I had a dream

Every night I wake up in the wee hours for a short while before going back to sleep. If I’ve had a dream before that 2 a.m. awakening, I’ll often remember it vividly, but I always forget the details when I wake up for good in the morning. I usually try to impress the details of such dreams on my brain, but it doesn’t work: unless I have a dream right before I wake up for good, I forget it.

Last night I had another vivid dream, but was up for a while after having it, and while awake I tried hard to remember the details. Mirabile dictu, when I woke up this morning I did remember them! Here’s how it went (note: I have a cancer-phobia).

I was standing at one end of a long, low brick hospital, and at the other end were three guys who were yelling at me. I have no idea what the altercation was about, but I proceeded to give them the finger, whereupon they started running toward me. I was also carrying a big bag of chocolates, and I didn’t want to get beaten up or have these angry men steal my chocolates.

I ran into the hospital looking for a place to hide. It was nearly empty, and I made my way into a suite full of fancy-looking white machines. Somehow I realized that these machines were used to treat cancer. Nobody else was in the suite.

I continued running through the hospital looking for safety, and wound up in the fancy office of a hospital official: a kindly woman who said she’d give me refuge. But, she said, to do that I’d have to go with her as she dealt with three patients, all children, and one of whom had cancer.

I went into the room with the woman, and shortly thereafter the childrens’ mother came in with her offspring. They were all mutants, looking like human tadpoles, and one of them resembling the Creature from the Black Lagoon:

Then CEO of the hospital came in, and the woman explained to him that the “black lagoon” child had cancer of the head, and proceeded to demonstrate how, when she pressed on the child’s head, it created an indentation that remained indented. That, she said, was a sign that the cancer was serious.

I then woke up.

I have no idea what this dream means, if dreams mean anything. I recount it simply because it’s bizarre, and it’s one of the few dreams I remember.

If you have a recurrent dream, or have had a weird one recently, do put it in the comments below.

82 Comments

  1. Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I once tried to log my dreams by keeping a notebook bedside. If I woke from a dream, I would write down what details I could remember. Dreams can be very meaningful! If I have a dream of going from bathroom to bathroom in an institution/building only to find them broken, or out-of-service, I need to wake up and go to the bathroom!

    My other dreams were chaotic, fast cut, bizarre episodes that were they to have any meaning I am afraid I wouldn’t like it.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Keeping a dream log helps their recall – I use the calendar on my phone.
      What they mean – psychobabblologists differ. Mine doesn’t think they’re important – though I’ve definitely heard of the “chasing around dream = need to urinate” equation before. Whether that is cause (the equation), or effect (the dream) is probably a question best settled with twenty psychobabbologists, ten battle axes, a closed room, and after the successful interpretation walks out, a hosepipe.

  2. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I have no idea what this dream means, if dreams mean anything.

    My psychobabblologist ignores them, except as an indication that a patient has a disturbed sleep “architecture”. As you say, normally after your first bout of dreaming sleep, you get a second bout of deep sleep in which you forget about the first set of dreams. And if you awake normally, you’ll forget about the second bout of dreams too.

  3. GBJames
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I have two sorts of recurrent dreams.

    1) The giant dilapidated mansion that I’m somehow responsible for maintaining.

    2) The back-in-grad-school dreams. Usually it is just before the end of the term and I haven’t been to class. Sometimes I find I’m enrolled simultaneously in two universities in two separate states.

    Dreams are god’s way of making you ask “What da fuc?”

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      I get the following recurring dreams:

      I took a weird course in university and I didn’t go to any classes & now I have to write the exam.

      I go to an apartment that doesn’t exist in real life and either live there or think about living there (it’s a really nice apartment).

      I’m in an elevator & something weird happens like it turns upside down or the floor opens up.

      I go somewhere to use the toilets & they are weird: they are attached to a shower & I can’t use it without getting sprayed by the shower, they are out in the open, they are dirty with poop all over the floor (usually I have to go to the bathroom when I have these dreams).

