Sunday, June 19, 2016

The ouroboros, a metaphor for dreaming

“Ouroboros,” By anonymous medieval illuminator;
Public Domain

By Morris Dean

[Note: The unedited, dictated version of the following account was appended on June 15 to the May 27 Dreamsourcing column, “Sleeping and waking.” It was the approximately sixteenth set of “dream notes” posted as comments on that column.
    The revised account below is my first attempt at a new Dreamsourcing column since May 27.

Dream account for the night of June 14-15. Last night I seemed to have a flood of rich dreams. There were no obvious allusions to anything I had seen on TV recently. After a couple of nights of less sleep than usual, I had gone to bed at about 8 p.m. and quickly fallen asleep. I think it was around midnight that I first woke up to pee and shortly recognized that I had been dreaming.
    At the time, I remembered the rough narrative of the dream, and I thought I would be able to recall it in the morning. But when I got up shortly after 4:15 and began organizing myself to do dictation, I found that I couldn’t remember it. I didn’t dwell on this, however, but turned to what I did seem to remember.

In the second dream, I was in a house – as I have been in numerous dreams over the years, though none recently that I have remembered. More precisely, I seemed to be in a particular room – or bedroom suite – in a house. I understood, without interacting with her, that my grown daughter was in a room down the hall, and someone else in the family – I guess her mother my wife – was in another room, although I was less aware that she was in the house than I was that my daughter was. The “project” of this dream – what I seemed to be attempting to accomplish – was to prepare for bed, and it was important not to disturb my daughter with light or noise, so I carefully closed the door and made as little noise as possible as I washed my face, etc.
    In the next dream, I was in a “professional,” or work, setting (of the sort I was in at IBM). Someone in the organization had discovered that I had a trove of books about creativity, productive thinking, problem-solving – that sort of thing – and there were a good many copies of some of the titles (many more copies, and many more titles than I ever actually collected at IBM). The person who had discovered that I had them wanted me to make them available for distribution to help other people. I was fine with that and encouraged her (I think it was a female colleague) to proceed. (Note: I now have virtually none of the books that this seems to refer to, having divested myself of most of my books about a dozen years ago.)

In the next dream – or segment of the dream sequence – I was again in a work setting, this time even more “professional”-seeming in the sense that I seemed to be in a laboratory of some sort, with abundant evidence that previous “research” had been done or was in progress. “We” (my colleagues and I) seemed to be wondering, discussing whether there was some finding in our work whose significance we had not previously recognized. And there was someone in the office – a young woman! – who seemed to have insight into the value or significance of the “extra product” that the rest of us hadn’t yet recognized. In fact, she seemed delighted that someone else had guessed at the hidden value. I don’t know who the “someone else” was, however, for in the dream, the “hidden value” did not seem to have been revealed to me, or, anyway, it was not spelled out in the dream – except to the extent that “hidden value” of some sort had been affirmed.
    I think, previous to that dream segment, there had been one in which I had parked my car in a small lot so that it was in the shade. And now, after the research-lab dream sequence, I went out to the parking lot and found that my car had been moved off the lot with one end propped up on a wall or divider, and it seemed clear to me that a group of individuals had simply lifted my car with their hands and carried it off the lot – they hadn’t had to carry it more than about thirty feet. My first thought, in the dream, was, oh, I will just lift the end of my car off the divider and pull it over enough to be able to drive it away. But I quickly realized that I wasn’t strong enough to do that.

The ouroboros, Kekulé’s inspiration for the benzine ring
By Haltopub - Own workbasé CC BY-SA 3.0
I think that I was now awake and up, musing about these dreams or dream segments, and I remembered that there had been a scientist (was it Tesla? [no, it was August Kekulé]) who dreamed the chemical arrangement of the benzene molecule. [Kekulé “said that he had discovered the ring shape of the benzene molecule after having a reverie or day-dream of a snake seizing its own tail (this is an ancient symbol known as the ouroboros” – from the Greek word meaning tail-devouring).]
    That is, it was seeming to me that much of the dream material last night, or the ones, anyway, about the books on creative thinking and problem-solving, and about the research laboratory, had to do with dreams as vehicles, or channels, or agencies of creativity and invention. And I was feeling buoyant and somehow “delivered,” because I have always recognized that the spark of my joy has come through experiencing insights or epiphanies, or idea connections. And I remembered, too, that just yesterday I had received an email from a network called  “ResearchGate” telling me that my profile had been accessed, and I had gone to my account there and sentimentally reviewed its list of my published papers, including “Invoking the Muse of Technical Writing” (which I always understood as the muse of everything).

