You are here: Home / Blog / How Do You Know You Are Awake?

How Do You Know You Are Awake?

How Do You Know You Are Awake?

Tammy October 14, 2017 2 comments
Night Vision - acrylics on 24 x 36 canvass, by Tammy Vitale

Night Vision – acrylics on 24 x 36 canvass, by Tammy Vitale

I am an eagle. In my mouth I/hold a golden fish that/speaks my name.  I let/it go and it becomes a yellow/comet with an orange tail/that trails a word I cannot/read.  I fly into the sun and//through and find/I am a woman who/has been sleeping-//and knows//it’s time to wake.  Tammy Vitale

Have you ever had a dream wherein you think – am I dreaming?  And then you look around and everything seems charged and real and so you decide you aren’t dreaming you’re awake.  Only to awake later and realize you were, in fact dreaming.

There are days when I wonder if I am awake or dreaming.

I think about this a lot.

It made its way into my master’s thesis – an epic poem (here is one stanza )


“Can you see in the dark?”  Wolf eyes are yellow slits not
black pools; curious I did not detect that earlier.
Her fur has dried, her paw is on my leg, her breath is
garlic and seaweed
in my face
and the world has turned to liquid
but I can breathe.

“Open your eyes,” she says.
Having come from campfire light
to ocean dark
opening and closing eyes means nothing

There is no difference between open and closed.

“Leave them open.”  I do not know if it is order
or plea.

Slowly from the midst of darkness forms take shape.
Unfamiliar.  Frightening except for the paw steady and sure.

This is what I see:  there are others here.
Just like me:
blind or half-blind, walking
or crawling, running or sometimes standing,
each with a guide of fin or fur or plant or stone
being led through dusk not black
but shades of ebony and sable, coal and pitch, soot and smudge,
eel slick and obsidian shine
– with phosphorescent rainbows evident if viewed
from just the right angle
a small step to the side
making a large difference
in exactly what comes into view.

I wonder whether I have been moving with my eyes open
or closed.

Which returns me to the title here.  Because I don’t know if we as individuals can see ourselves well enough to know if we are awake or just sleep walking.

And how can you trust someone else?  They may be sleep walking with you, and disappear as soon as you awake.

It’s a conundrum.

Do you ever think of things like this?  I think my blogs these days have more questions than answers.  Then I think of the time at the Awesome Women gathering where I claimed living in the question.  Be careful what you claim.  Perhaps I need a ritual of some sort to move on to the next claim (I am serene, life is easy, everything makes sense).

In Category : Wylde Women


  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    October 15, 2017

    I have realized I am dreaming while dreaming but then chose to continue. In the middle of a bad dream I have realized I am dreaming and decided to either alter the dream or “change the channel” and continue sleeping. I often get answers to questions or problems as I am waking up–or moving from dreams.

    I don’t often have what you described, but as a kid I did some creative dreaming–LOL! I can remember dreaming that I woke up for school and discovered it was Saturday so I went back to bed–but I had dreamt it all–even the waking up–and it wasn’t Saturday. I also dreamt a whole day away–that I had gotten up, gone to school, come home, did homework, watched TV, and went to bed so that it would be Saturday and I could go back to sleep when the alarm went off by accident. (Talk about a night owl being too tired to want to go to school–LOL!)

    Dreams are such fun and interesting things. I think we can travel far and learn much. 😉

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    October 15, 2017

    I love dream research. Have played with Jungian dream expansion from time to time and it’s always fascinating, but I find that you have to focus on keeping up with it every night if you really want it to start working.

  • Send Us A Message Here

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Name *
    Email *