I’m back and all is well. I made it throught the night, even in the torrential downpour that lasted an hour or so, and the steady drizzle the rest of the night. I was glad that I had put up my tarp ahead of time. In fact, I spent most of the night being too warm, as I had set up the tarp in such a way that I couldn’t get far enough away from the fire. But when it comes to being wet, I would sure rather be too warm than too cold.

My goals for this overnight were simply to actually do it, instead of chickening out. I wanted to make it 24 hours with no food and no sleep, just to prove to myself that I could. I forgot to mention in the previous post that I have tried fasting before too. Even if I allow myself things like juice and broth, so really I’m getting plenty of calories, I crave BREAD! JUST GIVE ME THE BREAD AND NO ONE GETS HURT. THAT’S RIGHT JUST TOSS OVER THE WHOLE LOAF. I’ve done 24 hours before, but it was miserable.

So I would consider the last 24 hours to be a moderate success. I didn’t have much of a problem with hunger at all. It came up a few times, and I just practiced acknowledging it and letting it go. (I say this to myself in the same tone as the martial arts guy in Napoleon Dynamite…”Just break the wrist and walk away. Break the wrist and walk away.” “Acknowledge the hunger and let it go. Acknowledge the hunger and let it go.”) Worked great, and it wasn’t really a struggle at all.

I did doze off a little towards the end of the night. Geez, who knew that nights lasted so long? But I woke up in plenty of time to keep the fire going all night. At one point, as I was not quite asleep, but not quite awake either, but still aware of the sound of raindrops on the tarp above me and the crackling of the fire, I sort of half-dreamt an interesting scene.

There is a small pure white animal, either a dog or a horse, and there are very small drops of blood coming from its neck or front shoulder. Four drops of bright red blood land on its pure white fur, making a square. A small black ant scurries from the top of the picture to the bottom, stopping at the lower right spot of blood to take a sip and then exiting the scene. Interesting, but I’m not sure that it counts as anything prophetic. But I’m happy with the kindergarten version of a vision on my kindergarten version of a vision quest. It wasn’t my intention to have any kind of vision at all, so I’ll consider it a neat bonus.

On a note unrelated to visions, I’ve confirmed that a tarp and a good sleeping bag are all I need for camping. I’m happy to give up my joint custody of a tent I’ve been sharing with an ex-camping partner. The tarp setup I used last night wasn’t ideal, but it still worked better than a tent. Plus the tarp was clear, so I could see the sky and not get rained on. The only thing that could have been a problem was if it was really windy, I might have been more rained on. But if I was in a tent, I probably would have got wet anyway, and I wouldn’t have been able to sleep next to the fire and dry out so quickly. Of course, there are drawbacks to any setup, and sleeping next to the fire last night means that I am patching my Thermarest this morning. Ya, it’s a rough life.

I also had an interesting dream, when I was pretty much fully asleep someteime early this morning before the sun came up. It’s a bit long for the front page, so click to read more.

Was walking home from work or school or something and saw a Room For Rent sign. I wasn’t in the market for a room, but the house was in the middle of a shortcut on the way home. I thought I would shortcut through the house, in the side door and out the front door. When I went in the door, there was a dark-skinned kid and his mother sitting on the steps holding the For Rent sign. I thought that they were going to ask me about the room, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to explain what I was doing there if the house wasn’t mine. After some confusion, it turned out that they were actually the current renters of the room. They had to move, and there was some animosity between them and the house-owner. The house owner had told them that if they needed someone to stay with them to help them pack and move, they could. So I was trying to explain to them that I didn’t need a place to stay, and they were trying to convince me that it would be a good deal to stay with them for free until they moved out.