A different sort of feeling had accompanied the dream in the house where I was preparing for bed. In that dream, even though my daughter and her mother my wife were in the house, I felt lonely and a bit sad. (In fact, was the other person my wife? It seems not, since I was not with her – she was not with me. Was there another person at all, besides my daughter down the hall? And what was my daughter doing in the dream, since I had no interaction with her?) It is easy now to surmise that this dream represented my being awake – not yet in connection with my muse (let us say) by way of going to sleep and dreaming.
    Kind of by the way, the dream sequence of preparing for bed, which was set in a house, reminded me of numerous other dreams and houses. One house, in particular – and I think it has been years since I have visited it in a dream – seemed to be modeled on (not literally) that of one of my wife’s brothers and his family. I may be thinking of this now simply because I was in touch with this brother by way of email yesterday, which was his new wife’s birthday.
    But that wasn’t the only house I have dreamed about (or in which dreams were “set”) in the past. Another in which numerous dreams were set seemed to have been based on the two-story home my wife and I lived in for 25 years in Chapel Hill, the early ones of which with our son and daughter. I vaguely recall those dreams as comfortable or comforting, reminders of secure life and routine.

I am to the point of preparing this, hopefully coherent, standalone dream account, because I think it is now clear that getting up in the morning to dictate – rather than getting up during the night to do so – seems to be a good procedure. That is, it seems to be working, and I feel that last night’s “productivity” was substantial, both in content and emotional reassurance and encouragement. I am only sorry that I cannot now remember the first sequence, which seemed of the same order, but perhaps less significant. I have chosen to think of it simply as a warm-up for what came after. Maybe the lesson is that, though I may not be able to remember everything when I don’t immediately do dictation but wait until I wake up for the day, I will nevertheless remember enough to gain insight and information about what is going on with me.
    An anecdote came to mind as I was making notes, of a physical therapist who had directed me to repeat the various exercises she had taught me for a certain length of time each. I had adopted the habit of “counting seconds” as I was doing the exercises. But somehow I observed her doing one of the exercises herself, and she didn’t seem to be doing it for as long as she had said. I asked her whether she weren’t counting seconds. She told me that no, she wasn’t – she would rather “concentrate on her breathing”! I think I learned from my dreams last night that I have now sufficiently developed the mechanics of remembering and recording my dreams so that I no longer need to “count seconds”: I no longer need to think about the mechanics, but just “concentrate on my breathing” and get on with the dreaming – with the creativity itself, so to speak. Or, alternatively, I can leave the books (the mechanics) to others; I no longer need to think about them.

As for the ouroboros as a metaphor for dreaming, “Carl Jung interpreted [it] as having an archetypal significance to the human psyche.” The Wikipedia article from which that is quoted also quotes Jung from his Collected Works, Vol. 14 para. 513: “The alchemists, who in their own way knew more about the nature of the individuation process than we moderns do, expressed this paradox through the symbol of the Ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail. The Ouroboros has been said to have a meaning of infinity or wholeness....”
    I am coming to see dreaming as devouring one’s own tale, one’s own story – discovering it through one’s dreams, understanding it by paying attention to them, contemplating their possible significance....

Copyright © 2016 by Morris Dean


  1. Night of June 15-16
        I went to bed at 8 o'clock again last night because we had to get up early to help some neighbors. It wasn't hard work, just early. We agreed to water some plants for the neighbors who had watered our stuff while we were away in Paris, and we needed to get the watering done, not only before the day got hot but also in time for today's errands. However, this schedule interfered with my making dream notes, and now my memories have all but evaporated. Some "mythic" sort of stuff seemed to be happening; something big may be afoot.
        What I was dreaming even suggested a thought that the "Holy Spirit" may now be trying to reach me by way of my dreams. I spent some time trying to rationalize that away, but I remain struck by the fact that I even HAD that thought – do I STILL retain some of my early conditioning / indoctrination by Sunday School teachers and tent revivalists? That's a rather depressing thought. I trust that future dreams will put this to rights – beginning as early as tonight would be welcome!

