknown waters—
Where the glittering lights seem to take on completely new hues.

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I was in the forest with G, probably close to some cabin. We were building or overseeing a canal or pipeline in a stream. The stream was running between trees and over rocks, and was then lead into this construction that was around 10 meters long, the water flowing out on the other side. At some point there was a glowing object, like a pale star, floating in the air a few meters above ground. For some reason we thought the best way to deal with it was to lead it into the canal (the construction) somehow.

Then we noticed that the water was slowly rising upstream of the canal. We checked downstream, and sure enough hardly any water was coming out. It was blocked. We wondered if it might explode. I started backing away, standing behind some trees. But G said that it might explode and emit radiation, and then we would both just melt.

Then we were standing in a lab. Several people were sitting in office chairs, some in front of terminals. (We were now different people, but still it was a continuation of the events.) One of us had less muscles than the other, and also problems with arthritis – I think this was me. We both wondered what had happened in the woods. A woman sitting in a chair told us that the canal had indeed exploded catastrophically. I knew that we couldn’t have survived – we were in fact dead, which meant we were ghosts. I asked how they were able to communicate with us. She said that we had indeed died, but we were not ghosts. Instead our minds were now inhabiting different bodies (maybe artificial). But they were not functioning well, especially the weaker body.

There was a flashback to the two of us in the past. Now we were even more different, somehow connected to our current bodies. We had been romantic partners, and this was how we met. The scene was a public bathroom. I was both of the men, or none. Both were body builders, and at least their legs and upper bodies were unclothed. One of them was in the bathroom when the other entered. He was even more muscular than the other, with freakishly big thighs and arms, making him move in an odd way. He leaned in a weird angle to urinate. The smaller man had problems drinking liquids – always thirsty but never feeling like drinking a lot at a time. He drank some water from a glass and then left it half-full on the sink. There was a feeling that this was how everything started.

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The allegory of the cave strikes back

A dream from a couple of nights ago.

I was living in a cave with several other people and animals. The animals were mostly rabbits and different kinds of apes. At some point some bad men were after us, and we escaped into our cave. The entrance was accessed by climbing up a ravine of big boulders and I thought nobody would be able to follow us inside. But once inside, sitting in an elevated part of the cave close to the ceiling, I noticed an opening above me. I think it was meant as some kind of easy access or escape route. But now I was deathly afraid that the bad men would find it.

They did gain access somehow, and the dream turned into a true nightmare. I tried to will myself to wake up, but I only partly succeeded. I woke up sitting in a chair in a cottage, feeling very tired. My grandfather was sitting in another chair, also dozing off. My uncle (his son-in-law) was going back on forth organizing something—maybe packing—and was telling us, somewhat annoyed, to help out. But I couldn’t keep my eyes open and drifted in and out of the nightmare in the cave.

Finally I woke up for real, but I’m not sure if it was because of doubled efforts to wake myself.

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Internal moonshine of a restless mind

This dream is from 4 April.

I was in a house with E. I guess in the dream it was our house, but actually it was the old house of my aunt and uncle, at least partly. E had been in the bathroom upstairs, but now we were both downstairs doing something. I then decided to go upstairs. The following is hard to explain.

I knew that E was also supposed to be upstairs (I think because she had never actually gone downstairs). But I also knew that she was definitely downstairs. This was a paradox that was presented or created somehow – almost like “reality” (or the dream, but this was not a lucid dream) was trying to fool me – but I did not think those thoughts explicitly in the dream. Still, I wanted to challenge this concept of E being upstairs. I knew that she would seem to still be there, in the bathroom, but I also knew that it couldn’t possibly be her, since I knew for a fact that she was downstairs.

I opened the door to the bathroom. There she was. But instead of acting naturally, she just stood there staring straight ahead (or at me) with one hand covering her mouth. This creeped me out. I was sure it was not really her, so I wanted to tear down this illusion, this trick, this simulacrum of E. I think the first thing I did was turn around her somehow, but whatever I did, she remained standing there the exact same way, hand covering her mouth. I don’t remember the details, but somehow I tore apart or deconstructed her, until in the end all I was left holding was her hair attached to a dark, flowing cape or perhaps shadow. This did not feel like any kind of success; it actually terrified me.

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Drowning without a license

On 2 April I had another intense dream that woke me up.

I was driving a car, although I don’t know how to drive (also true in real life). It was very nerve-wracking, especially navigating between the other cars – although looking back, the cars were not going very fast. At some point the view shifted: Now I was observing this car from afar, even though I was still the one sitting in the driver’s seat. I was driving onto a side road from some bigger area or road, and I had done this before. But now I was observing it from a distance. I was commenting on this with some other people also observing. I was driving the car further away from my viewpoint, and this made it very difficult to see and manouver the car between the other cards.

