Awakening from the lucid dream5 min read

Illustration by Guweiz

As I entered the Facility, I could see Nicole sitting on a folding chair and tapping away frantically on her Gemini PDA, in what looked like a very temporary desk setup.

“That looks very uncomfortable!” I remarked.

She didn’t reply, but I didn’t expect a reply. She was clearly too busy and in a rush to get stuff done. Why all the clickety-clack, wasn’t the phone team around, just inside? Oh, she must be dealing with suppliers.

I moved past the tiny entrance lobby and into a slightly larger mess hall where I saw a bunch of people spread around the room, near tables hugging the walls, and having a gathering that seemed a bit like a hackfest “breakroom” discussion, with various people from the outside. At one of the tables, over what seemed like a grid of brainstorming papers, I saw Kat, who was busy with three other people, planning some sort of project sprint.

“Are you using Scrum?” I prompted.

“I am, but I don’t think they are” she answered, heads down in preparation work to assemble a team.

While I was happy to see her familiar face, her presence struck me as odd; what would Kat, a Collabora QA team lead, be doing managing community folks on-site at a Purism facility in California? I would have thought Heather (Purism’s phone project manager) would be around, but I didn’t see her or other recognizeable members of the team. Well, probably because I was just passing through a crowd of 20 people spread on tables around a lobby area—a transitional space—set up as an ad-hoc workshop. One of the walls had big windows that let me see into a shipping area and actual meeting rooms. I went to the meeting rooms.

As I entered a rectangular, classroom-like area, I found a hackfest—or rather a BoF session—taking place. In one of the table rows, I was greeted by Zeeshan Ali and Christian Hergert, who were having some idle chat.

As I shook their hands I said, “Hello old friends! Long time no see! Too bad this isn’t real.”

“How do you know this is not real?” Christian replied.

I slapped myself in the face, loudly, a couple of times. “Well,” I said, “even though these slaps feel fairly real, I’m pretty sure that’s just my mind playing a trick on me.”

I knew I was inside a mind construct, because I didn’t know the purpose of my visit nor how I’d got here… I knew I didn’t have the luxury to be flying across the continent on my own to leisurely walk into a hackfest I had no preparation for, and I knew Purism weren’t the ones paying for my trip: they no longer were my client since my last visit at the beginning of the summer.

Christian & Zeeshan were still looking at me, as if waiting to confirm I was lucid enough.

“The matrix isn’t that good,” I sighed.

A couple of seconds later, my eyes opened and I woke up. Looking at the bedside clock, it was 4:45 AM.

“Ugh, I hate to be right sometimes.”


It had been quite a long time since I last had a lucid dream, so I jotted this one down for further analysis. After all, good ol’ Sigmund always said,

“The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.”

…and lo, the dream I had that night was very much fashioned upon the context I have found myself in recently. Having been recently freed from an all-consuming battlefront, I can now take a step back to reposition myself, clear the fog and enjoy the summer after the last seven months of gray and gloomy weather. The coïncidences and parallels to be drawn—between the weather, this dream, and reality—are so many, it’s uncanny.

It is much like a reawakening indeed.

As I looked at all this today, I thought it would make a great introduction for me to resume blogging more regularly. And, well, it’s a fun story to share.


This summer, as I now have some “personal R&D” time for the first time in many years, I am taking the opportunity to get back on track regarding many aspects of my digital life:

  • sorting out and cleaning up data from various projects;
  • getting back to “Inbox Zero”;
  • upgrading my software & personal systems;
  • reviewing my processes & tools for greater efficiency and effectiveness;
  • taking care of my web infrastructure and online footprint.

As part of this R&D phase, I hope to drain the swamp and start blogging again. Here’s the rough roadmap of what I plan to be writing about:

  1. a statement of availability for hire (or as a friend once said to me in 2014 on the verge of a crowdfunding campaign: “Where have all the cowboysgood managers gone?“);
  2. a retrospective on “What the hell have I been up to for the last few years”;
  3. maybe some stories of organizations outside GNOME or the IT industry, for variety;
  4. lifehacks and technical discoveries I’ve found in that time;
  5. personal productivity tips & food for thought.

If I get to #3, 4, 5 in the coming months, I’ll consider that pretty good. And if there’s something you’d really like to see me write about in particular, feel free to contact me.