  2. Night of June 16-17 (Part 1)
        It's around 5:15 and I just got up, put some clothes on, and was going to stretch before making notes. But I had a thought that I wanted to record now. The thought was that getting my thoughts together to be coherent and intelligible soon after awaking is a challenge. But I was struck by the contrast of that with how, while sleeping, or in the stupor of waking up, my thoughts seem to flow so clearly and without such hindrance as I am experiencing now when I am awake. This seems odd or mysterious somehow.
        And, now that I've started to record, I feel like proceeding and postponing my stretching. First, I want to report a strange thought I had just at the start of one dream segment. I call it a "dream segment," but the strangeness of this segment makes me question whether it was actually a dream in the ordinary sense. I seemed to be unrolling the dream under control, rather than just observing it being enrolled. I had just been dreaming in the ordinary sense that I was at a table with six or eight other individuals who were involved in some goings-on and I was a journalist or someone like that, there to comment. We were seated at the table, and the camera crew were preparing to start the show, so to speak. I had the impression that the other people at the table had something to do with the military, or international diplomacy.

  3. Night of June 16-17 (Part 2)
        Anyway, there seemed to be a slight break before the show would begin, and I was up and away from the table conferring, or making my final preparations for the show. Then someone said, "Okay, let's get started," and directed me to go sit on the table. I was in the process of rearranging myself a little bit, including removing my outer shirt and my T-shirt. This of course was "rearranging" myself more than just a little bit. Anyway, as I approached the table I saw that no one was sitting there anymore, and all of the chairs had been removed. I would the show. So, with only a little apprehension about having removed my shirts, and with my gray chest hairs showing, I sat down on the edge of the table.
        The first question I was asked was whether I saw myself as making a move. I realized that the question was ambiguous, so I took a few seconds to respond. I wanted to be clear that I did not see myself as trying to be manipulative, but, in a general sense, to say anything was of course to make a move. That was hardly any show at all but that was it, as far as the dream segment was concerned.
        Then, and this didn't seem to be something I was unrolling, but a dream in the usual sense – I guess I had fallen back into some level of sleep – I seemed to be writing at a computer but in communication with another person – or computer program, I suppose it could have been. I seemed to be accessing the text for the next chapter of something, but more was coming out of the computer than, strictly speaking, applied to the next chapter or whatever. I guess it was sort of like a "core dump," although not in the usual sense of the term.

  4. Night of June 17-18
        It's already bedtime, and I'm only now making notes for last night. I remembered little last night, except for one very striking sort of nightmare scene. My adult son and I were both in a men's restroom or gym locker room, with several stalls with doors. He knocked on a door and, thinking the stall was open, opened the door and started to step inside. Then he (and I) spotted a tall man inside, and I understood that the man intended to drag Geoff in, close and latch the door, and sexually assault him. I woke up.

  5. Night of June 18-19
        When it comes to remembering dreams, last night was a complete bust. I'm sure that I woke up four or five times during the night, but never did I have any precise idea of what images or conversations or actions were occurring in my dreams. Though I would come back to bed thinking that I would concentrate next time, the next time never happened with any clarity. And, when I woke up for the last time before getting out of bed, I had no more clarity about dreams that may have been going on. I can only say that I THINK there had been dream activity, but I can't even be sure of that.

  6. Night of June 19-20
        After arising a couple of times during the night and being aware of conversations having been going on in my head, I started to wonder whether some dreams are without images and consist entirely of only voices. That would seem to be entirely possible. I wonder whether the literature – that is, the scientific literature – reports any findings on that. I must remember to inquire into this.
        Anyway, the next time I awoke, I was aware of having had a dream in the traditional sense. In fact, I had the sense that it had been a long, involved dream. I had been on some sort of scientific expedition – it could have been a corporate expedition, such as to explore the possibilities for a new product. I had climbed to a point high up in jagged, rocky country, with a device of some sort that we were unvestigating. I was working with a more experienced colleague who was also on the expedition. In the next scene, I was letting him know that when I was on the promontory I felt misgivings and a grave reluctance to try to get down. That is, I had been afraid of falling. He, on the other hand, didn't experience any fear of falling but proceeded normally.
        The next time I awoke, I had been dreaming about climbing down a stair railing or underpinning of a construction site in a residential home. I was doing fine with this - that is, I had no fears of falling but just climbed carefully, my mission seeming to be to take a piece of lumber down for use at a point lower in the construction. The construction was mainly being done by a small group of workers, with whom I did not interact but simply understood that they were at work down there. The question arose – perhaps this was in my thinking about the dream rather than in the dream – as to why I was assisting the construction workers rather than letting them do everything.
        Now that I am writing these notes, it seems clear to me – but I suppose I could be wrong – that climbing the promontory, or climbing down the construction underpinning, could be another metaphor for excavating in my dreams. And, I suppose it is interesting to compare the two metaphors – one going down into the earth, the other going up, at least in the promontory dream. The climbing inside a safe house seems to be of another order, and perhaps it is not so clearly related to the first dream. Perhaps its involving climbing is just a coincidence, or the significance is subtler than I appreciate.
        This seems like something useful to think about today....

