The Transfiguration

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Time Capsules of the Day #2591

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Time Capsules of the Day #2591

I haven’t shot film since high school, but I’ve managed to hold on to a few canisters for about eight years now. I discovered them again during the move, and was surprised to find that a few of them were exposed – they’ve been waiting here with unprocessed photos for all this time, and I haven’t the slightest idea what’s on them.

Last night I dreamed that I set out to develop them. It was very pragmatic for a dream – I looked up local photo labs online, picked one near work, and made my way there to see if I could use their equipment. Only one man was there, and the place felt more like a chemistry lab than a darkroom, but I was still so happy to be there – joining the lab to discover my old photos was such an exciting prospect. I left the place without developing the film, planning to return later, and found that the entrance to the place was hidden in a cavernous warehouse, sunlight filtering in through massive gridded windows.

That’s the second photo lab dream I’ve had recently. The previous one was buried, but now that I’m on this line of thought it feels like such an obvious memory – like I’ve been aware of it for the past month.

There are many projects to work on, but getting these developed is a relatively quick one. I should be able to solve this little mystery soon.

through with pacifizers

Written by Umbrella Man

October 26, 2015 at 11:11 pm

Posted in dreams

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Setting of the Day #2588

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Setting of the Day #2588

I will still occasionally have dreams about the homes I grew up in. Often they’re at Mom’s old duplex, especially on the street outside or the pillared steps to the front door; sometimes they’re in Dad’s apartment building, which is prone to growing new elevators and labyrinthine corridors. It’s very rare for me to dream about whatever other home I’ve lived in; I can’t recall a single one from Santa Cruz (though the campus itself has hosted many dreams in which I’ve forgotten a class for an entire quarter), and I don’t think I dreamed about the apartment I shared with Pearce.

The other night I had what might be a dream about this place, but it was an isolated unit, half the size, and most of the walls were missing, making it closer to an archaeological dig site than a livable space. The home had been foreclosed, and I was relegated to a peculiar house open to the elements, with carpet-softened clockwork made to transport me to my room on the upper floor.

How long do you have to live in a place for your unconscious to register it as home, and make it a permanent dream setting for the rest of your life?

different things to me

Written by Umbrella Man

October 23, 2015 at 11:30 pm

Posted in dreams, places

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Dream of the Day #2438

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Dream of the Day #2438

I woke from a dream an hour early this morning, and once the world had stabilized I was compelled to write it down, swiping the words into my phone and feeling surprisingly lucid for how tired I was:


Went to some class about computer engineering and we just talked about Slack’s branding. Their name was a portmanteau of the founders’ unlikely names, and we talked about the cultural significance of waffles and the hash mark. Archaeology students worked on the decaying building immediately behind the outdoor lecture and one of them dropped her notes into our class by accident.

Bought a new motorcycle and inexpertly drove it towards home, making the engine overheat several times and occasionally drifting into the opposite lane. I had difficulty deciding when to shift between the 3 gears, and would sometimes try to pedal it as if it were a bicycle. When rain fell from the trees I tried to catch it to cool the engine, and it hissed when it splashed into it.

Rolled through downtown Berkeley, where several friends from high school were taking part in some outdoor sleepover event. Couches were laid out on the sidewalk and full of people in conversation, and blankets lined the street itself. I rolled my motorcycle onto the blanket before I realized my mistake, and got off to say hello and carry the bike somewhere better.

Just about everyone was angry at me, bitter and silent, and not because of the motorcycle. Jacob wouldn’t make eye contact with me, and Adam Miller wouldn’t say a word. Only Ben and Leo and some strangers would speak to me, and Ben or Brian mentioned how some public letter from Michelle had done a number on my reputation.

A girl I didn’t know asked about the motorcycle and another asked about my fit bit, and I felt guilty for having enough money to buy these dumb unnecessary things when my friends were getting by on so little.

I had some brief conversation with Leo and another person, who said some other person was weird. Leo and I started to get into an argument about what it means to be weird and I said that if we were just going to talk semantics we wouldn’t have that conversation.

I was standing behind a couch that Jeff was sitting in, and he also refused to speak to me. He muttered something to someone next to him as a message for me, and without looking in my direction passed me my old Hello book, which in this dream was also one of the Draw Something books. Michelle had got ahold of it somehow and distributed it to denounce me. I looked inside, and all the signatures in the inside cover had been removed, leaving only the words that mentioned me. Many people’s pages had been censored in this way, making the book seem like some strange egoistic creation of mine. When I came to Michelle’s page I found that I had pasted over her work with something typed out by someone else – some offense I had done long ago, that maybe lead her to do this.

I started to wake up here, and the reality of the book slowly dissolved. With eyes still closed, I tried to explore the book further, but it was artificial now, and Michelle’s motivations weren’t there to understand anymore.


There was a lot of nonsense in this dream, but it felt unusually cohesive, and the way I felt interacting with people – the nitpicky conversation with Leo, that economic guilt about my gadgets, the dread that I had somehow wronged Michelle – were so much more grounded, felt so much more real than what I’m used to in my dreams.