      I discover I have a bunch of fish tanks I forgot about. Sometimes they are in amazing shape & I marvel at how the fish & plants are so healthy despite having forgotten about them OR they are a mess & I am stressed about them.

      • GBJames
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        I just reenrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to audit a class in the Spring. (Free for people 60+ in Wisconsin!)

        I’m hoping the fact that I am a student again will make that class of dream go away.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

          I sometimes dream I’m doing another degree and I’ve never worked anywhere. In the dream I am thinking “good grief, I already have two degrees, why am I doing this one?”

          • GBJames
            Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

            I’m hoping that just being an auditor, and therefore not obligated to take tests or actually do anything, I will erase the sense of panic in education dreams.

            Then again… it could get worse!

      • Mark R.
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        “I discover I have a bunch of fish tanks I forgot about. Sometimes they are in amazing shape & I marvel at how the fish & plants are so healthy despite having forgotten about them OR they are a mess & I am stressed about them.”

        I have this one too. Other than fish, sometimes its lizards or snakes, but yes, aquariums that I forgot to take care of and somehow the creatures are still living. Sometimes in very poor shape however. And like you, sometimes the aquariums are filled with dead things.

        • Posted November 29, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          I frequently dream that I have forgotten to feed my beloved pet dog, Tuffy (an 8 lb. ToyPoodle) who died 30 or 40 years ago.

  4. Diana MacPherson
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    But what happened to the chocolates?!

    I have a phobia of cancer because of having gone through cancer treatment that was “cancer lite” compared to what many people go through. My good friend died of metastasized brain cancer last year. Around this time last year, she could not swallow & went to the hospital where they found the cancer had spread to her brain. She then underwent whole brain radiation & steroid treatments which were horrendous for her. She was dead by mid-January at 35.

    Next week I’ve scheduled an argument with my surgeon who insists on yearly mammograms that I think are useless given the density of tissue and the scaring making detection of abnormalities impossible. My clinic is going to get a tomosynthesis machine next year but I still think that MRIs are more for me. October-early December is full of anxiety for me since there is Pinktober then November I get scanned since it’s my cancerversary then in December I usually meet with my surgeon. I take the whole day off for both medical events.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      I had to look up “Pinktober” – never heard the word over here. At least the annual timing is such that you can have a relaxed xmas – a bit of shiny lining around the dark cloud.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        I hate pinktober. For one, the pink ribbon campaign has a reputation for fraudulent collection of funds. Second of all, I don’t want to be reminded of the whole fiasco and it can be so just awful the way it’s done. Our own Diane G recommended The book Brightsided and the cancer chapter is spot on.

    • Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      I’m so sorry to hear about your friend, Diana. It must have been heartbreaking and gut-wrenching to lose her. This must add to your anxiety at this time of year too. I hope you have some friends and family to lean on.

      I’m inclined to agree with you about the MRI. Hang in there!

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        Yeah it was awful. She was only 35 and had supported me through my cancer. I met her at a company we both worked at in IT. She was so fierce. The first memory I have is of her telling off a bully of a woman on the phone. I thought, “I have to meet this woman”. We worked at other places later but she was a friendly, outgoing person so we stayed in touch. Incidentally we both got cancer a year from each other. When I was going through surgery and radiation she found a large, fast growing tumour on her arm. She ended up being diagnosed with a rare sweat gland cancer. I didn’t know until a few years later, but she didn’t have clear margines after her surgery (meaning the surgeon was unable to get a decent amount of healthy tissue around the tumour). This was because it was too close to a nerve. She was doing well. She had two little girls, a supportive husband, and a Great Dane dog that she spent her time with. Then she sent me the note that she had discovered it had metastasized. One of our last texts was me asking about her health and her telling me she was in enormous pain from nerve damage after coming off the steroid. At the end of Dec last year, she went to the hospital and I was annoyed because she was in the hallway for 36 hours in unspeakable pain. Looking back, I think the pain was probably bone metastasis. A mutual friend visited her a couple times in the hospital but she slept a lot. I figured it was from the pain meds but I think it was because she was dying. I took the day off work to visit her but I got a call from our mutual friend 10 minutes before leaving to go visit. She had died that afternoon. I missed her by minutes but she was already in a coma – typical when you are dying. I don’t think she or her family really knew she was dying when she was in hospital. I hoped she would make it home and die there. Very sad. I check in with friends she met three dog groups etc. to make sure things are going ok.

