I remember that on the day I was blind, my friends ditched me. I was forced to wonder around the courtyard of the school in search of someone I knew or my first period class. My Humanities teacher had directed for us all to be led by a more alert member of the High School’s student body while we took part in our class’s little “field experiment”.
It is in my participation that I came to the conclusion that walking up stairs blindfolded was a slow and heart wrenching ordeal, and that open door were not you friends. Moving throughout the hallways in this state was like spinning in a lucid dream.
You know it’s just a dream, but you still find yourself stumbling through that shrinking corridor or chased by that seven-foot pickle in a sombrero. The good news is that people who experience a lucid dream are more likely to awaken from a nightmare. But that’s not going to make the pickle run any slower.
I am one of those people who experience lucid dreams on a more-than-average basis. In all respects, I have come to find that I enjoy the company of this phenomenon more than that of the real world. I find that the simple act of daydreaming can supplement a lucid dream for during the day.
I have devoted notebooks, and journals, and sketchbook pages, and pages to my daydreaming. To my imagination.
Our Humanities class’s most recent installment of the curriculum was “beauty”, which can somewhat explain the blindfold experiment. I’ve tried to grasp the beauty of the outside world, with its flowers, and blue skies, and even its dirty streets while the rest of my class discusses the values of internal beauty. I already find value in that, too much in fact. That’s why I was always thinking of flowers, and blue skies, and the dirty streets.
I was trying to grasp them. I was always trying to grasp the beauty of a cosmetic product, of a shoe.
I just didn’t understand it.
The more I tried to think about it, the harder it got. That’s my problem, I think too much. And the more I thought, the further and further away all those physical things became. The further away the room felt.
I had failed and I was daydreaming again.
I have always had trouble staying in touch with reality; nonetheless find it particularly special. My dreams could trump anything that that physics and biology could muster up.
Reality is a sidewalk, the imagination was that sidewalk covered in graffiti.
But when I was blind for that day, I didn’t daydream at all. Not once. I was too distracted by what I had found. What I had been missing.
It was amazing how much I could see. Perhaps I had adapted far too quickly, but the things that I saw! I had finally caught on to what I had been trying to grasp. What I had been trying to create!
To build the world not as it is, but how you perceive it. To put it all together with sounds, and smells, and touches. To not just see an apple, but to hold it in your hand, feel its firmness and its heart shape, rolling it around in my palm to find it’s knobby stem. I couldn’t smell the fruit, not until I bit into it and my sense of smell and taste merged together into tangy-sweet.
The world isn’t just there anymore. You know it intimately.
Maybe that’s what I was missing. Maybe that’s why I was dreaming so much, creating my own worlds. I couldn’t find this one visually pleasing enough.
But I was such a fool to try to supplement taste, and smell, and feeling. I had so far tried to examine life by putting its elements and it’s morals into my own imagination. I had created drawings, and stories, and worlds, and dreams, but I had always been trying to duplicate the feelings of the outside world.
Feeling I had, feelings I never got.
I had forgotten it was all here. This is what was the source of my lucid dreams. Had I just been too visual? I smiled, because today, it wasn’t a problem.
I was angry with my two unreliable friends. It was because of them that I had suffered the wrath of doors, and a quick and painful trip down the stairs. But I guess I really wasn’t that mad.
I tried to of course, but the feeling of their arms wrapped around mine protectively as they led the way, and the smell of Elizabeth’s laundry detergent and that of Jonathan’s dogs was the most beautiful thing. That was something I could have never simply dreamed about.
I could have never created that.