All these people are gathered. They are like actors who have taken their places on stage and are waiting quietly for the curtain to go up. It comes to me that they are "attending", an interesting word.
I have the feeling they are characters who could have parts in a new book. Yet they have their own lives. None of them seems to be aware of me.
But now a young woman slips through their ranks, to look at me directly. She is red haired, tall and slim, quite lovely. Her clothes are of an earlier time. Her gaze is deep. I cannot read her feelings, but I would like to know her. She moves away to my left, and I sense that she wants me to follow. When I go after her, however, I am interrupted by a mature woman with long black hair and very white skin who thrusts herself between us. I know she is filed with jealous hate for the redhead.
There is an old story here, of passion and jealousy. I sense it goes back several centuries, to the British Isles. I won't follow it now. The sunlight streaming into my bedroom round the edge of the drapes is quite bright. I reach for my French blue sleep mask (thank you Air France) and stretch out on my back, enjoying the luxury of drifting back from my twilight zone adventures into the sleep that repairs the body and allows the dream soul to go wandering without an agenda.
Often, I find different casts of characters waiting or popping up as I hover on the edge of sleep or linger in the twilight zone of hypnagogia. Sometimes, they appear to be quite literally on stage, or in the wings, waiting for me to show up in order to start or resume a play. More often, they seem to be characters in life dramas that are being played out in other times or in parallel worlds, dramas in which I have a lead role from which I may have been absent while attending to things in my default reality in what is currently the first day of September, 2012.
When I am writing, I am occasionally thrilled to discover in this way that my characters - who may or may not have been previously known to me - are assembling in this way, ready to claim their parts in my stories, or at least audition for those parts.
Those attending. I like this description for the people who appear on the cusp between waking and sleep, or between sleep and waking. To attend can mean to take care of or wait upon someone; in its Latin origin, in the verb attendere, it means "to stretch toward" something. Encounters with those who attend in the twilight zone can certainly help to stretch the mind.