Beverly's Autobiography Class Paper
February 9, 1992
Facing the Witches
When I was five or six years old, grusome witches lived in the
back of my dark and scary closet. I'd be quietly playing, and
without notice, they would sneak out and come after me. I'd
scream and run through the house, making it to the back porch, and
sometimes down the back stairs, but never any further. I'd fall
on the cement at the bottom of the stairs, spread eagle on my back, and
just as they were about to devour me, I'd wake up. In an
icy sweat, breathing fast, I'd be terrified of going to sleep
again. For a few weeks, the witches would leave me alone, but,
when I least expected it, they'd be back. After years of this
same recurring dream, I'd find myself pleading, as I lay on the cement
with the witches hovering over me, "Please, spare me tonight. You
can have me in tomorrow's night's dream!" At that point, they'd
stop their attack and I'd wake up. However, the dream was still
very upsetting, and I always hated going to sleep, especially if I ate
anything close to bedtime. My uncle once told me that my dreams
were scary because I ate my Mom's donuts late at night!
One hot, sticky summer night, when I was seven, I was especially afraid
of going to sleep. I hadn't been able to resist having one of my mom's
fresh, warm donuts, and I was sure the witches would appear in my
dreams that night. My mom was sleeping on the living room couch,
which she often did when it was so hot. The front door could be
opened to create a breeze. That was before the days of air
conditioning. So, still being awake about 2am, I grabbed an
old, dark pink, american indian blanket and put it on the floor next to
the couch to be close to my mom, and I fell asleep. Soon, I found
myself back in my bedroom and noticed the closet door creaking
open. I knew at once it was them, and I began to run for my
life. I barely made it through the kitchen. As I raced
across the porch and down the stairs, I tripped as usual and
immediately those horrifying witches caught up to me. The instant
before I started to plead with them, the thought flashed through my
mind, "If I ask them to take me in tomorrow night's dream, then
this must be a dream!" Instantly, my fear dissolved.
I looked the witches straight in the eye and said, "What do you
want?" They gave me a disgusting look, but I knew I was safe in a
dream, and I continued, "Take me now. Let's get this over
with!" I watched with amazement, as they quickly disappeared into
the night. I woke up feeling elated. I knew they were
gone. I never dreamed about witches again.
My dreams were really fun after that night. Remembering the
feeling of facing the witches, I learned to recognize when I was asleep
and dreaming. Safe in the dream, I would do things I'd never do
when awake! Being a very obedient student during the daytime, I
would dream of being in class jumping wildly and carefree all over the
tops of the school desks. Whatever I desired, was possible.
Whatever I thought, would occur. I made up ways to wake myself up
by staring at street lights whenever I wanted to end a dream.
Oftentimes, I would lay in bed imagining myself doing backward
summersaults and float right into my dream without ever losing
consciousness. I even learned to fly in my dreams, first, by
flapping my arms like the wings of a bird, and later, by extending my
arms like superman and just gliding threw the air. I stopped
flying when I devised a way to merely turn around and just "be"
wherever I desired: a beach, Chicago, or even another
planet! However, I missed the sensation of flying, and soon
went back to gliding effortlessly through the air, but now an invisible
force pulls me to unknown, and sometimes undescribable, destinations.
I've had many other adventures in my dreams. Sometimes, I'd visit
and talk with my friend, Denise, who died when I was eighteen.
Once, I went back in time to the year 1974 and met myself at the age of
twenty-one to tell my younger self that "everything is fine." I
solved my writer's block so I could finish my PhD and even let myself
die to see what would happen. I've walked on the moon, merged with the
sun, and have been a star in outer space.
It's been 30 years since that night I first discovered lucid dreaming.
I didn't know it was called that until 1980, when I met and began
working with a scientist at Stanford on dream research. My dreams
have since been featured in many books, major magazines, and television
specials. Recently, I changed my career from working with computers to
teaching lucid dream groups and workshops. I've also used my
lucid dream experiences while asleep, to view life as a dream and
become lucid while awake. When I'm really lucid, I have no fears
and no unmet desires. I just "am." I realize that I am the
dreamer and everyone and everything is a part of my mind, including
those mysterious, and well disguised witches.