Saturday, September 1, 2012

Those who attend in the twilight zone

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.


Nancy said...

Robert, thanks for this. I have my own group of "attenders" who I sense are always paying attention to me -- am I ready to learn, or to play? For me one such character is a quiet white-blond male college student across the aisles in several math classes of mine 40 years ago. I'm not sure we ever spoke, but he's almost always there when I go back to visit my undergraduate campus in my night dreams, and showed up as I was waking this morning. I want to see what he sees when he looks at me (even if it's how limited I am!). Thanks again.

Robert Moss said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, Nancy. I was writing about attendants (or "attenders") in the hypnagogic state, but I shall now have to think about whether a similar phenomenon occurs in sleep dreams,and/or in liminal states between one level of dreaming and another. I was also reflecting primarily on characters who are initially unfamiliar.

James Wilson said...

Hi Robert, since the beginning of this year I read your posts. They are fun and interesting to read. This is the first time that one of your dream descriptions gives me a strong feeling of what it’s meaning could be if it where my dream. Because it keeps playing through my thoughts I am posting it as a comment.
If I would have dreamed this dream I would have experienced it as a symbolic dream.
The scene where people have taken their places on stage and are waiting quietly for the curtain to go up, give me a feeling that it could stand symbolic for a defined period of / in time, in which certain events are already determined / fixed. As in a script in which events, roles, and dialogues are already written. And the next step is the performance.
Personally I associate a woman with red hair (among others) with: intuition, clearness, and a starry sky as you might see 10,000 yr ago without the light pollution of today. Where you could see even the smallest stars.
If she would look right at me with a deep gaze in my dream, i would associate this with an invitation as: “look inside my mind, what I think and what I know”
With other words an invitation to tell things about the script that is going to be preformed, insight in what is going to happen.
It is a pity that you have not been able to follow her. I hope she visits you again and this time you can follow her.