Alice

I had lunch and a glass of wine at Whole Foods with Mary. I went to Skyview afterwards with the dogs while Mary went home to work on her new website. As I began the walk I had a familiar feeling; I had a buzz from one glass of wine and it didn’t feel good. My first inclination was to ask myself why I’ve done this thing that I think I would rather not have done, again. Asking this why question is what I always do. It’s what I’ve done for as long as I can remember. In one way or another I always ask why something is the way it is. For as long as I’ve been asking I’ve never found a truly satisfying answer. I have been uncomfortable in my own skin for a long time, forever perhaps, and in all my whys I’ve never found the comfort I’ve sought that is at the base of all the asking. Is it possible that I’ve been asking the wrong question, looking in the wrong direction? I think over time I’ve found many answers and experienced a great deal of comprehension about people and life. Regardless I am a stranger in my own body, my own life. The comprehension I seek is somehow not about this experience I see unfolding before me. How do I explain this?

No matter what I seek or where I look within this experience that I call my life there’s nothing there. Whatever reward I imagine that this life offers I am uninspired. The satisfaction I long for isn’t contained in anything I can touch. Yet I perpetually return again and again to the idea that it is. This leads to “why.” It’s a kind of catch-22, the question leads to an answer that leads back to the question and on and on it goes. There’s a lot of commotion but I’m always standing in the same spot. I look around and this is all I see of life. Everyone is doing some version of this.

Since I was very young I distinctly remember perceiving the absurdity of all that surrounded me while also desperately wanting to fit into it. It’s an impossibility, the moment I make progress toward being a part of “it” I am confronted, awash, immersed in its absurdity. The importance people express toward what is ultimately meaningless, the arrogance of those who embrace this meaningless importance more proficiently than others, the life or death stance so many become in relation to all of it is cacophony of madness I cannot not recoil at.

And here I am. There is no direction I perceive to turn and look. There is nothing here to see in any direction. Somehow what I’m after isn’t here or it isn’t here in the conventional sense. I’m not even sure what I mean when I say that. I feel deeply that there is something I’m looking for but I don’t know where to look or even how to look. There isn’t anyone here to ask. I’ve asked countless others and ultimately each has shown they don’t know. Many claim to know. Conversely, each has given me a piece of the whole, I think. There’s a sense that I’m looking at a gigantic jigsaw puzzle but I’m too close and all I see are pieces but have little inkling of the big picture, as it were. There are times when it seems I’m close to seeing and even times when it seems I do glimpse a broader view for a bit but it always fades.

I can’t not seek; I am seeking. The metaphors of a ride at an amusement park, a dream, a wave on the ocean, or a character in a novel are all versions that appear again and again and I experience as significant. This whole thing is not what it appears to be. There is a recurring thought that like a rollercoaster I’m on a track and the car which I am is going where it goes and I have no control over it. What’s more is a sense that I don’t need or really want control. Similarly I’m a character in a novel going here and there appearing to make decisions but it’s all an illusion as the novel is already complete and sitting on a shelf. This is simply a ride I’ve chosen to ride and forgetting that it’s a ride is part of the ride. Yet completely letting go, as it were, isn’t possible. This is yet another facet of my ride. My ride is unfolding such that I’m becoming aware of its “rideness” but how I perceive and experience that awareness is still a function of the ride or dream. Everything that’s happening is an aspect of the ride. Nothing, including this writing, is outside of or apart from the ride or dream. I’m becoming aware of the ride because that’s my ride. The very contemplation I’m experiencing of the ride is the ride!

A place I often land at this point is, “OK, now what?” This life, apparent or otherwise, continues. I do not check out or step beyond it. Bills are still due, hunger returns and all the laws and dictates of this reality continue unabated. What is the purpose of this knowing I’ve found?

Here I am asking another why masked as something different. The part of me that knows all that I’ve just said isn’t confused. That part of me sees clearly right now. Me here not seeing is an illusion of forgetting. I can choose to see and be clearly.

My dreams here in this appearance are clues I’ve left for myself to help me remember and see. If I wake up, become lucid, in the midst of a dream I would stop and look around in wonder. Knowing it’s all a dream I’d look around at the realness of all that I see. There’d be a sense of Alice in Wonderland. At some point I might realize I could defy my “normal” laws of physics and fly or walk through a wall. If I remained in that dream for a long time, a lifetime, all of the wonders would cease to be wonders at some point and would simply become my day to day experience. Flying or walking through walls would just be the norm for this place I live. They wouldn’t be incredible because everyone in this place would experience the same reality. When I first arrived here I’d know that all the characters I see and all the landscape I occupy is all a creation of my mind. There is no actual space, no actual dimensions, and no actual things occupying the no actual space. This knowing would fade with time as I “lived” my life within the dream. The space, the characters and all the things would become “real.” As the main character I would become the original thinker rather than being dreamed as a thinker and all the thinking actually being just one more facet of the dream of the dreamer. I would completely lose my awareness of lucidity within a dream and become the dream.

What if after a long period of time that lucidity re-emerged? What if gently, sporadically at first but more regularly over time, like a soft, persistent tapping on my shoulder it reappeared? What if I started to remember it’s all a dream? Who would I tell? I’m dreaming, I’m dreamed, who here isn’t? Incredible.

The only gateway I perceive to waking up is death. As a sleeper dreaming and becoming lucid within the dream I felt an excitement at the freedom and possibilities of the experience. What if remembering my lucidity here is an opportunity to experience that excitement again? Waking up isn’t the goal. I’m remembering the truth and stepping back into the excitement of my lucid dream. I’ve just arrived at the park with all the excitement and anticipation of the adventures to follow.

Holy crap, I’m remembering.

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