First Lucid

Victoria Liddelle

This is an account of my first ever lucid dream. It is 2017 and I have been practising Robert Waggoner's techniques of chanting before sleep “Tonight in my dreams I see my hands and I become aware I’m dreaming”. I have been practicing religiously for 5 weeks now. The dream begins with me about to do a job interview. The dream colours are muted and grey and I feel depressed. I am standing, waiting to be seen for the interview when I become aware how dull and boring this is and that I don’t want to be here and I don’t want this job. With that thought, the dreamscape immediately changes. 

I am now walking down a long main street of a very strange city. The whole place is black - black streets, black buildings. The detail of the buildings are extremely intricate and gothic looking. I feel like I am in a computer game that has been graphically designed to perfection. I am astonished at the clarity of detail. I become aware that there are people walking very close to me and behind me. I don’t know these people but I seem to know that they are friendly and are Spanish students. I have a small backpack on - and the strange thing is, I have no idea where I’m going but I absolutely know I have to be on this street and I have a specific destination to arrive at. It feels very strange to not know this town but know that I am being led somewhere. I continue walking down this very dark street. I come to a corner and look to the street leading down to my left. It is a cobbled dark street. I absolutely know that I must go down this street. My Spanish companions seem to have gone now. 

I begin walking down this back street, still bemused as to where I will end up. At the bottom of the street I suddenly I see this huge, arched, oak, double door with a very bright lamp above, illuminating the doorway. It is the most stunning door I have ever seen, especially amongst all this black architecture that resembles Gotham City. I am amused that it is so obvious that I must go in there. I approach the door and see the beautiful carvings in the wood in complete clarity. I knock loudly on the large brass door knocker. The door opens and there stands a nice looking fellow in his 30`s. He says “Ah, come in!” As if he totally knows who I am and has been expecting me. I am still bemused by all this as I don’t recognise him at all. But I go with it.

I walk into the room and he leads me through the building, chatting away just the thing, as if we know each other really well. He starts by thanking me so much for coming and how happy everyone is that I have agreed to do this, and I think ‘Oh gosh, what have I agreed to??’ Suddenly we round a corner and I realise I am in a huge theatre and my heart sinks. In real life, I am an actor and I hate doing theatre. I have not been on stage since 2010 and I absolutely detest it. I often have frequent actor’s nightmares that I am onstage and I don’t know any of my lines. So as this man is talking, my mind is racing ‘Why oh why have I agreed to do this??’ I can’t believe it.

The young man leads me onto the huge stage and there are other actors warming up and they smile at me as the young man guides me downstage. Sitting in the auditorium is the director and a couple of producers. They tell me they are so grateful that I have agreed to step in for the lead actor who has dropped out. And did I get the script ok? Etc., etc. I stand there feeling sick to my stomach in total disbelief that I would not only do theatre but learn a script overnight and step in for someone at the last minute!

I smile and manage to say ` problem` while silently screaming inside. I turn around and begin to walk upstage, pretending to look around the stage but I’m actually turning away from them because I’m struggling to hide the utter horror on my face. And as I turn around and take one step upstage, all of a sudden two giant, glowing, yellow, rubber hands bounce right up in front of my face. I am so taken aback, I look at them and think `hands?` They are so comical and glowing luminous yellow, that I laugh at them. Suddenly, my mind twigs and I shout inside my head ‘Oh my god! HANDS!!!!! It must be a dream!!!!’ I remember the drill and tell myself to calm down. I am beside myself with joy. I decide to try the Finger through the Hand technique as a reality check - it doesn’t work! But I won’t be beaten - I decide to try flying as a backup reality check. Instead of just taking off there and then, I do the silliest thing (typical actor!) I turn around and very calmly walk downstage as if I’m Lawerence Olivier preparing to give a Shakespearean monologue. 

I stand very still and put my arms by my side and then I very rapidly flap my little hands up and down and I lift off the ground with incredible grace and float effortlessly up to the ceiling of the theatre - bob my head gently on the roof and then effortlessly float back down. I am ecstatic! And to be honest - feeling outrageously smug. I look to the director and producer (whose jaws are agape) with a ludicrous smile on my face and say, ‘Sorry, but I just had to do that’. Then, I do it again. And I float back down. And as I land I say to them ‘I bet you’ve never seen anyone do that before’. 

Rookie mistake!! I’m focusing back on the dream characters because of their aghast expressions, I become very self-conscious. I stand on the stage and think ‘Oh no....I don’t know what the etiquette is now. Should I just leave? How do I get out of this theatre. Do I walk/fly?’ As I question too much inside my head, I allow myself to focus back on the people in the theatre and I start to feel sorry for them - just leaving them in the lurch. I’ve made the fatal error of buying back into the dream and with that...the dream starts to fade.

I then find myself lying on my back looking up at a wall and I can see feet walking past. I’m very confused and disoriented. I have a strange feeling that the Mafia are coming to get me. And suddenly I wake up in my bed. It’s morning time and I leap out of bed and do a crazy celebratory dance! I feel like I’ve won the lottery. I never thought this would be possible for me. I’m very impatient and I tend to give up on things easily. If I can do it, anyone can. I’m 49 years old. You are never too old to start this work - or should I say ‘play’. The joy and euphoria it brings are worth all the hard work. Never give up.

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