Wrestling a dream report from the Undertoad

Just for fun, here's a note from my journal on what it took to bring home a report from a dream excursion in the early hours today:

To bed after 3 am still fizzing with excitement over all my discoveries in a late night reading binge. I am in bed less than two hours before I shoot up to the surface from a dream I nearly lose because sleep still grips me like a powerful undertow, trying to pull me back down. I also need to go to the bathroom.
    Torn between the call to the bathroom, the tug of sleep, and the fading brilliance of the dream, I choose the dream. I will myself to peck out the details of my dream excursion, fighting with sleep, eyelids closing after every few words, making endless typos, hauling myself back. In that other world

I am wearing a white terrycloth robe with a dark blue bird, wings spread in flight, over the pocket. It’s just a bathrobe but people think I am a wizard in professional garb.

When I’ve captured the essential scenes, I flop back against the pillows. The bathroom can wait. And it does, until I surface with another dream after another hour, eager to get that down too and see if my earlier efforts were worthwhile. They were. I am energized and delighted, with further first-hand confirmation that in dreams, we can travel without leaving home.
     I reflect on my relationship with the undertow of sleep. I want to call it the Undertoad, a word John Irving gave us in The World According to Garp. Let me be clear that I am not opposed to sleep. I have simply never needed or wanted to conk out and sleep like the dead for six or seven or eight hours at a go as some recommend. All of my life I have been a biophasic or polyphasic sleeper, resting and dreaming in two or more periods within the diurnal cycle,avoiding set routines as far as I can manage. In these lockdown times, when I don't have to get to an airport to catch a plane or start an in-person workshop on time, I am more than ever master of my own cycle. I don't recommend that anyone should try to follow my cycles unless you receive a strong direct calling and your metabolism can sustain it.
     When I have to sleep it may be because my body demands some industrial rest and I listen to my body more often than not. On some occasions I have to lie down  because something or someone in another reality is calling me. Robert, we need you now. When I heed this summons I may find myself back in a continuous life drama that has been unfolding over years in an alternate reality. Sometimes I find myself on assignment, called to help someone who is in trouble on either side of physical death. Often I am called to lead workshops (this was going again this morning), to play teacher and healer,or commune with colleagues in the scholar city of Anamnesis or in the astral realm of Luna. Again and again, I find the ancestors calling, calling. Ancestors of my bloodlines,and of the lands where I have lived or traveled  and of spiritual lineages connected to mine.
     How much I can bring back from these excursions sometimes depends on how willing I am to wrestle with sleep or routine signals from the soft animal of the body. My ability to satisfy the wishes of the body, and of sleep, and dream, is greatest when I can trip lightly trough the twilight space between awake and sleep, and sleep and awake, and greatest of all when I can sustain continuity of consciousness through all the transitions. But sometimes the transits are sudden and bumpy, like Jake Sully jolting in and out of his glorious blue body in Avatar, or Ed Harris coming up from The Abyss, or David Bowie’s landing in The Man Who Fell to Earth. It’s all good.
    One more time: please do not attempt try to follow my example-and definitely not,my polyphasic relationship with sleep! - unless you find this natural and irresistible. To riff on a saying of the dream shamans of the Daur Mongols, everyone has their own dream road, everyone has their own sky to fly.

Drawing: "The Man Who Fell to Earth" by Robert Moss