        Thanks for your good wishes. I think if her almost every day.

        • Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

          So very sad, and she was so young and with a young family.

          Something is terribly wrong when someone as critically ill as your friend has to suffer in the hallway of a hospital. I’ve found that it sometimes takes a family member making a ruckus to get the care and privacy of a room. It doesn’t always work if the hospital is overwhelmed with emergency cases. My husband spent an entire week on a bed in a hospital hallway.

  5. Hal
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    The dream reflects conflict between the fact that you know you should eat less unhealthy food because rationally you know it increases your risk of getting sick, while irrationally you don’t want to give it up.

  6. Mike
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Most of my dreams, I tend to forget the details, some are so vivid that I wake up with a great sense of relief, and the people that I know within dreams are all dead in the real world, what’s that about? In one I was lying on a bed in a Cell when the door burst open and 3 men that were dressed like Mexican Federales dragged me out, and I awoke just as they placed a Noose around my neck, again, where do these dreams come from I have never been to Mexico. They say Dreams are just the Brain cleaning house so to speak, and it probably is, but I would love to experience Lucid Dreaming, where your aware you’re in a Dream, but you have the ability to control the events within that experience.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      You must have a sense of dread or anxiety that your brain is trying to make sense of.

    • sshort
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Years ago I had a lucid dream where I was in a park in Washington DC.

      There was a festival of some kind going on, a stage in the distance, lots of colorful balloons and flags and banners and people sitting on patterned blankets in the bright green grass. I was on the edge of a busy road, and after pondering the festivities a bit, I turned to follow some people across a concrete bridge high above a creek. Halfway across, I realized I was dreaming. It was a bracing sense of unreality and an odd sense of control. I realized I could do anything I wanted!

      I turned and walked back to the festival and started approaching the crowd. I thought “there is a message for me here…I should ask someone a question!” I approached a couple on a blanket and said “Excuse me… excuse me… what do I need to know?” The man turned his head ever so slowly. I tensed in excitement. Then he very calmly and deliberately stated, “Blah blah argh bleh mumble mumble….’

      Yeah. That was it.

    • Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Lucid dreaming takes a lot of practice, for minor results, at least in my experience.

  7. Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    dreams are weird …

    • Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      just to add some of my own recurring dreams/nightmares

      1) like a lot of people I dream of showing up for exam week for a class that I haven’t attended … usually a math class but not always
      2) variations on the theme of claustrophobia … dark tunnels that gradually get smaller, revolving doors that get stuck, etc. My last one of these involved travelling in a train(?) where I had to sit behind another person in a very small cramped seat with walls and ceiling pressing down. The person in front left his seat and I crawled over it and squeezed through the exit (a tunnel of course) of the train(?) to freedom. Then I woke up. The nice thing about these dreams is that I now recognize them while dreaming … and can usually wake myself up.

  8. alexandra Moffat
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    anyone had a dream within a dream? I dreamed many years ago that I was dreaming a very scary dream but couldn’t bring myself back to dream #1 to get away from the scary one. Confusing & hard to describe. Was to travel the next day so presumably spending more time in light, REM,sleep. I can still see one scary scene of that dream though I never remember them in as much detail as JC.

    • Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Yes. But then I have lucid dreams (where I know I am dreaming). You can train yourself to do this (its not hard)

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Yeah, I’ve had those before. Very disorienting.