I woke next to Laurel and she was sleeping heavily, but Zinky was making his rounds on the bed. Once I was finished writing he burrowed into the blankets between us, and slowly tunneled through them all the way to the foot of the bed. It was dark and I was hardly coordinated enough to photograph him properly, so here is an anonymous fuzz-shadow receding into the blankets.

jazzy piano

Written by Umbrella Man

May 26, 2015 at 11:21 pm

Posted in animals, cats, dreams

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Dust of the Day #2089

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Dust of the Day #2089

The path home this morning was wreathed in a dusty sort of light, and the curve of the rails above drew me forward as I pedaled. I took a quick photo without stopping – the early sun seemed worth keeping.

I was out early because a dream had woken me, and after I’d taken the time to write it down I felt awake enough to get on with the day.

In my dream I had commandeered a submarine, and a song in my head – some blend of Andrew Bird and Fleet Foxes – compelled me to bring it to the peak of deep-sea spire. With the vessel settled on the rock, I began to pull the bolts out of the walls, and gradually the entire structure split apart. Suspended safe in my diving suit, I watched as the remains of the submarine fell away from me, scraping its way into the abyss. Other sunken ships and shanty-town ruins (sea shanties?) became visible, then crumbled as my submarine tore away their foundations. I was left hanging there in the dark, unsure of what to do, so I just swam. Eventually, in the middle of the night, I found my way to a grassy island full of goats, their wool very soft and very thick.

I love these deep-diving dreams, even if they are uncertain and at times a bit scary. There is something about floating there, feeling the water surrounding me, that makes everything seem so intimate and beautiful.

I mentioned the dream to Lauren, and she suggested that it portrayed my current career position – how I may be pulling out bolts now to try and explore something else. It seems unlikely that my subconscious was trying to make that point, but perhaps it’s still a notion worth entertaining.

you should come back home

Written by Umbrella Man

June 12, 2014 at 12:47 am

Posted in dreams, transit

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Stage of the Day #1728

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Stage of the Day #1728

I’ve dreamed more than one apocalyptic dream at this intersection before. It’s one of a few places from my life that have acted as recurring stages for dreams, along with my middle school and the duplex I lived in until 9th grade. These dreams have happened long after I’ve left the place, with nothing in particular to remind me of them. I don’t know why, but these locales have gained some permanent subconscious prevalence, like a small director in my mind has decided they’re the go-to resource for constructing a dream world.

I rarely dream about my current home; if a dream’s setting is real, it’s almost always from somewhere long ago. In a few years, perhaps, I’ll start dreaming about Santa Cruz – something to look forward to.

Where do your dreams take place? Do you keep returning to any of them?

you should be picking me up

Written by Umbrella Man

June 16, 2013 at 3:09 am

Posted in dreams, places

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Border of the Day #1686

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Border of the Day #1686

This is, perhaps, a frustrated view from the edge of sleep – one eye unfocused and one buried un the pillow, head heavy, held back from rest by headache or fretful thoughts.

I slept a bit fitfully last night, and woke woozy and uncomfortable, but the morning was rich with dreams: Anton’s coming wedding, a vespine pin made from spun sugar, a sword inhabited by the spirit of a stubborn geisha, sandy cliffs that collapsed despite my attempts to hold them up…

I had an image of holding a kitten as the sands fell on us, and bending over to form an arched roof that protected it from harm. Too young to understand, it meandered about beneath me, wide-eyed, oblivious, and I wondered how I might stand up out of the sand without hurting the tiny thing. I don’t remember if this was a dream or a post-dream musing, but the scene is strong enough to be either.

Hopefully sleep will be a bit easier tonight, but dreams do make a worthy consolation prize if I don’t wake up refreshed.

nothing you can sing that can’t be sung

Written by Umbrella Man

May 5, 2013 at 1:57 am

Posted in dreams

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Blade of the Day #1614

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Blade of the Day #1614

Despite my curtain’s best efforts, this white-hot ray of light manages to sneak in through the window every morning, striking my eyes, cleaving my dreams, and rendering me awake and befuddled. Drowsy and dazed, I rarely have the clarity of mind to roll into a postion safe from the sun; it’s sometimes difficult, even, to understand what exactly is preventing me from sleeping. As a result I often twist and curl at random, passing under the sun’s blade several times before fortuitously coming to a spot where I can sleep for another hour or so.

It seems that the light does indeed cleave dreams, as I can hardly remember anything of this morning’s unconscious exploits. I know they were there – I still have the dregs of drama, a faint scent of action and duty – but all that remains now is an image of a Penrose triangle, cut open at one corner, floating in a white void.

Once I’m awake and lucid, of course, the sun is kind – it was a beautiful day, and I stopped at the park to read and nap under a blue sky. And if I were to sleep at more reasonable hours, the sun and I would rise together, never fighting over the bed like this.


Written by Umbrella Man

February 22, 2013 at 1:52 am

Posted in dreams, light

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