Friday, February 8, 2008


It often takes half an hour for everyone at our house to tell about their dreams in the morning, especially because we observe my mother's rule and don't tell a dream before breakfast unless we want it to come true. Eleanor has vivid and extraordinary dreams, so almost every morning she comes out of her bedroom and says "last night I had the strangest dream" (and Ron and I can rarely resist breaking into song and continuing "...I ever had before...").
At any rate, with such extensive interest in dreams at our house, we have had the opportunity to test an idea I read in fiction years ago and found intuitively true:
Pay attention to your dreams: when you go on a trip, in your dreams you will still be home. Then after you've come home you'll dream of where you were. It's a kind of jet lag of the consciousness." (Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver, p. 9)
With all the telling of dreams in the morning at our house, we've actually found this to be true.
Further on in the novel, a character says "people dream about what they do when they're awake." But even though one of Eleanor's friends keeps showing her a book that purports to tell what different objects in dreams symbolize, it's impossible for us to figure out what some of the crazy dreams that are told after breakfast could possibly have to do with the events of our lives, especially in February.


Anonymous said...

SSRIs kick in dreaming big time. My shrink tried to convince me that it was just a temporary side effect, but I love it. Too often, though, I have the equivalent of the showing up to school in no clothes dream for a professor--trying to teach in a classroom where I can't address all of the students at the same time, and the markers won't write on the board.

lemming said...

There's an old trope in folklore and ghost-lore about a house aunted by the figfure of a person who turns out to be a real person who has visited the spot in their dreams for years. (See A Candle in Her Room.) i do wonder about the various temporal plane aspects of our dreams

Ron Griggs said...

Lemming's comment reminds me of one of the most bizarre books I've ever read: An Experiment with Time by J. W. Dunne. An Edwardian engineer writes up his personal experiments with dreaming as a means of sensing other times--past and future, develops a mathematical basis for his theory, and publishes it in 1927. It was fascinating--but obviously (I thought) crackpotty.

It was only later that I found out that Dunne's work had been read by and influenced people like J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Aldous Huxley, and John Buchan. John Buchan wrote a book that some think are based on Dunne's ideas, called A Gap in the Curtain.

The interconnectedness of the things I like in life never ceases to amaze me.