i know because i had emailed a friend:
snoring guard nearby
drone of machinery.
not at all zen
and after that the music blasted up the spiral stairway
of the rubin museum. computer glitch. apologies.
i lay in my sleeping bag under padmasambhava
thinking two things:
i will not fall asleep. i want to get out.
in order to participate in this 'dreamover'
i had agreed to stay until 9 am. sigh.
i think about the title of a david foster wallace essay:
'a supposedly fun thing i'll never do again'
we'd arrived at the rubin museum of himalayan art
on seventeenth street at 8 p.m. attired in
nightwear and schlepping our bedding.
on the second floor in a cozy alcove i meet the art that has been selected for me to dream under:
padmasambhava and his consort, a large tanka painted in exquisite detail, in bright primary colors.
to make their acquaintance i do a sketch.
at 9:15 we make our way down to the theater
for a presentation by dream expert deidre barrett and
khenpo lama pema wangdak - science and faith paired.
we learn that we sleep in 90 minute cycles ending in
REM sleep. we learn that in buddhist practice
dreaming and reality are one. that's obviously oversimplified
but it's the most lucid line in my notes.
lama pema gives us blessing 'pills' - an unnamed herb that i hope will help me sleep.
there is a 'midnight snack' at 10:30.
delicious plums. crisp raw almonds.
herbal tea and so to bed.
well, sleeping bag.
my storyteller recounts a tale of padmasambhava
the lights do not dim, nor does the music cease
until midnight. i can hear it despite the
earplugs. around me it seems that everyone
is drifting into the arms of morpheus
(to mix mythologies). i toss. i shift.
the drone of a machine is making me crazy.
presently a guard in a nearby corner commences to snore.
i trade my earplugs for earbuds and play a white noise app.
i play plane noise.
i play train noise.
i play frogs chirping that i recorded at
snow farm in the spring. under all of this
i still hear the cyclic drone of the machine.
i get up and walk down to the cafe
to see if there are any other insomniacs.
there are not. i am a sleep/dream failure.
i send another email:
it doesnt matter where the fuck you are
if you can't sleep.
if i have to be up at 2:11
i'd rather be watching
i think about the movie 'inception'
hours, inevitably, pass.
i must have dozed off after four. before 6:00 i am aware of the
'dream gatherers' walking about enabling us to tell our dreams.
i have nothing to tell. i think of a short story by
truman capote about a man who steals dreams.
in the hour til breakfast i try to doze
with no luck. i pack up my campsite, get dressed
and go downstairs. there are crayons and paper
to draw your dreams. sigh
blessedly there is good, strong coffee.
the dream pages are strung as prayer flags
in the lobby as we leave.
of some dreams i'm envious.
of others not so much.