At some point, they changed from being a kid and his mom to being some sort of dwarves. I realize that they are some sort of low-level supernatural beings, and their move is a result of some sort of change in the supernatural phenomenon that they are involved in. All of these beings are moving, but I don’t know exactly where. I think maybe they are all moving into a main fortress, and that I have heard something about it on the streets. I extricate myself from them and walk towards the front door, where I’m planning to exit and continue home. Sitting in a chair in the entryway is another dwarf, an older woman, and she engages me in conversation. She talks very forcefully, and when I try to ask her why it is that so many of them are on the move, she just talks louder and continues with her sentence. I decided to just try to listen to what she’s saying and see if I can piece together any of the information that I want, but I can’t really follow any of what she’s saying. It’s a lot to do with people and dates and geographical locations…like a history of the migrations of her people.

Just as I’m trying again to exit, the front door opens and the home owners walk in. I realize that I have actually met these people before, maybe when I was cutting through their house sometime in the past. It’s a man and his wife, and a female roommate who I have a crush on. I act as if I belong there, and greet them. The man acts pleased to see me, chats for a few minutes, and then tells me with faked pleasantness that they have a house party planned and so it would be best for me to be getting along. As he’s telling me this, he has grabbed my elbow and is hurrying me towards the side door where I came in. The roommate that I have a crush on hurries up on the other side of me and says, “Actually, the party is just for the couples, not for the roommates so you can hang out with me. There are ripe apricots in the backyard. Do you want to go pick some apricots with me?” She takes my hand (the one not attached to the elbow being hurried along my the man) and takes me towards another door that I hadn’t seen before.

The man asks me if I know how to take care of myself out there. I forget some of the dialogue, but he wants to know if I can identify the tracks of the major predators. I list the tracks that I know how to identify, and tell him that I just got back from a week of tracking wolves. “Okay, you know how to take care of yourself then,” he says, and lets me go.

As we step out onto a back patio, the man is turning up the music in the house to get ready for his house party. It is really loud, and the cute roommate and I start dancing a little bit on the steps. The neighbors can hear the music loudly too, and a girl from next door comes out and starts dancing on her steps. She comes over and the three of us start looking at books together. The neighbor has a book that looks the same as my History of Weyerhouser book, but is actually a course catalog for some crazy alternative college in Australia. I start telling her about how someone I know has gone there. In the dream, I remember that JM has gone to that college, and it’s all mixed up with his story about sneaking into some African country in the train bathroom and pondering the feasibility of swimming the alligator-infested river to get back out.

Meanwhile, more and more people are arriving for the house party and many of them are hanging out in the back/side yard with drinks in hand. I am watching the people, and also balancing while I walk up the banister of the back stairs. It is dark outside now, and the yellow porch light is on. There are woods around us and the yellow light makes everything seem hazy in the dusk. I am walking up and down the banister when I notice claw marks in the wood. I count five distinct claws, dug deep. I start to wonder if a porcupine could do that, but I know they are bear claws. I feel proud of myself for knowing that. There is something vaguely supernatural about them too. Like the story of Thirteen and her husband who became a bear.

The man who owns the house comes out to the yard to visit with his guests and sees me there. He’s been drinking and is feeling flirtatious. He has small, dark wings on his back, and he sings some sort of little tune to me. On the last line he flutters up into the air a few feet and glides back down on the high, held-out last note. While he does this, he is making eye contact and fluttering his eyelashes at me, in some sort of sarcastic flirting. I decide to show him up, so I jump into the air to show him how to really fly. As I do that, I realize that I’m wearing a skirt and no underwear, this distracts me from the flying so that I barely get off the ground. I fly a circle just barely off the ground, and I realize that I have to stop trying so hard if I want it to work. I close my eyes, and everything in the dream goes to white, with a discontinuous black line through the middle. I feel myself soaring higher, and as I start to fly away from the man (he’s the only one watching me, the others at the party haven’t noticed me), I look back over my shoulder at him. I am flying away from him at just above head height, and he is watching me with his mouth open looking shocked. I wonder for a second if it’s because of the flying or because of the missing underwear. I wink at him, and decide that it’s probably the flying.

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