Nareed
Nareed
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January 28th, 2011 at 10:18:30 AM permalink
I mentioned a dream in another thread. I've had some interest in dream imagery and dreams for a while. I don't believe dreams predict the future or mean anything much, but the dream expereince can be very intense and powerful, which makes it a natural for a plot device in dramatic narratives.

The problem lies in capturing the feel and, especially, the intensity of a dream. About the best way I've seen it done is in Heart's song "These Dreams." In one portion the refrain comes before the main voice sing the lyrics, like so:

(wicker in my eyesight)
wicker in my eyesight
(candle in my grip)
candle in my grip
(Words that have no form)
And words that have no form
are falling from my lips.

I like the "words that have no form," part. I often have dreams like that, or wake up babbling something incoherent (I talk in my sleep, too).

I think my interest in dreams helps me remember them. At that I don't remember them too well or as often as I'd like. Years ago I used to ahve a recurring dream, with hardly any action at all. I'd dream of a luxurious room done all in white, with book cases lining the walls, furniture made of metal and glass, and a large picture window looking out on a big city at night. Sometimes the carpeting extended to the walls (this was a semi-popular fad in the 70s), sometimes not. Usually there was a clock on a coffee table, marking the time as 11:50. In the dreams I'd sit on a couch and look at the city, or look through the books, or stand by the window and look out.

Plus two other things. In those dreams I always saw myself as a woman, usually with long, red hair. And I felt a deep sense of peace and well-being.

Seeing myself as a woman in dreams is pretty common, so is the long red hair. But there are variations on how I see myself. Sometimes I see myself as I can be, that is as I hope to end up after hormone therapy and surgery. Sometimes I see myself as having been born a woman in body as well as mind. I can't explain how I see this, but I do. The closest I can come is the way in dreams sometimes you know things without knowing how you know them.

Another recurrence sometimes is a chronic innability to do something simple. Sometimes I'll dream I'm driving and need to slow down to make a turn, but the brakes won't work. Or that I need to turn on a light to see something, but the lights won't come on, the shades won't be drawn and curtains won't be opened. These types of dreams are like nightmares, but more about frustration than fear.

Right now I'm trying to incorporate "dreams" into a story. I use quotes because the people "dreaming" are actually awake, but don't realize it (and I don't know if I'll explain that, but I do know it). the imagery is dream-like, and I hope to make an attempt at intensity by dialogue and actions showing emotions. I hope I can pull it off, because otherwise the result will be a mediocre plot device.

More on this later.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Doc
Doc
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January 28th, 2011 at 11:06:40 AM permalink
Nareed, please understand that I do not mean for this post to derail your thread about dreams. I know nothing about dreams, but I have a thought/comment/question which I think may be related to dream images, and I would appreciate input from you or others in the forum.

I am aware of long-term memory and short-term memory, though I have studied neither. Is there something else that is along the line of not-yet-stored-in-memory thoughts/images?

Several times recently I have had very similar experiences. I awake suddenly and am aware that I have been thinking or dreaming about something specific. At that instant, I believe the thought or image is quite clear to me, but as I try to think about it further, it begins to disappear. No matter how hard I try to retain or clarify the memory, it takes but a moment for it to completely disappear. I have described that moment's process as being much like trying to stuff a wispy smoke cloud into a bag -- it just slips through the fingers and is gone in spite of best efforts not to lose it. Once it is gone, I have no idea at all what I had been thinking about or dreaming.

Is this a common phenomenon of memory, the inability to store something at all even after the image/idea is in the mind? Is this perhaps related to difficulties in remembering names or other info that seems clear for the moment but then is long gone? My recent experiences have been upon awakening, but I don't know whether the same thing might be happening all the time. (Maybe it's a sign of senility?)
discflicker
discflicker
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January 28th, 2011 at 12:17:40 PM permalink
How about a poll thred to uncover common dreams and common ways we interpret them?

I have my own bizzare dream things going on, way bizzare, but I think there are some dreams that many people commonly have.

1) Dreams about flying

2) Dreams about being able to swim under water

3) Dreams that you realize that everyone's looking at you because you're naked


etc....

OK, I am intreged by this, so look for a new poll, to accompany this one, what are your most common dreams...

I will create the poll thread after I get a few more suggestions... OK ?
The difference between zero and the smallest possible number? It doesn't matter; once you cross that edge, it might as well be the difference between zero and 1. The difference between infinity and reality? They are mutually exclusive.
Nareed
Nareed
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January 28th, 2011 at 12:28:18 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

Several times recently I have had very similar experiences. I awake suddenly and am aware that I have been thinking or dreaming about something specific. At that instant, I believe the thought or image is quite clear to me, but as I try to think about it further, it begins to disappear.



I often wake up, either in the middle of the night or when the alarm goes off, and I know I was dreaming something, even what it felt like, and often I can see it, but can't grasp it. I wake up thinking "wow! what a dream! I dreamt... I dreamt... Damn! What did I dream?" All I ever recall those times is that I had a pleasant dream, but nothing else. Not even a bit of what it was about.

Another similar thing happens when falling asleep. I fall in a state between awake and asleep, and I see something much but not quite like a dream, then I come fully awake. Those times I do recall bits and pieces. This hapepns especially when I doze off in the bus, for example, or at business meetings (those are such good places to sleep!)

In order to recall a dream, what I do is try to replay it as soon as I wake up. This works best when I wake up in the middle of the night.

Quote:

Is this a common phenomenon of memory, the inability to store something at all even after the image/idea is in the mind? Is this perhaps related to difficulties in remembering names or other info that seems clear for the moment but then is long gone? My recent experiences have been upon awakening, but I don't know whether the same thing might be happening all the time. (Maybe it's a sign of senility?)



I think it's common when it comes to dreams, but if you're experiencing serious memory loss you should see a doctor.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Nareed
Nareed
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January 28th, 2011 at 12:34:34 PM permalink
Quote: discflicker

3) Dreams that you realize that everyone's looking at you because you're naked



Offhand I can't recall ever dreaming about being naked or people staring at me. But while in elementary school, I often dreamt I lost my shoes and had to walk to the bus wearing only socks.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
discflicker
discflicker
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January 28th, 2011 at 12:47:28 PM permalink
Quote: discflicker

How about a poll thred to uncover common dreams


1) Dreams about flying

2) Dreams about being able to swim under water

3) Dreams that you realize that everyone's looking at you because you're naked

4) Dreams where your not wearing shoes and find yourself walking home from school

5) Dreams about having sex

6) Dreams about giving a speech in front of a large audience and forgetting what to say

7) Dreams about work

8) Dreams about danger, death and dying

9) Dreams where you find yourself having a chat with someone who is dead

10) ...

The difference between zero and the smallest possible number? It doesn't matter; once you cross that edge, it might as well be the difference between zero and 1. The difference between infinity and reality? They are mutually exclusive.
Nareed
Nareed
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January 28th, 2011 at 12:52:32 PM permalink
10) Nightmares involving insects (other than bees) or shrimp (I am serious. Also I am phobic)
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
blount2000
blount2000
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January 28th, 2011 at 1:00:15 PM permalink
I assume nightmares about a lion being in the house would fall under #8 in the list.

Been having that one for 30+ years.
You serious, Clark?
discflicker
discflicker
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January 28th, 2011 at 1:01:41 PM permalink
yes, fear

but that is kinda creepy...
The difference between zero and the smallest possible number? It doesn't matter; once you cross that edge, it might as well be the difference between zero and 1. The difference between infinity and reality? They are mutually exclusive.
Doc
Doc
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January 28th, 2011 at 2:03:55 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

...I think it's common when it comes to dreams, but if you're experiencing serious memory loss you should see a doctor.

I think my memory is still pretty good, once I actually get something stored in memory. I often say that I have a large hard drive with a slow access rate -- given time, I can recall a heck of a lot, particularly from long-term memory. My current issue seems to be getting some things into memory (particularly dreams or sleep thought) so that they stay around.

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