    1. Wikipedia's article on "Dream" does not say anything about the possibility of audio-only dreams, except to note that "People who are blind from birth do not have visual dreams. Their dream contents are related to other senses like auditory, touch, smell and taste, whichever are present since birth."
          Note, however, that people who have all five senses at birth can and do have dreams lacking smells or tastes or touches, or sounds. Why not dreams lacking visuals?

  7. Night of June 20-21
        I couldn't remember any dreams until the last time I woke up, at about 4:30. The dream even included someone I recognized, and his name readers may also remember, that of James T. Carney. Jim was not a major character, but one of the players, so to speak.
        The setting was, once again, a sort of office environment reminiscent of IBM. And the time period seemed to be some years ago, going by the technology. That is, we were concerned about a particular publication we were contemplating, but our deliberations were not complete yet, and we had become concerned that there was a time limit on the document, such that it would automatically be deleted from the system at a particular point – the reason being limited storage and the need to clear items no longer needed (old technology). Our particular project was different in that this document had not already been set up for publication, but was still in progress, such that the automatic delete action would have been inappropriate. We needed to find someone in the organization who knew the system well enough to change a bit to protect the document from automatic deletion.
        In the dream the team that was assembled, which included Jim, seemed to be meeting in my house. And we had a French press coffee maker that Jim had contributed for the meeting (weird). Everyone packed up to leave after our work was done and took off. Jim, in particular, had somewhere he needed to be, a train or a plane to meet. Well, after everyone had left, I noticed that Jim had left his French press coffee maker. Now I had two. But I realized that it was not practical to mail it back to Jim, since it was not expensive, and he could easily get a new one.
        Somewhere in that dream – maybe it was in getting to my place from the office – we were crammed in a car and the one of us driving, whose name at the time was known to me – in fact, I think I knew the names of other people in the car besides Jim – was trying to get into a very busy street but the traffic was so heavy he kept standing there, and we were all concerned that we were going to be late, although at this point I can't understand what we were concerned about being late to. The details of the dream have sort of mashed together at this point. Anyway, interesting (to me).

    1. Later I remembered that Jim doesn't drink coffee, let alone possess a French press. Curious. Is my dream generator just making stuff up for exercise or amusement? Is the whole enterprise of dictating (and editing and posting) dream notes a fool's errand?

    2. Nights of June 21-22 & 22-23
          Both nights I was only vaguely aware (but nevertheless certain) that I was dreaming energetically. Last night, in fact, I had a sequence so energetic (I won't say violent, for it seemed to be balletic, as on a dance stage) that my heart raced and I woke up. And I was sure that I could remember it, it was so vivid. But I was so sleepy I returned to sleep without studying on it for recall, and now it is all but gone, save the memory of the racing heart.

    3. I hate it when that happens. "Important" to recall may come later. At that time you will think to yourself - I've been here before!

  8. Night of June 25-26
        I dreamed of pulling new growth from a green plant. It unfolded as in a time-compressed documentary. For a few cycles the plant threw out new, compensatory growth, and then, as though learning that any new growth would be nipped, it ceased trying. This felt mythic, perhaps what is called a "lucid dream"? My state seemed to be half-waking, not fully sleeping.
        Dreams of the preceding two nights (for which I wrote no notes) did not clearly penetrate my stupor, but I characterized some in stumbling past them as "espionage sequences," something vaguely, possibly perhaps, to do with capturing mages of someone else's doings. ??? Some other me?