At some point there were no other cars on the road. But my car was driving too far to the right, where the side of the road went off a steep cliff. I turned the control to the left (some kind of hand control instead of steering wheel), thinking I was just a little bit too far to the right. But then I noticed that the right-side tires were actually scraping just off the edge, shooting up gravel and dust as I went. I realized that I wasn’t able to correct the direction of the car; it was about to fall off the cliff, and I would then probably die in the crash. And then it happened: The car fell off. I hoped the drop would not be long, but I listened for several seconds while the car seemed to be in freefall.

Then I was standing on the bank of a river or lake, and it was underneath the cliff. Suddenly the car came falling past me, right in front of my eyes. I knew that since I was actually in the car (even though I was standing on the bank) I would be drowning any second. Then it happened: I was pulled down into the water, but I was somehow not in the car but beside it. I was already submerged. The car was sinking past me, section by section, while I tried to use it to get myself upwards in the water, crawling and running across the different parts of the car as it sank. Then I realizes I was not getting further up, and I felt tired. I somehow knew that struggling and swimming like this in the deep is not enough to move upwards faster than you’re actually sinking. (This was true in the dream, not necessarily in reality.) So I needed to start swimming up harder. I swam up as fast and forcefully as I can, although I felt my energy depleting and my terror increasing. I didn’t know how far up it was to the surface and I was running out of oxygen in my lungs. After expending all my energy and oxygen, I still had not reached the surface.

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Watch the skies

Lately I have been having several intense dreams where the world is ending, and the dream wakes me up in the middle of the night.

In one dream, sometime in late March, I was with someone when we saw something unusual in the sky. A section of it was pinkish red like at sunset, but shifting like if wispy clouds were traveling across it at great speed. At first I thought it was indeed some kind of weather phenomenon, but then I saw that it grew bigger and came closer and closer. I knew that it was something that would kill everything.

In a more recent dream, that I remember more of, I was in some big building complex with many people (as I often am in dreams), but none that I now remember from my real life. I was standing on a balcony and looking at the sun (or was it the moon?). It was pale, as if covered by a layer of mist, so it was possible to look straight at it. It was ascending towards the earth. Then I noticed the actual sun further up in the sky, realizing that this was something else. The landscape consisted of several hills behind hills, with trees on top, although everything seemed quite close. The round object kept going down and suddenly disappeared behind a hill – but I was quite sure it had not been the farthest hill, meaning it had actually hit the earth between the hills. This terrified me. I then saw several more of these planet-like, burning objects descending towards the earth – some near, some far. The building now seemed like it was a hospital, having to deal with this crisis, and apparently right after another recent crisis.

After a while I went back to the balcony, and found a man looking out while leaning against the rail. I asked him if he could tell me what was going on. He joked that I shouldn’t worry, since only the bad people had been dying. I told him to be serious. He said that this was it – almost all the world was destroyed by these orbs, and this place was one of the last standing. I went inside. I was amazed that everything looked so normal and calm. I wondered if I could survive by staying in the building, but then I realized that the heavenly body would just consume the whole building whenever it hit and there was nowhere to hide.

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Theories of a dream

I had a dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream recently, which I remember parts of.

I was having a dream in which several people from my life appeared. My mother and maybe my cousin were among them. Then I woke up from this dream. I told one of these people about the dream, and it turns out they also remembered it. In fact, all the people I told had had the same dream! We all thought this was incredible. I thought about it and then presented my theories: There are only three possibilities, I said. One, we were somehow telepathically linked during sleep. Two, our minds were actually all transported to an alternate world. I fixed my eyes on my mother and continued: Three, this… the present moment… is actually still a dream!

Before I had said the last words of that sentence, we all woke up at the same time, proving the third theory to be correct: we had all been dreaming. The moment of awakening was signaled with a sudden shift in reality: the gloomy and gray room all of a sudden turned bright and colorful. This was the passage from dream to waking. However, the shift didn’t cause anything else to change. My mother was sitting in the same chair; and I was standing in the same spot and even finished my sentence.

After actually waking up, I of course realized that when waking up from a dream, you don’t actually find yourself in the same place and continue doing what you had been doing in the dream. Also, although the theory had been correct inasmuch as it had been a dream, in actuality it had been only my dream, not everybody’s. In fact, this theory was inherently invalid, since you can’t explain a shared dream with another shared dream.

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The chosen freaks

I was living in a world where a minority of people was different from the rest. These people had heads that were a little bit bloated and doughy, with a smaller face and no hair. And I was one of those people. Many things happened that I don’t remember. Often there were explosions in the distance, and this was something that the government or people in power were doing. Something had happened in the past related to this.

I was in the woods close to a town or road with one other person – a normal person. Suddenly there was an extremely loud and deep explosion in the distance. We looked in that direction and saw above the horizon a mushroom cloud slowly rising. And we knew that this was the end and that everyone would die. We started running in the opposite direction, into the woods. But I knew inside that it was futile and we could never outrun it, and this feeling weakened my muscles so that I almost couldn’t run. I was terrified as the cloud was nearing quickly.

