Karl Boyken – October 23, 2000 Gratitude in Lucid Dreaming


I’m living alone in an apartment. I go into the living room. I try to turn on the lights, but the place remains dark. Then I know I’m dreaming.  


Suddenly, I’m in the basement at Mom and Dad’s, still lucid. But instead of my waking-life parents, the dark-haired woman is my mother, and my father is a guy with salt-and-pepper beard and wavy hair, in his late 30s or early 40s. “Mom” is wearing a blue denim work shirt. She scolds me about some little thing, but I can sense the love beneath her words. I hug her and kiss her on the cheek and tell her she’s great. I thank her for all the help she’s given me over the years. She giggles. “Dad” is fussing with an odd thing, like a two-wheeled cart for a golf bag. He’s a carpenter, and the thing is related to his job. It has a torch on one end, lit. Bob, his helper, comes by. The torch scorches Bob’s blue jeans. We all laugh.  


Comments about this dream: The dark-haired woman is one of my recurring dream figures. She’s been in my dreams since I was a child. We had a very close relationship until I was about 30. She was always nurturing and caring, providing me with an emotional reward, a sense of pure love and well-being, whenever I’d done something well. Then, when I was about 30, I had a dream in which she told me our relationship was changing, she’d no longer be as close to me. I felt rejected and abandoned, but in time, I saw that this was a healthy development. I still see her in my dreams occasionally, but now we’re more like old friends.


This particular dream is unusual, in that it’s the only time I’ve been lucid when I’ve encountered her, and also because the unstated mother-son relationship from my childhood is explicit. I am very happy I had the chance to tell her, lucidly, that I appreciate all she’s done for me. I’ll probably never be sure whether she is a piece of myself or whether she has some kind of independent existence, or whether the distinction is even meaningful. I’m just very glad she’s been a part of my dreams.