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Poirot's Flight

Dreamed 1994/11/15 by Chris Wayan

Dream 1: A LUCID SEA

I take a walk on my parents' street, but it's all changed. Below their house, the wilderness is gone. So are the views: the wooded hills are all homes and laundry lines and kids.

And deep in the canyon gleams an inlet of the sea! The sea has risen.

Safeway Supermarket was there, but it's been swallowed. Much of the slope down by the water has been bulldozed; bare jagged rock now. I look again at the sea lapping at the canyon and realize this can't be right--even if I were in the future, the shell of the store and the apartment buildings near it would rise from the flood. This is America, no one cleans up their messes!

Yet there's absolutely nothing there.

This has to be a dream. All these changes are just to get me to notice! I go lucid, for the first time in months. But... I have no idea what to do with that insight! Nothing changes. I don't fly, no wonderful colors, no magic. So it's a dream, so what? Here it is. Now what?

Something else is needed, beyond bare lucidity.


I'm Hercule Poirot. I love my work, solving crimes--if they're novel enough for my palate.

I am at present in Alaska, in a town called Seward, helping the police with a puzzling case I very much enjoy. But then... a detective asks me to help with a second case. He drops me off at the scene of the crime, in a strange tract of townhouses, all several stories high, set on cobblestone boulevards. A tract without yards, trees, autos, people. Not a dog! Just a maze of maisons, shoulder-to-shoulder. I shudder and go inside.

To find this murder is child's play! The shy young man did it, I know that instantly. I find the murder weapon under the third giant bowling ball.

So predictable! They didn't need Poirot for this! I'm insulted and walk out in disgust.

There's a fascinating case of murder across town and up the road, near the isthmus from Kenai to mainland Alaska. According to my map, the nearest town is called Hope. I see no taxis in this barbaric place, so I set out on foot.

But I find there is no way out of the tract! The streets are huge and endless and curve back on themselves. No taxis, no telephones, no shops--and no exit. A truly American circle of the Inferno.

I walk stubbornly, determined, but, I confess, fatigued by the second mile, and worried by the third.

I recall a recent dream with much the savor of this gray journey. Infinite effort, leading nowhere but to exhaustion. Perhaps it was a warning? I abhor nightmares, especially dull ones. I am being made mock! And by houses! I will not walk in circles like a pony blindfolded!

So I stop, lean upon my umbrella, and ponder. What do I, Hercule Poirot, want?

I summon a small aeroplane. It circles, then lands in the boulevard. There is no pilot, for I did not ask. I get in and it "revs its prop" as the American say, and bounces along the empty street, leaping at last into the air. Sans pilot, it bears me up, beyond this town so treacherous, and north, over forests and highways, toward Hope.

You perhaps suspect that, as I stood in that dismal street, I deduced I was dreaming, for only in Hell is there no exit. Yet, I did not. I never considered the question. My nature is too simple for such abstractions, you see.

I merely decided to change the world, without regard for its ultimate nature. What do I care for metaphysics? I am Poirot, a born detective, and a case is calling! I must rise over the houses in my way. Ergo, a plane.

And the universe, you see, (whatever it is) complied. As soon as I decided to change it calmly, with confidence... and stopped trying to prevail by effort grim.


These twin dreams make a point I instinctively understood already, for I haven't bothered much with lucid dreaming, hot though it is these days in dream research. I'm clearly capable of checking, but I usually don't bother. I didn't really understand why.

The first dream spelled it out: "Lucidity is just insight, and mere insight without action--without goals--leads nowhere."

The second said "Grim perseverance fails too. Be clear what you truly want in your world... then just ASK!"

I'm good at working oh-so-hard on either one, insight or will... and always forgetting the other. When a clear purpose makes them balance, insight and will--without lucidity or effort.

LISTS AND LINKS: lucid dreams - I'm Just Not Myself Today - dream identities - detective dreams - prayers and wishes - flying - skills and mastery - planes and choppers - dreams on dreams - I dream I'm Hercule again, in Poirot and the Dickheads - the original Hercules solves a crime via a dream: Goblet of Gold

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