Sunday, October 15, 2017

SleepWalks: a CatNap at Stable Gate Farm, NY, 10/19/17, 8-10pm

Setting up for SleepWalks: A CatNap --->on the New Moon. This is when the lighted side of the Moon faces away from the Earth. This means that the Sun, Earth, and Moon are almost in a straight line, with the Moon in between the Sun and the Earth. (Participants are arriving and noshing on Snacks that I forgot to take photos of---PB&J on whole grain sandwiches shaped like stars, terra chips, gluten free animal crackers, striped fudge cookies, whole milk, almond milk, water, and...

Mugwort Tea is used medicinally for calming nerves, helping with menstrual cycles, taming anxiety, and helping one have lucid dreams–ones where the dreamer is aware that one is dreaming and has at least some control over their dreamworld.

Talking about SleepWalks and SleepWalks: CatNaps to Participants Who Have Just Gotten is crackling. The premise of SleepWalks: CatNaps are based on knowledge of our history, that we used to have a first and second sleep as a culture. In-between sleeps for one or two hours, we would share our dreams with a partner (and/or have sex). Some would even leave the house to talk to neighbors, pray together, sew, or chop wood. Then, it was back to sleep for second sleep, a more restful sleep. Some literature shows that insomnia began being references about the time when sleep became more consolidated. This may be due to streetlamps, coffee shops, and other post-industrial changes to our every day culture.

Participants are then offered to choose either Lavendar Oil (for Calming) or Geranium Oil (for Comforting)

Dream Journals and Pens are then Handed Out and lights slowly dim and go out. Some participants may sleep, some may rest, some may lucid dream. I perform a 45-minute soundscape based on the theme of water with a palette of sounds that are somewhat composed, but mostly I improvise. Some effects are used, and some live instruments are used as well but always woven into the soundscape. 

The various soundscapes for this CatNap...that I remember...included sounds of a bell (live in mic), a stream, a waterfall, Santa Fe River downtown, downtown Santa Fe, playing a singing bowl near a roadway in Innsbruck, Austria, foghorns/boats/Pacific Ocean at night in the Headlands, CA, walking through a tunnel of active windchimes, a thunderstorm, walking on gravel, playing gamelan, playing a small singing bowl (live in mic), seeds, Native Americans who attend San Isidro Church and some invited visiting artists singing blessings to the river in Santa Fe, NM where the river was dry, singing bowls that were blessed at the oldest bell foundry in Austria, and crickets. It got a bit chilly as it took me awhile as I was immersed in performing to realize the fire had gone out. I tried to get it going quickly again at the very end of the performance. I didn't have a blanket, but participants did. However, it must have been noticeably cooler. 

Towards the end, I slowly activate the soundscape to help awaken participants. I played the sound of a gong sample along with ringing out a singing bowl in the room. I then slowly turn up the lights asking participants to begin to wiggle their fingers and toes. As they awaken, I ask that their experiences are to be written down in the dream journal. I usually collect them all at the end, however, for this CatNap I offered that if they like they could keep them. About half of the participants kept their journal, and some told me that they found it to be wonderfully introspective and personal. Below are journals from the participants who chose to share their experiences. 





Participants Then Get Into Groups, Meet Their Neighbors, and Discuss Their Experience Together After Their "First Sleep"

We then discuss "What Are Dreams?" together as a group. Scientists still do not know exactly what dreams are for, yet we spend about 25 years of our lives asleep and dreaming. Are they for collecting and organizing our thoughts from the daytime? Are they for problem solving? Are they VR simulators so we can take risks and not die, learning how to survive longer and better? Are they to connect with our elders, our ancestors for wisdom and spirituality? Are they to embody others to form understanding or send a message from beyond? Our group brought up each of these as reasons for dreaming. (sorry if I left off more, feel free to let me know and I can post more here.)

I then played an energizing large crystal singing bowl to awaken everyone to be able to get safely home for their second sleep. For this CatNap, I added a new thing...perhaps participants could also write down their experience after second sleep. Any dreams? What would they be like? I handed out my cards with earplugs attached to them so they could go to my website to go to where they could type in a dream. But perhaps uploading a photo of an entry in a physical dream journal would have been easier I realize in hindsight. I only received one reply, and no dreams were recalled by this participant. I myself did not remember a dream even though I set an intent. And I remembered that hm, well if second sleep used to be about having a more restful sleep, deep sleep is our most restful state of sleep. After deep sleep, we often do not recall our dreams when we wake up. 

Here is a CatNap participant's entry (Thank You!): 

1. Do you remember having any dreams last night during your 2nd sleep? 
Maybe, but the recall is too vague

2. If you remember a dream or dreams, please describe them here: 
So sorry! I slept pretty well, but wasn't able to capture any dreams last night...

I can describe a recurring dream that I used to have when I was much younger. A fleeing dream involving a rolling fire ball with glowing embers and a vein like structure! Running to get away, always getting closer, though sometimes I'd turn a corner, only to have it reappear a while later. Perhaps it was cyclical; never reached an end. But definitely a nightmare!

Went away maybe 20 years ago? After marriage and having kids? I guess age and stage of life shapes our dreamscapes.

Some images from last evening, is case you couldn't read the handwriting were of a black and white tessilated grainy image of. A human figure, spread eagle like, with a board in front of the as if confining them or barring their passage. ... And then another human, only manga like in its illustration, clambering about, perhaps reclining in a post and beam construction that looked something like the skeleton of a wooden ship, only more comical in its rendering. Thought I would at least share that!

Thanks again for last evening. The sounds were deep and gorgeous.

3. Please describe the overall feeling you had in the dream:

Here is my entry (I had not looked at the CatNap Journals yet nor had I read the other web entry yet):

1. Do you remember having any dreams last night during your 2nd sleep? 

2. If you remember a dream or dreams, please describe them here: 
I do not recall my dreams from last night. I did however, get inspired to draw before sleeping. I have been waiting for some art supplies that I ordered to reach me, and they arrived yesterday. I was eager to try out the new ink pens, ink and brush even though I was quite sleepy. I think because I had watched someone draw and ink a bug not long ago, but also the cricket sounds somehow lingered with me this time at the CatNap, I ended up drawing an insect, a large bug like a moth or fly in pen and turquoise ink. It was chewing a hole through a very large leaf. Grotesque? But when I looked at it, it was brightly colored, vibrant, and I did not perceive it as damaging but as creating an "opening" to get through to the other side, the sky. It was a way to look through and travel beyond. 

3. Please describe the overall feeling you had in the dream:

Here is a portion of my ink drawing:


A Big Thank You to Val, Stable Gate Farm, and all CatNap Participants! <3

SleepWalks: CatNap at Biocultura in Santa Fe, NM, May 2017!

Dream journals will be posted here shortly!