Then it caught up with us and we were inside – gray dust and particles swirling all around us. I looked at my companion, and he or she had turned into a statue of ash. But I was not dead, and I realized I was not going to die. Instead I was somehow changing. And I knew that everybody who was different – who had this strange head – was going to survive and everyone else was going to die. But now I was afraid of the changes that I felt happening throughout my body and shooting through my limbs, because I didn’t know what was happening to me.

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Wondrous and spooky, socks and boots

No dream for 2016, but at least there is one before 2017 is over…

I was at my aunt and uncle’s place (where I would spend time in my childhood with my cousins and our grandparents). I needed to pee, but the bathroom was very impractical somehow. It was very small, like a nook in the wall where you had to bend down to even fit, and there was no door and so no privacy. I wondered why they didn’t have a proper bathroom, and then I remembered that they used to (remembering their actual bathroom upstairs), but that room was being remodeled or something had happened to it.

My grandfather told me of a bathroom he would use instead, and he would show me to it. I first needed to put on socks and boots. We then exited the front door and started walking. My grandfather asked me to help support him (something I would actually do in his later years). He told me that the problem was only his left arm, which would be painful if he did a certain move, as he twice demonstrated this move forcefully, making me worried. Still, walking with my grandfather gave me a good feeling of closeness.

We arrived at something that seemed like a bus stop in front of a building with glass doors. We went through the doors, entering a public bathroom. I went into the only stall, closing the door behind me, but then noticed that it was absolutely horrible, with feces everywhere, even on the walls. I needed to put on my socks and boots again, then went out. My grandfather didn’t notice me. There was another door to the side, which led to a neighboring building, and there was a sign by the door indicating restrooms. I gave my bag and something else for my grandfather to keep.

The door led through a short passageway into the other building, where a staircase immediately started upwards. Lots of people where walking up and down this staircase (although not many people had been in the bathroom). The interior of the building looked ancient and dark, with everything of wood. I had a strong sensation that I had dreamt about this place before, and that it was full of spooky wonders. But I didn’t perceive this past dream, nor the current one, as an unreal dream, but more like an experience. (After waking up, I can’t recall having dreamt about the place before.)

I was walking up this never-ending staircase with another person, but now I don’t know who. At each landing there were rooms in both directions. But I got the feeling, from a half-memory, that there would be no restrooms for a long time. Lending to the feeling of having experienced this fantastical place before, we encountered the head of a giant creature thrusting out of a room. It looked like the head of a prehistoric moray eel. It was shrouded in shadow, faded, but when I touched it, it lit up in ethereal colors.

However, before long, we did reach the bathrooms – gentlemen to the left, ladies to the right. The men’s room was fairly big. I think I was using the urinal when I noticed something moving in the darkness of the ceiling, but it was impossible to see what. I somehow found a flashlight with special properties – maybe of revealing things from the spirit world. I shined it on the ceiling, and saw that furry bats were hanging down, covering every inch. The light also made them react aggressively, although they stayed put. However, suddenly I noticed that there were also bats all over the floor, sticking up in dark, fuzzy clusters. I wanted to get out of there quickly, but there was almost no place to walk, and again I needed to put on both socks and boots first.

I somehow got out, and I was involved in an endeavor with another weird creature. It was shaped like a giant stingray, but instead of being fish-like it had giant pterodactyl-like wings. We were several people trying to make it fly. One person was propping up its right wing, while I was supposed to do the same on the left side. But the skin of the creature was prickly like the surface of a bur, and small thorns embedded themselves in my fingers. On the right wing, the other person was lifted by the wing, but I had to let go on my end because of the pain. I proceded to pull the thorns slowly out of my fingers.

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Dream F/X

At least 2015 didn’t go by without me posting a dream. One dream a year seems to be the new ratio unfortunately.

In this dream I had recorded my dream using some novel device. I was watching it on a screen. It was like a short movie or music video, that I had “made” through dreaming it instead of having to film and edit it.

My cousin G was also in this dream/film. (In real life we have done many creative projects together in the past, also short films.) In the first scene we were lying, as if dead, in a rowboat slowly drifting across the water. The view was from above and from the side. The boat was half-filled with water, and our bodies, one in the stern and one in the bow, were half-submerged.

In the second scene G was swimming, and I was holding on to his shoulders. Then he dove down with both of us below the surface.

In the third scene we were both floating under the water. Again we were like dead, moving expressionlessly in awkward formations.

Watching this I was thinking that it was really well-made and that I was so lucky to have this unusual dream-recording device, since it would be difficult to make this film for real. At the same time I was wondering if the death themes were a bit too overwrought.

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