    • Mark R.
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Yeah…like the dream within a dream in “An American Werewolf in London”. I think that movie made me dream within a dream. I think movies in general are a big influence on my dreams. I’ve dreamed of many creepy environments like those in the alien movies…organic tunnels, labyrinths and such filled with creepy crawlies. I don’t think I would dream such strangeness had I not seen it in the waking world.

    • Roo
      Posted November 30, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      I’ve had occasional lucid dreams that were pleasant (sort of like “This is fun, I can fly in my dreams”) but I find the lucidity only lasts for a brief period and then it turns into a regular dream again.

      More commonly, if I’m exhausted I have dreams where I am getting up and getting ready to go to work, and some part of me is yelling “You’re dreaming, you’re still in bed, wake up!”, but when I attempt to wake up I just redouble my dream efforts to get up and get dressed.

  9. Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    The “remains indented after being pressed” is called edema and might happen with build ups of fluid (as after long flights or wearing tight clothes).
    I find it interesting that the dominant theory in modern psychology is that dreams are by-products of neural clearing. Often they have stories (like this one) and although I have no idea whether all such stories have anything much to say about the person, they sometimes do (Einstein dreamed of being an alram clock on a beam of light for instance) and the mere fact that a sort-of coherent story is being generated makes me suspicious of the “nothing to see here” hypothesis.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      I find it fascinating that dreaming happens at all. How come the brain manages to produce all these sense-impressions without any external input?

      I have heard of the neural cleansing hypothesis, and it seems to make sense. But I recently read somewhere that one way the brain works when we are awake is to continually create its own hypotheses about how to interpret the stream of data it’s getting from the outside world, and modify those hypotheses in the light of experience (eg if you trip over a paving-stone, your brain’s hypothesis about the nature of the footpath needs correcting).

      This idea went on to suggest that, during the REM phase of sleep, the brain is producing all sorts of hypotheses, but has nothing to test them against. So they end up going haywire.

      Is this all nonsense? Have I dreamed it?

      • Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Dreaming doesn’t surprise me. It would be harder for nature to engineer a brain that completely shuts down while we sleep than one that just idles. As with computers, brains can’t shut down completely. They must idle to be ready for whatever happens next. We wouldn’t have survived long in our hunter-gatherer lifestyle if we had to come out of hibernation every morning.

  10. Doug
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    All this actually happened to you in the past. It’s a repressed memory.

  11. Blue
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    For grins and giggles, I use this website =
    http://hyperdictionary.com/dream = upon
    awakening and remembering dreams’ details.

    Use its alphabet, insert there a word or phrase
    recalled, and see what this “dictionary”
    defines as its possible meanings … …
    from inside your remembered dream !

    Blue

  12. Cicely Berglund
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    If you teach yourself to lucid dream-often a more arduous task than simply recalling dreams- then you can ask the dream characters what they mean! -most often leading to even weirder dream content.
    What I find most fascinating about dreams is the facility of the brain/mind to come up with metaphors or analogies,storylines-often very accurate and detailed about our feelings or ideas about our experiences. Discovering that within oneself tends to loosen up our personal habitual ways of expression and perhaps more insight into how other people do it differently. It also can be quite unsettling.

    • Mark R.
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Many times when I’m in a lucid dream I try to fly and sometimes it works. Something that doesn’t (I’ve tried it at least twice) is trying to fly to the moon. I almost reach the clouds, but never outer space. I just wake up as if my mind won’t let me experience flying to the moon. Sucks! And I don’t lucid dream often, so it’s a lost effort…I have to remember not to try that flying to the moon trick so I can stay lucid as long as possible.

      • Cicely Berglund
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        I used to be fairly adept after working with it very intensively. A trick(ahem-technique)to try if you find yourself waking up is to imagine yourself twirling-sometimes that works and sometimes you think you have wakened but then realise you are actually just in another dream. It can be very interesting to gain even minor control over your brain state. Another state to examine- maybe moreeasily accessible is(I alwaysforget the word) is that just before you fall asleep. If you can just relax enough to stay aware as you fall asleep then images appear in the mind-sometimes just patterns and sometimes full fledged story lines-seems to depend on what youhave been doing recently. When I was into quilt making the most fantastic patterns wouldcome and go constantly changing. It can be challenging not to try to mess with them. In which case they disappear. Just saw your next post below-purpose/meaning.

