Posts in the “personal” category

Sanctify Yourself

I was laying in bed last night, waiting to fall asleep, and the power went out. As I laid there thinking about how cold it would get, a gray telephone we had many years ago began ringing in the closet. I wondered what it was doing in there.

Instantly the scenery changed and I flashed back to an event I didn’t know about twelve years ago. As I observed it, it made me sad.

Then I kept going back in time, first to one event and then another.

Song of the Day: Letters From The Sky, by Civil Twilight

That you and I were made for this
I was made to taste your kiss
We were made to never fall away
Never fall away

’cause even though you left me here
I have nothing left to fear
Fears are only walls that hold me here

You’re coming back for me
You’re coming back for me
You’re coming back for me
You’re coming back for me

This is a song called Letters From The Sky, by a band named Civil Twilight. I learned of the song from the underrated 2011 movie I Am Number Four. The end of this video is really terrific.

The spirit of a boy, or the wisdom of a man

There’s a constant contradiction,
What feels good and what feels right.
But you live with decisions that you make in your life.
And what steers your direction is hard to understand,
(With so much riding on the choice at hand)
The spirit of a boy, or the wisdom of a man.

~ Randy Travis

Another note about meditation and nighttime hallucinations

As a brief note about meditation, over the last few years people have written more about some potential negative side effects of meditation. I haven’t experienced those, but over the last two years I have experienced hallucinations when I wake up during the middle of the night. A sleep specialist told me the name for this, but I can’t remember it now.

As an example, two nights ago — the evening and morning of 8/20 to 8/21/21 — I woke up and looked across the room, and in an area where there is a hallway that leads to the bathroom (and laundry area), I saw a disembodied head that looked like Princess Diana. Two years ago that would have been pretty freaky, but now things like this are a common occurrence.

This experience only became freaky when she began to move her eyes. It was like her head was frozen, protruding out from the laundry area into the hallway, and then her eyes began to move and look around, like, “Holy crap, where am I, and why can’t I move my head?!” That reminded me of an old Don Knotts movie where he’s in a haunted house, and it was indeed freaky.

UPDATE: I’m reminded that I wrote about the name for this phenomenon before in Sleep paralysis, hypnagogic hallucinations, and hypnopompic hallucinations, and the name for these specific experiences is hypnopompic hallucinations.

Sleep paralysis, hypnagogic hallucinations, and hypnopompic hallucinations (no, you’re not crazy)

As a brief note today, for the last year or so I’ve been experiencing various “visions” when I wake up at night. I mentioned them to a doctor recently, and he said, “No, you’re not crazy, they’re referred to as hypnagogic hallucinations.” I found out that more accurately, the ones I’m experiencing are known as hypnopompic hallucinations.

If you’re interested in what these look like, here are three that I experienced recently. I regularly see images of “splatter” on the ceiling, and they can be all sorts of color. Last night they were mostly black, but the night before that they were red and pink:

Hypnopompic hallucinations - color splatter on ceiling

“I’m such a liar”

“I’m such a liar.”

Zeus, the best dog ever

Once upon a time there was a dog named Zeus. Before we met him, Zeus had a very difficult life, having been abused by two different owners. When my wife saw Zeus on a local tv station, and they said the Animal Care Society was going to be extremely careful about who adopted him next, she seemed to know that she had to take care of him.

As you can see from the following pictures, when we first adopted Zeus, he was very sick, with a horrible case of mange.

Me and the dogs in a business newspaper

One of my nieces (and/or her friends) seems to be interested in Siberian Huskies, which last night led me to dig out this old photo from a business newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky, in April, 2004.

Love at the Five and Dime: Nanci Griffith passes away

Nobody else in my family seems to know the song, Love at the Five and Dime, but I knew it many years ago, and was reminded of it several years ago. It was created and sung by Nanci Griffith, who passed away in August of 2021.

As I’ve learned over the years, if you can touch someone’s heart in a positive way before you pass away, that’s about all you can hope for, and her music definitely touched many hearts. Godspeed.