  9. Follow-up note on night of June 25-26
        Thanks to a friend for offering the suggestion that the pulling-new-growth dream "may be connected to your feelings that people are pulling away from the blog (and therefore from you), since you changed it to this more relaxed non-deadline format."
        The blog is, of course, huge in my realm of thought and care. All I had thought of so far was my dream life itself - as though nipping new growth were ignoring or failing to adequately explore new insights offered through dreams, and thereby endangering the continual offering of insightful dreams. I have, in fact, so far just taken notes and really made little or no attempt to consider underlying significances.
        If the blog is referred to in the pulling-new-growth dream, the dream might be telling me to keep it personal. I used to write what I considered - and even labeled - "self-disclosures." In fact, a "man of sorrows" piece I am writing is just that sort of post. Posts about politics - even posts about animal rights - may be too far off the mark of the meaning of my own life, which is drawing to a close. Maybe I need to focus more on personal issues, including interpersonal issues - me in relation to the actual others with whom
    I interact.
        Lots of food for thought.

  10. Night of June 27-28
        Nada, not even a sense (except possibly a very faint single one) that I had been dreaming at all.

  11. Night of June 28-29
        Weird dream whose gist I thought (around 2 a.m.?) I comprehended: My nephew Steve (with whom I started blogging over a decade ago) was adept at identifying some sort of energy supplement or other for clients, and a number of products were announced for this or that client - the only one I could remember, even at the time, was "Nourishment Fix." I seemed to be merely an observer.

  12. Night of June 29-30
        Again, only a sense, fairly strong, certain, that I had been dreaming, but no memory of anything about it. Maybe I should be making notes on the unfocused way I go to sleep. I do not, for example, do any "auto-suggestion" for dreaming and remembering. Rather, I fall asleep by distracting myself with a recorded book (recently the juvenile novels of John Grisham about Theodore Boone, kid lawyer). I fall asleep so fast in this way (more often than not before five minutes have gone by), I might recommend it as a substitute for sleeping pills for anyone who uses those.
        In any case, little reading is accomplished, so – other than to put me to sleep – what's the purpose? And do I need something to put me to sleep? Hardly. I'd be asleep in a very few minutes anyway. So....
        Let's change our procedure, let's focus on the upcoming dreaming and condition me to be aware that I'm dreaming and have material that I want to remember so as to be able to record and consider. Let's get with it!

  13. Night of June 30 - July 1
        Last night I tried what I wrote yesterday (see above): I didn't read myself to sleep, but rather fell asleep contemplating dream awareness and remembrance. What, if anything, seemed to be different as a result?
        Different was only my awareness of dreaming and a few quickly fading images, none of which came with any words to characterize or describe them.
        Noting that I had been able to report several dreams over the past four or five weeks in fair detail, I must consider "psychological" or "physical" factors:
        Is my unconscious actively interfering with the communication channel, for some reason of protecting me from dangerous revelations? I cannot credit that....unless there's something to the Judaeo-Christian theory of "hardening of the heart" - in this case, hardening of the unconscious, as though my unconscious were actively preventing the "holy spirit" or some such thing from reaching me, protecting me from it. I suppose that's theoretically possible. But why didn't my unconscious take this action more quickly? I have reported dreams since the "holy spirit" idea occurred to me (on the night of June 15-16). In fact, I reported a dream the very next night (June 16-17) and dreams on the nights of June 17-18, 19-20, 20-21, 25-26, and 28-29. (See corresponding comments.)
        No, I think that I have lately, more often than not, been physically unable to summon the energy & alertness (energetic alertness?) required to consciously register dreams during the night. Do I have a "medical condition"? Is it "just old age"? I have been doing hard physical work in the back yard for several hours numerous recent mornings (including the three hours preceding completion of the present notes) - I surely "need my sleep." Could that be all it is?

  14. My thoughts only - Yes, indeed. That could be "all it is". Activity (physical or mental) breeds mental fitness, I believe. If you were not doing physical stuff to this extent, your mind, including the subconscious, (I think) has a tendency to wonder hear and there perhaps aimlessly in its subject matter.

    The very fact that you're asking yourself, "do I have a medical condition?" may suggest there is some basis for that. But who at our age doesn't, I say? Worry is a mental fitness enemy.

    Worry never climbed a hill
    Worry never paid a bill
    Worry never led a horse to water
    Worry never did a thing you thought it outa!

    Lord, give me the strength to accept the things I cannot change.

