Monday, November 2, 2009

In Your Dreams

I was reminded last night as to why I don't normally look to my dreams for inspiration - they don't make any sense. Which is not to say that my dreams come free of narrative, because they do not. I'm not sure if it's a by-product of my being a writer or what, but for the most part, those dreams I have which I am aware of come with a certain narrative flow. Not necessarily a plot, mind you, because I think if you say plot it implies certain things about structure which are most definitely not the case. Rather, it's more of a free form prose device, where one thing flows into the next without any real regard for the larger story.

Most of the time.

On occasion, I will have a dream that could be translated into a complete story, or that at the very least provides some sort of kernel that could be nurtured into something more. They've even been written down. The ideas, mind you, not the full-fledged stories. So far I'm not sure I've put any of them into so many words as to count for a full story. It may well be that they aren't meant to be, either. I tend not to have whole stories pop into my head anyway, as things almost always occur to me in just lines or even more nebulous ideas.

I'm generally not one to interpret my dreams, either. Sometimes I have a dream (or more recently a nightmare) that even a Psych 101 student could decipher, but those are in the minority. Moreover, I am inclined to think that Freud rather over-stated the whole dream imagery aspect of our heads, though whether he was inclined to think that way or not I don't know. I suspect if he'd lived to see the cottage industry built around the idea that all our dreams have meaning... well, there were those cigars.

Most of the time I think our dreams are mostly a clearing house for all the various thoughts and tangents and other mental detritus we accumulate. Our brain sorts through it, making sure there isn't something useful, before simply dumping it. It might also all just be a bi-chemical byproduct of the brain's releasing various things to help us recharge and relax. My cat dreams, after all, but I don't think she's too concerned over what they mean.

On the other hand, maybe sometimes for her, a mouse isn't just a mouse.

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