a representation of nature with roads
and a mission, to swat ball in hole:
conquerable, driver-friendly nature.
bring your visors,
and your khaki shorts,
leave your women.
they chortle as one old fellow putts it in.
The undead are a frustrated bunch. They want to let their weary souls rest, and yet the current administration of King’s Landing is bent on preventing them from reaching the magical pool in the depths of the Red Keep where they can drown their misery permanently.
I saw a spider, greenish black and purple in her sheen she scuttled quickly into cracks in walls and in between the universe and two-niverse yet catch her as I tried she always found the creviest of corners where to hide I passed my hand through swaths of web they danced out from my fingers still somewhere at the garden's edge my friend, the spider, lingers.
This essay presents a technique that can be helpful for those with trouble falling asleep, or those who would like to advance their dream practice by achieving an increased awareness of the transition from wakefulness to sleep.
Falling asleep has never been easy for me. My parents were well aware of this fact as my childhood self would make frequent late night trips into their room, looking towards the comfort of their presence as a salve for my fear and insomnia.
My mom is herself a lifelong warrior in the struggle against unwanted wakefulness, and my constant arrival in her and my father’s bedroom at odd hours of the night was a huge nuisance. She was quick to give me a piece of advice that I have been using ever since to help myself fall asleep.
Grab a good book, slip under the covers, start reading, and before you know it, find yourself reading right off the side of page, your mind drifting into a funky creative territory as your eyes start to droop and your head goes limp.
You snap out of it, determined to consume another page, but you know that for better or worse, sleep is on the way. These little blips in the flow of normal waking thought are called hypnogogia. For someone with problems falling asleep they are a welcome arrival.
As I’m reading my way to sleep, I continue until these hallucinations become overwhelming enough to put my book aside and turn off the light.
This is where my tried and true strategy hits a major road bump - one that I only just recently discovered a solution to. As soon as I set aside my book, my mind goes back into internal dialogue mode. I start thinking about a recent conversation or a trip I want to plan. In this state of mind, the hypnogogia often recedes, and I find myself once again laying awake unable to sleep.
The solution came to me as I started considering what it is about the state your mind goes into while reading that makes it easier for hypnogogia to manifest compared to when you are thinking. When you are reading, your mind is an open, receptive state - observing and consuming information. Thinking by contrast, is a creative activity. You are planning, responding to your own thoughts, and actively generating the next line of internal dialogue.
Thinking aligns the conscious mind with creation. Reading aligns the conscious mind with consumption.
Sleeping and dreaming correspond more closely with reading in this sense. In these states, the subconscious takes the reins of the mind’s creative engine, while the conscious mind sits back and observes. This is explains why it’s easier for the experiential logic of dreams to manifest in the mind of a reading person than a thoughtful one.
This train of logic lead me to a thought(less) experiment which I recommend trying. After you set aside your book for the night and turn off the light - keep reading.
Refuse to let the mind drift into a train of internal dialogue and instead look for the words etched in light onto the blankness of your mental blackboard. If there were anything there to read, what would it be? Once you have read one line or phrase, look for that next word instead of thinking it.
You might find that as you read in the darkness, hypnogogia greets you even more effortlessly than it does during normal reading. It is easier to hold the images, content and sensations of these hallucinations in awareness, observing them and surrendering to them as they shuttle you into the land of dreams.
poets see lines in their minds as they strive to be scribes at the start of the page what I’m “writing" for her's not a poem then, since I’m moved not by words, but image a portrait of peacefulness etched in the sky framed by contrails of jets and yet, in my minds eye as real as an architect’s opus in steel as the slow turning cars on the big ferris wheel as olors of 稀飯, 烤鸭, and goreng as the orchid’s speckles, bromeliad’s fangs as these smooth lettered keys that I tap with my hand as my journal, which mentions her, on the nightstand things concrete, molecular - yes, they exist but when I glance up just one image persists eyes I can smile at for hours and days a bonfire of warmth I can trust with my gaze so when my friends ask, “why are you off in space?” this city’s a notebook, I’m writing her face.
I was talking with a friend over some street food on a sticky night in Northern Thailand. He described something he had been through which was all too familiar to me as a writer.
He had reach a point where he was creating ferociously - writing every day and coming up with seemingly endless content, all of which he kept in a private folder on his laptop. So great was his creativity that he decided he wanted to share his work.
So, he started posting his writings up onto Facebook. At first it was a great success. He posted up one article from his private folder each day and continued producing more content.
Then, after a few days had gone on like this he started looking at the reactions to his posts. He noticed familiar names popping up in the list of people who had liked his post - a friend from high school, a woman who he admired, a mentor whose opinion he valued. He was initially excited to see that his work was getting all this attention.
But the next day, as he approached the page to lay down a sentence, doubts filled his mind. What will my mentor think if I write this? Is my crush going to realize this is about my ex? Does it matter?
The same laptop screen where he’d succeeded as a solitary scribe had transformed into a terrifying soapbox from which each word had rippling implications stifling their own expression. Most importantly - he now felt pressure to be good. There was no longer room for crufty passages or awkward phrasing.
For a month, the creative faucet ran dry. The words accumulating on his laptop felt forced and stunted. Nothing was reaching a finished form, and nothing was shared.
Frustrated with the creative block, he finally resolved that he wouldn’t write with the intention of sharing. It was just going to be for him. He sipped strong coffee and found his voice again, filing away thoughtful anecdotes to the private folder on his laptop.
Audiences are not the enemy of the writer - but they must be understood. It’s important for us as writers to own how our audiences can coax the best from us - rather than letting the expectations of our audience own our creative process.
We have a bit of a mental trick to play on ourselves. If we can separate the intended audience during the creation stage from the eventual exposure audience, we might actually get that wonderfully imperfect piece out to our readers.
We toil over a heartfelt love poem for the person we’ve been dreaming about. When we find out they got back together with their ex before we had a chance to press send, we use it as the “about me" text in our OkCupid profile.
A nervous circle fragrant room our raft a bed tub jet rapids lie ahead intentions, attention to details exhales… inhales… what to expect? a tender tricep. yoga poses, meditations should we have the lights on? are you feeling it? who is feeling it. bitter water. our time is standing still with arms outstretched rubbed by a hundred hands sensations escalate empathy blooms scatter brained crazy love head kids rolling funny on the floor cuddling baby bunnies collapse into feelings shavasana for the ringing of the bowls bathing in resonance a bowl on your belly a bowl on her hip our bowls are full tonight overflowing with loving vibration souls syncing sweetly in frequency
let’s bathe again! all in the shower before we fully immerse chilly tikes tottering down skipping a broken stair are we there yet are we there yet? oh my god. hot water feels amazing. the word “temperature-gasm” is experienced fully by each penguin in the flock as they dunk into the steam locked in our invincible paradise what’s next? another wash - our souls open open hearts shattering into shameless open strength poets lock hands An orange falls from a stand a shopkeep looks on as a little boy picks it up rips the skin off with his teeth licks the sticky juice as it rolls down the corners of his mouth poets breath. soothing a dozen lubed calf tensions basking in beauty beyond comprehension beyond going back in this world magic sap oozes from each of the crinkles and creases of grins that’ll never wipe off of our faces in this sap, there’s a mineral ancient and wise we can smear on our palms and rub into our thighs in other words: I love you guys.
sunlit iridescent hair adventure bread that isn’t there songs we almost learned to sing a grass stained knee to lift a ring Converse momma bleaches white, conversing lightly, since last night what’s left to say? Let’s say we trade an embrace for a serenade.