    1. I guess one can't avoid worrying if one even wonders whether something may be wrong with oneself, but I don't think that I'm all that concerned. I know - as you say, Vic - that all sorts of things can and do go wrong at older age. I used to be able to work as physically hard as I have been lately (on a yard project that is going to take several weeks) for twice as many hours without ill effect. And this interchange is helping me see (and become ready to accept) that I can work maybe an hour less each day at this point in my life. Let the project take a few weeks longer! Being able to remember my dreams is fun!

  15. AND the willingness to change the thing/s my Holy Spirit or intuition or inner honest "knowing" knows I need to change.

    1. I think I've generally done a good job intuiting and feeling my way among the things that can or can't be changed. Given that it's intuition, I have, by definition, been depending on my "inner self" or my "higher self" or, as I like to say, my muse. However, I am afraid that I could never come to call it my "Holy Spirit"!
          Interestingly, though - in that context - I used to like to think of Jesus's "kingdom of God within" as one's "inner self" that we are talking about. But that was my attempt to psychologize Jesus's theology in order to create a humanistic Jesus to replace the more popular conception of a divine one. To refer now to my muse as my "Holy Spirit" would mislead some people into thinking I was backtracking from psychology to theology.

  16. My friend, it matters not what name or address is given to the part of ourselves that seems metaphysical or spiritual in nature. In fact I don't give the South end of a North bound rat credence to anyone who wishes to split that hair with me and I consider debating such a label is counter productive and pointless to the big picture. Label, (if you must), that 'knowing' part of yourself what you wish. But don't be hesitant to be true to yourself regardless of your stand in the past.

  17. FOR ME - Labeling that 'part of ourselves' is not the issue. Labeling it diverges into another train of thought and is always subject to other peoples personal interpretations of that label. Most probably becoming mind screwing stagnation and even judgement, control and dogma. I try to stay away from that side bar and focus on what I believe is the real issue.

    Do you think political folks of today have any concept of this? Naw! But that's another HUGE side bar. More truthfully, they probably "choose" not to stick to the issue. And I have no intention of responding to any 'come back' on that one! Whew!!

    1. "Whew!!" indeed! I'm wholly with you in spirit.

  18. Night of July 1-2
        I feel sort of triumphant this morning. Last night, before falling asleep, I reflected on the fact that today I would spend less time working in the back yard. This thought seemed to have cheered me and given me confidence, somehow.
        And, sure enough, last night I had some memorable images of a pregnant woman trying to get assistance, I think. (The details were actually kind of sketchy, and I can't claim to have told at the time what it was all about.)
        The dream may have been of a sort of "something I ate" dream - as a friend likes to say who claims he dreams only after he has eaten something that disagreed with his stomach - for yesterday I learned of an interesting situation involving a pregnant woman in our family.
        Or maybe the pregnant woman in the dream was me - my inner self, my muse. Whether the pregnant woman was me or not, it seems potentially more useful to think that it was, rather than to believe the "something I ate" theory. So that is what I will believe, and proceed from that, expecting hopefully that in the coming nights something will be delivered, something born. I think that is very interesting.
        Now, out to that yard work, minding the rain clouds. And during the night I even thought of a way to improve my procedure for removing the Bermuda grass roots from the lawn we are claiming to expand a planting area. It should speed things up and require me to work less hard.

    1. Suomi, Sauna, and Sibelius, I see that you have been registered on Blogger since April 2012, right before I retired from UNC General Administration (on May 1). You might find interesting some of my writings about the issues surrounding my retirement at that particular time: "To the three white ladies, I was a colored maid," in my Permanent Collection.

  19. I like the way you are dream thinking. And bravo for coming up with hopefully a better way to conclude your garden task with less effort and time.

  20. The improvement in my procedure worked, Vic, and in about an hour less than I worked on Friday, I was able to reclaim the same area of lawn for planting. I am actually looking forward to attacking the next section in the morning.
        But I've got the night first, and Suomi, Sauna, and Sibelius remind me that it is pregnant with possibilities!