  13. Mark
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    My recurring dreams are:

    Not studying for an school exam.

    Can’t find my school locker or can’t remember its combination.

    Taking-off from my local airport or flying through its airspace without contacting the control tower.

    Less frequently:

    A “taboo” dream I won’t detail here.

    I dream about working at my family business when my father was still alive. (I rarely dream about my deceased mother.)

    I have have crazy, vivid dreams almost every night. If they are bad, I am sometimes able to realize it and wake myself. My girlfriend rarely sleeps with me anymore because I talk and move too much for her to be able to sleep.

    I think dreams have a purpose, but no “meaning.”

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      When I go through a period of a lot of migraines, I get night terrors & scream in my sleep, usually waking me up.

  14. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Dunno what it means, but David Lynch could definitely turn it into a screenplay.

    It’s got all the Lynchian elements — a sense of impending violence, odd background machinery, physical deformities, the juxtaposition of the the banal (chocolates) and the malevolent, and, perforce, a surrealistic, dreamlike quality.

    Think Elephant Man meets Blue Velvet meets Eraserhead.

    • Caldwell
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      I was listening to “Freshly Squeezed” from the TP soundtrack when I read your post.

  15. Posted November 29, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Have done animal rescue all my life. Recurring dreams, always at least once a month, are always the same: I open a door or a cabinet and find some little creature- a pet mouse or hamster that is near death- because I forgot to feed it and put it in there by mistake. (Once in my life that *did* happen, with a pet mouse, rescued from work. Didn’t realize the water bottle was empty. Mouse recovered fine, but I felt- and was- so guilty about that, the dreams started.)

    Then it would just became mostly cats. Would finish caring for all I thought I had, and then discovered another one, two, four! that were also under my care. Dreams then morphed into special needs cats: I’d be out somewhere and find a hamster sized cat, or a tiny kitten that had fallen into water, or something that no one was caring for, but I was supposed to be at work and couldn’t find someone to look after it, so I had to carry it around with me. Next dream phase was kittens about two inches long, so small that it was really hard to carry them around and do work, and had to put them down temporarily to do something, then find them again.

    After about 50 years of that, have a new twist that I like better: the ones I find are really not mine or my responsibility and they are not in need of rescuing. I can just check to see they are OK, and leave.

  16. Mark Coggiano
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Stream NPR in the lab. This was the conversation one day last week:

    http://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2018/11/20/alice-robb-why-we-dream

  17. jwwalker
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I’ve had a variant of the usual school dream. Being a former professor, I dream that there’s a class that I’ve been forgetting to teach.

    • Kiwi Dave
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      A similar dream, which I have once every 2-3 weeks in my retirement, wakes me in considerable panic: I am teaching a senior class that morning but have forgotten to prepare a lesson and can’t remember what I should be teaching.

      As a child I had a recurrent nightmare: a thin length of straight, white elastic cord would start gently undulating, but become increasingly violent and jagged in its movements until I awoke. Even now, sixty years later, I feel physically uncomfortable describing it.

      In my mid-thirties I frequently dreamt I had killed some unidentified person and hidden the body in a concrete chamber under the daphne bush by the path to the letterbox. I remember twice surreptitiously looking the next day for signs of soil disturbance.

  18. Ken Phelps
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Setting aside the dream itself, the title of the post is a tad ironic in the light of the Mississippi run-off election.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      I have a dream that one day the deep south will rejoin the union. It’s getting closer, but the neo-Confederates hung on to another one. (Hyde-Smith had a lotta baggage, but no credible kiddie-diddling allegations à la Roy Moore).

      • Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        I think it will take a long time for their way of thinking to fade. In the short term, the best we can hope for is that racism and Confederacy worship will be frowned on by state institutions and those who hold these bad ideas go back into hiding. Saying goodbye to Trump and the current GOP crop of politicians will help immensely.

  19. Posted November 29, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Reminds me of Blake’s Ghost of a Flea–

  20. Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I’ve noticed that I have the most bizarre dreams when I get too cold in bed. They aren’t really bad dreams but ones with strange imagery. I don’t remember them for long, though. I find the quick forgetting of dreams to be a strange and interesting phenomenon. I’m sure we’ll figure out its significance someday.

  21. Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    While I didn’t have a dream last night, or simply can’t remember it, something unexplained did occur. Perhaps the smart people who comment on this website will offer an explanation.

    Shortly after my wife and I dropped off to sleep, we awoke to a high-pitched pure tone that lasted for about 4 seconds and repeated every 10 seconds. At first I thought that it was some kind of alarm from one of our digital devices, something that has woken us before. It was such a pure, high tone that it was very difficult to locate. After wandering around the house for a while, I concluded it was coming from outside. After wandering around the outside, I decided it came from high on a power pole.

    I called the power company’s trouble number and the representative didn’t think it was that strange but didn’t offer an explanation. She said they’d send someone out but it is probably not a high priority as it is rainy and breezy and they have more important calls to make.

    Any ideas?

    • GBJames
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Aliens!

      • Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        If so, they are still at it this morning. It is easy to ignore as long as I’m not trying to sleep. The power company has yet to visit.

        I did learn one thing from the experience. If I sleep with my right ear buried in my pillow, the tone doesn’t bother me. Evidently my left ear is not able to pick up the tone. Probably damaged from too much loud rock and roll.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      I had a similar[ish] experience around 1965 when I was 10 – I never determined what the cause was, but it was external to me. High pitched pure, artificial tone coming from a spot near the middle of my bedroom at my head height. Hard to determine a direction for it as it barely changed in intensity as I walked around the room.

      This was dead of night, pitch black, in an era when home electronics were sparse. The only electronics in the house: a landline phone, CRT tube TV & a ‘radiogram’ [old tube combined radio & record player] all downstairs [I was upstairs]. After the sound stopped I checked everything downstairs – all off.

      • Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        That reminds me of another eerie experience I had decades ago. I woke in the middle of the night to see very brief flashes that were illuminating the whole bedroom. The flashes were so brief that it was difficult to spot the source. It had the air of some kind of alien visitation. I eventually traced it to the overhead light which was on a dimmer. The dimmer control was as close to off as possible without being completely off. As soon as I clicked it off, the flashes went away.

    • Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      Do you have a smart meter? It could be that, or electromagnetism emanating from hydro line. It’s been reported that some people are sensitive to them.

      People in my house have heard high-pitched ringing at the same time, so we realized it wasn’t our individual ears ringing. Very weird feeling.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        For Americans, “hydro” is Canadian for “electric”. 😉

      • Posted November 30, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        No, it’s not that. It is fairly loud outside. I’m pretty sure it is some kind of alarm. We’ve had some bouts of rain lately. It seems to go off when it is raining. I suspect some piece of equipment on the pole is marginal and some kind of failure is being triggered by the rain. The power company still hasn’t come out to look at it as far as I know. It didn’t rain last night so we got a good night’s sleep.

        • Posted November 30, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          The tone was hard to locate inside as it is being produced outside. It is not a subtle sound when I’m standing under the power pole.

        • Posted December 2, 2018 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          Hope it gets fixed soon. Those high-pitched sounds can be very irritating.

          • Posted December 3, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

            It hasn’t sounded since the rain stopped. We’re due for rain this Wednesday and Thursday so I guess we’ll find out. My guess is they haven’t fixed it.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      I’ve noticed some power supplies when merely plugged into the house power emit a constant high pitched whine. It took me a while to realize this because it’s not very intense and can blend into other noises like fluorescent lamps, etc.

