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Dreamed 1993/8/18 by Chris Wayan

Wake slowly. Then I realize I must still be sleeping, or half asleep, for I'm able to visualize clearly. When awake (as we call it) I'm mentally near-blind; I can compose music, summon words, do math, but I can't visualize--no mind's eye. But I have one now, so I must be dreaming. Girders swing and spin in my dream.

I experiment with it, test my ability. Picture a woman's face tilted oddly, then her whole body sprawled out in complex receding perspective. Clear and undistorted 3D visualization! Yes, I have to be half-dreaming, at least.

Next, I picture a crane lifting big girders: red I-beams, swinging toward me and away, spinning and rocking ponderously, as they rise up a gulf of air to the top of a half-built tower. Smooth motion, stereo depth, full color... I can never imagine so clearly awake!

"Ironic," I think, "that I can will such images into existence so clearly--but only when asleep. Is it just a matter of removing distractions? Could I do it in waking trance? What does it take to access these abilities--just practice? I thought my brain couldn't do it at all, but that's obviously wrong. I just did."


Several earlier dreams were so senseless they practically begged me to go lucid. Took all night to do it!

I stayed up late last night, painting on the computer. Tore myself away at last, and was mad at myself for acting anorexically--skipped a meal, grew cold and tired as well as hungry, cannibalized my sleep time... and didn't even save my work very often, risking losing it all. But the act of painting is not merely escape, and art isn't always about product.

Painted a woman lying among fallen leaves, in deep perspective, with no models or photos to guide me. Pure visualization. The result was still rather lame, but the foreshortening IS improved. I AM learning to visualize better!

Woman lying in fallen leaves, very foreshortened.
I spent most of my life unable to visualize, literally without imagination! It's why I value dreams so much. The only inner vision I had!

But now I'm building up a mental muscle. One I thought I didn't even have.

LISTS AND LINKS: lucid dreams - visualization - blindness - a very different dream of girders and limited vision: Willpower! - figure studies and studio art - perspective - pure digital art

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