  21. This is some dreaming and writing, Morris! Your mind must be working overtime. Good on you.

    1. Thanks, Big Sister. Have you remembered any of your own dreams lately?

  22. Night of July 2-3
        Twice, sometime during the night, I heard rain. Once it sounded hard, but only for a few minutes. Perhaps I slept for an hour or two between its starting and stopping, because our gauge collected 1.33 inches altogether last night. (There will be no lawn work today.)
        At some point - before or during the rain wasn't evident to me - I had a dream so vivid I was sure I'd remember it. But in the interim it has seeped away or, more accurately in terms of how its receding felt - almost or actually kinetic - it has been pulled away by a gravitational field stronger than that of my consciousness.
        Vaguely, I seemed to be part of a small party seeking refuge - it seems to me now that the party could have included a pregnant woman nearing term, or maybe I'm just forcing that sense on it because the prospect of "pregnant possibilities" has been raised and casts my dreaming in a hopeful, expectant light, as though I were soon to be delivered of a revelation rivaling Joseph Smith's Mormon or Muhammad's Allah.
        Just kidding: In view of today's "meditation on Jesus," which was provoked by Jesus's resurrection in my emotions, I have been struck by the role of a pregnant virgin in the New Testament accounts of his life and death. Jesus himself was announced (or so the story has it) as a "pregnant possibility."
        Actually, I am still kidding: I have no expectation whatsoever of (and no desire for) anything supernatural or divine's being in the offing. But as a dear friend cautions: I should be open to anything.

  23. Yep, open to anything. It seems to me it is always more helpful in growth to "add to" vs delete or "close to".

  24. Special note for nights of July 2-3 & 3-4
        Before going to sleep both nights I altered my routine to include a full 15 minutes of book-listening before only then contemplating dreaming & remembering. While I was successful in staying awake for the 15 minutes each time, I had no dreams I could remember.
        I tried this different approach because I had a confident feeling that looking forward to the brief contemplation before falling asleep would invigorate me to stay awake for it through the fifteen minutes of listening to some more exploits of Theodore Boone, kid lawyer.

  25. Night of July 4-5
        No dreams. Had a rough night, gastrointestinally, presumably because I ate most of a large apple too soon before going to bed. My friend who claims he dreams only or mostly when he has eaten something disagreeable would probably have had a corker of a dream.
        (For my gastro journal:) I had resisted for an hour having something for my after-dinner hunger; I should have had something at the outset, longer before bed. What I really wanted was Little Scholar dark chocolate-covered cookies with lemon Chobani Greek yogurt, but we didn't have any Little Scholars....
        Anyway, I woke up before 2 a.m. with painful tummy, had I think three episodes of diarrhea between about 2:15 & 3:00, then threw up with I think four violent heaves at about 3:30, after which I started to feel much better and could go to sleep.

    Also, my read-first-then-contemplate approach failed miserably. I seem to have heard at most two minutes of the book before falling asleep. Perhaps my body already knew I was in for a rough night.

  26. Night of July 5-6
        I had two dreams I remembered (despite having an only moderately comfortable night with two extra pillows to elevate head & chest - and esophagus - and light diarrhea).
        The first dream I remembered seemed prompted by Episode 1 of a new dramatic series we watched last night, in which a pliable young Pakistani man complies with a young woman he mistakenly picks up in his father's taxicab, which he has "borrowed" to drive to a party. (She inveigles him to take drugs and engage in a sort of Russian roulette with a pointed knife.) In my dream, while driving, I'm trying to provide coffee to a woman in another car but only manage to spill a cup in my car and, in my distraction, barely miss colliding with a parked car.
        While rehearsing to remember that dream, an earlier dream popped into my mind, but I can't now recall it.
        Before going to sleep, I had managed to listen to over 15 minutes of the next Theodore Boone story of John Grisham. Because I was feeling tetchy & washed out, I really hadn't expected to remember any dreams.

  27. The "new dramatic series" is The Night Of (2016– ): "After a night of partying with a female stranger, a man wakes up to find her stabbed to death and is charged with her murder."

  28. Nights of July 6-7, -8, -9, -10, -11
        I was aware of many dreams each night, but tired and sleepy and happily uninterested in remembering them, especially last night (July 10-11), after working five hours yesterday under the sun on converting lawn to planting bed (completing the section adjacent to the Colorado spruce). Drank 2.5 liters of Gatorade too.
        I took note, while watching Episode 6 of DANCING ON THE EDGE (2013 UK TV serial) yesterday - between my morning and afternoon stints in the back yard - of one of the singers telling her interviewer that one ought not to tell anyone one's dream....