      Doesn’t explain the timing but perhaps with something else it might…

  22. Caldwell
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    That was one creepy dream!

    My two recurrent dreams *were* –

    — When we lived in Utah’s “Canyon Country” and walked loose dogs all over the place, I had dreams of falling down cliffs nearly every night, which would wake me up shortly after I fell (ha ha) asleep. In “real life” the dogs didn’t mind standing with their toes hanging off the cliff edges, and it made me nervous.

    — That the world was being invaded by creatures from some other planet and the only signs of it were the upper atmosphere slowly becoming foggier, and a rapidly increasing number of “unusual occurances”, like whales beaching, strange diseases, flocks of birds hitting buildings, etc., and I couldn’t convince anyone what was happening. Then sometimes the dream would turn into something like the old “Mars Attacks” trading cards, complete with death rays.

  23. Mark R.
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I have one where one of my dogs (it’s always a dog that has died) gets away from me. Of course it happens when something dangerous is ahead: a busy freeway, a group of dogs already fighting, a cliff. And when I try to yell to stop my dog, my voice doesn’t work. I frickin’ hate those dreams…so damn frustrating. Not a hard dream to interpret though.

  24. Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Here’s my interpretation of your dream (not that you asked for it): the three men represent the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—hence, religion. After giving religion the finger you run into the hospital, representing science, and find refuge in the department that specializes in biological mutation —i.e., evolutionary biology. This source of refuge turns out to be not entirely positive, however, since it is quickly associated with serious cancer of the head. Before you have a chance to reconcile this discrepancy, you wake up. (Don’t ask me what the box of chocolates has to do with anything!)

  25. revelator60
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    “The interpretation of a dream is itself a dream.” — George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax.

  26. Conelrad
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    For a couple of years, I was taking a daily dose of a dietary supplement which was supposed to rejuvenate your mitochondria. You were supposed to take a pill before going to sleep. I don’t know if my mitochondria were energized, but I do recall having regular dreams which featured fast motion, sometimes in a vehicle, sometimes running through a forest. When I stopped taking the nostrum, the dreams stopped too.

  27. Posted November 29, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Even after 5 decades, I still occasionally have the never-went-to-class dream. I also have had a lot of broken teeth, so have some recurring dental dreams; the more common one is of teeth loosening and then falling out, and a second one is of unending string being pulled out from around a tooth. In reality the string is used as packing around the base of a tooth, and as far as I know, the dentist has always removed it 🙂 Most odd dream was a seamless shining chrome space capsule hovering close to the ground on my undergraduate college campus – a door appeared, and I went in; end of dream. Perhaps I was actually abducted!

  28. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Dream posts are my cue to rave about J. Allan Hobson’s old general audience book The Chemistry Of Conscious States. Cleared up some of the mystical nature of dreams for me. Additionally, Freud’s work is discussed in light of then-modem research results. It doesn’t turn out good for Freud’s project.

  29. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Sub

  30. Steve Pollard
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    The ‘wee’ small hours, eh, boss? I know what you mean…

    I have many bizarre dreams; but three themes tend to recur:

    1. On the subject of the ‘wee small hours’, I have some really weird dreams about needing to go to the loo. Often the public toilets are out in the open; or are crammed into impossibly tiny spaces. Quite often, in these dreams, I am naked. Yup, I usually end up awake enough to grope my way to the (real) loo. Dream solved.

    2. I have gone back to my old college (which I graduated from 46 years ago!) to do a PhD. I have forgotten how to do chemistry, and have completely wasted the year. Now the assessments are approaching, and I have done no work. Usually the architecture of the college has subtly changed as well, which doesn’t help.

    3. I am in central London, which I know well, and have decided to walk to my next appointment. Somehow the topography changes: I am suddenly in streets I don’t recognise, or even out in the country (the other night, in a ploughed field!) I soon become lost and start to panic.