Traveling to an old cathedral for training (a lucid dream)

Dream notes from June 27, 2017: As I feel asleep I was ripped out of my sleep body by some sort of lucid dream tractor beam, then pulled backwards through space. Eventually I came to um ... “somewhere” ... and when I turned my head to see where I was, I found I was being pulled towards a very large, old cathedral. The tractor beam continued to pull me butt-first, right through the closed front doors of the cathedral. Why open a door when you can go through it?

Inside, the tractor beam dropped me off at a spot near some stairs. Somehow I knew what I was supposed to do — this wasn’t punishment, it was a good thing — and I went with a group of other people up the stairs. I saw a few familiar faces and either said “Hey, how have you been?” to them, or nodded to acknowledge others who were farther away.

Walking up the stairs, a woman started talking to me. Most of it was in English, and then some words were in another language. I tried to tell her that the Universal Translator apparently wasn’t translating what she was saying, but to no avail. I remember that two words she said were, “sono toma,” which Google translates in Spanish as “sleep takes.”

We all filed into a room where I saw a few more familiar faces. We sat in chairs like we were in college again, or more like we were attending a seminar. I thought that was funny, “A seminar for sleep travelers.” I hoped the speaker would be good. Or maybe it would be a series of TED talks for lucid dreamers. Those thoughts made me wonder who organized the event.

I won’t share the rest of what happened, but hopefully I’ll see you at the cathedral one day. :)

Song of the Day: Crazy, by Seal

One of my favorite songs from 1991 is Crazy, by Seal. This line always stands out for me:

“In a world full of people, only some want to fly, isn’t that crazy?”

Kiss From a Rose is another favorite song by Seal.

The time that mom told the police everyone was dead (a schizophrenia story)

Imagine being 30 years old, and life is good. You’re healthy, vibrant, and even astonishingly good at math.

But then just a few moments later you can’t make sense of the world. You don’t know what’s real and what’s not.

You begin hearing voices that aren’t there.

Shortly after this you’re put into a “mental institution.”

That’s what happened to my mom. For whatever reason, shortly after I was born, she was stricken with schizophrenia.

(If you’ve ever seen the tv series Fringe, my mom is almost exactly like Walter Bishop, or vice-versa.)

It’s a Wonderful Life meets St. Elsewhere

February 24, 2018: After a long hiatus, during the last week I finally got back into a consistent meditation routine. As usual, this helps me remember my dreams better, and to also have lucid dreams. Last night that combined with something else I had thought about casually recently: Wouldn’t it be nice to be young again, and if I was young again, what would I do differently?

After falling asleep, I wake up in strange apartment. Looking around I can’t figure out what’s going on, but having been in this situation dozens of times before, I find the bathroom, turn on the light, and look in the mirror. I’m pleasantly surprised to see a much younger version of myself. My face is young again, and my hair is longer, soft, and as dark as ever, with no touches of gray. Realizing I’ve been given a second chance, I vow to make the most of it.

After I figure out the apartment situation, I decide to go for a walk and see what the neighborhood looks like. As I walk down the road and enjoy the new scenery, a speeding car comes around a turn. I try to get out of its way, but it hits me hard. My body flies through the air and crashes hard on someone’s lawn as the car speeds away. Lying on the ground, my face pushed into the lawn, I look at the blades of green grass in front of me. I try to hold onto it in my mind because I know that my second chance at living a younger life is coming to an abrupt halt. The green grass fades into darkness.

One story about an abusive father (and meditation)

I debated about whether or not to share this story publicly, but I think it may potentially be helpful for two groups of people, so I’m sharing it here. First:

  1. For victims of abuse, I want you to know that you’re not alone, and that your feelings (anger, etc.) are perfectly normal.
  2. Second, for people who meditate, I want to let you know that both good and bad memories can pop into your mind spontaneously as your meditation practice advances.

And now for the brief story: