Books · Observations · People

I Had a Dream About a Dream I Have

I had a wonderful dream last night. I dreamt I wrote a compelling thesis about, and got a Master’s Degree in, along with pats on the back by my fellow peers for a paper on: ‘Demystifying Sellotape.’

I actually woke up in the middle of the night and laughed out loud. Before I settled back to sleep, I instructed myself to remember it, because it was supposedly so funny and so clever. Alas, very much like that meme where the dreaming writer scurries to write brilliant dream down, only to find three words written on the paper in the morning – ‘When the glove,’ all I could remember was that the sellotape was of the clear variety.

Dreams are great, aren’t they? Since the beginning of consciousness, man has tried to interpret them to make sense of the wonders of the world around him. From ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome, interpreting dreams was considered an art form that required high intelligence, and a sprinkling of divine inspiration.

Philosophers and physicians throughout history contemplated dreams in scientific terms. Let’s not even talk about religion, and how easy it was to accept divine intervention and communication through dreams. Cicero’s depiction of Scipio’s Dream of heaven inspired a myriad of believers, artists and writers – from Dante and Chaucer, to Mozart and Raphael.

Even today, scientists still don’t know why we dream. I recently watched a documentary about sleep, and how it’s not quite understood why we sleep, because the brain doesn’t actually rest much during the full, prescribed 8 hours at all…

I have my own theory on why we dream. From my own experience, I dream mostly when my body is aching or when my stomach isn’t quite settled. This makes me uncomfortable and puts me in that not quite asleep, not quite awake state where one tends to have lucid dreams. It’s your body’s way of keeping you aware that there is a malfunction somewhere. Because I try to eat dinner quite early, I find that I rarely dream at all. As for the craziness of dreams when they come, well, that’s your brain’s mish mash of synapses firing in random directions to make up strange connections and put you in literally, the dream world.

But that makes interpreting dreams rather null and void and therefore makes me rather boring, hey? Let me change tact.

A very long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, my friend and I stole a book called the ‘Dreamer’s Dictionary’ from the school library. Let’s just say we took it out and never brought it back. I still have it. Well I thought, if I was going to feel guilty about not returning it, then I might as well treasure it forever! Published in 1974, it was written by a Lady Stearn Robinson and Tom Corbett and a quick google search reveals a mystery: Lady Stearn Robinson seems to not have existed at all. Mr Corbett however, is a professor of Sociology in the US and I’ve sent him a mail inquiring as to which island the good Lady Robinson retired to, or if not retired, then where he’s buried her body…

The book is still in print. It’s rather simple to use: you search alphabetically for your dream topic and it’s very nicely and succinctly interpreted for you by the authors, who call it ‘a reference synthesis of ancient and modern interpretations.’

So now back to sellotape. Alas, there is no entry under that word. I search for ‘tape,’ and ‘sticky stuff,’ and still nothing. So then I think about what sellotape does and I think ok! How about glue? And yes! There it is! Under ‘Glue’ it says:

‘…the use of glue to stick things together predicts advancement and/or recognition within your profession, business, or main sphere of activity.’

No way! Goosebumps, right?! There it is, loud and clear, in all its demystified glory: my much lauded sellotape thesis; the ideas in my head about being recognized as a writer, my hard work at advancing my writing career, applauded by my peers and audience. Wow.

Maybe there’s something to the meaning of dreams after all…

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