    The thing is, these themes come round so regularly that, even in my dream, I seem to recognise that it is indeed a dream, and that in due course I will snap out of it.

    Gosh, I wish I understood the first thing about what is really going on when we dream!

    PS: I dream vividly in colour. Do other people?

    • Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Early on, I never dreamed in color. But then someone at school said *he* dreamed in color, so I worked on it until I could also. (Competitive dreaming.)

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Yes. My reception handles colour. I also get a sense of motion in the ear thingammies. I don’t get [or don’t recall on waking] pain from falls & I don’t get the touch sensation. Must upgrade my aerial.

  31. Raymond
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi!
    My name is Raymond and I’ve interpreted hundreds of dreams!

    But dreams are tricky. Sometimes although I can understand the symbolism, because they’re personal to you, only you will understand how to apply the symbols.

    So here’s what sticks out to me:

    Hospital:
    To dream of a hospital represents a mindset that is serious about fixing problems or confronting emotional ills. It reflects attempts to do all you can to confront or improve a problem. A crisis point. A situation that forces needed change. Feeling a strong need to fix a bad relationship after fight. Urgently sorting out problems.

    Yelling: (in reverse since they’re yelling at you)
    To dream of yelling represents anger or frustration. You may feel overlooked or ignored. Yelling may also be a sign that you feel that your opinion doesn’t count or that others see you as being unimportant.

    Middle Finger:
    To dream of someone giving you the middle finger represents feelings of rejection. It may also reflect feeling that you are being purposely embarrassed

    Chocolate:
    To dream of chocolate represents self-reward and treating yourself. This can anything you do to enjoy yourself from taking a vacation to romantic thoughts in private.

    Chased:
    To dream that you are being chased represents issues or situations that you are avoiding facing, or confronting. Something you may feel is impossible to overcome or defeat. You may feel stressed or threatened. It may also reflect something you don’t want to acknowledge. You may have anxiety, strong fears, insecurities, or guilt. Situations you find emotionally dangerous.

    Cancer:
    To dream of the disease cancer represents emotional or situational decay. An area of your life that slowly eats away at your well-being, happiness, or power. It can also reflect feelings of hopelessness, restrictions, or fundamental flaws. Feeling that a situation can only get worse or will spread to other areas of your life if you don’t start taking action. Feeling that a situation is hopeless or can only get worse. Feeling that something eating away are you.

    Mutants:
    To dream of a mutant represents feelings about yourself or others standing out for being abnormal. Feelings about being different in ways that you can control or reverse. A perception of being different in a negative way. Differences that are perceived as being dangerous or unhealthy. Feelings about yourself being uglier than other people. A very depressed or pessimistic view about some area of your life.

    • GBJames
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      You’re good at that fiction thing!

  32. Posted November 29, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I write and read books in my dreams. Also, music. My house is across the highway from a lumber mill that works at night. I often translate the sounds of the mill into four part harmony music in my dreams.

    I have dreams in which I sing. Singing has always been a major part of my life until I had surgery for thyroid cancer, after which I could no longer sing. I now hum or whistle. Usually when alone.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      Well that’s a lot better than listening to mill sounds!

      • Posted November 30, 2018 at 2:37 am | Permalink

        Agreed!

        • Posted November 30, 2018 at 2:39 am | Permalink

          Just thought. I used to have perfect pitch. Maybe the mill sounds are so off key, I have to modify them.

          My brother and I used to sing while doing dinner dishes. He found it very amusing to sing just a smidgeon off-key in order to drive me nuts.

  33. Posted November 30, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I honestly experience the same thing, I know you had good dream last night but couldn’t remember what it was no matter how hard I try. Often, I dream something terrible and couldn’t move my body, the bizarre thing is that I was aware that I was dreaming, my mind trying to wake my body up but they couldn’t simply move for a few seconds that lasts a minute.

  34. Roo
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    My interpretation of dreams is that they are often a general replay of emotions recently felt, with whatever imagery corresponds. So running away from bullies with a bag of chocolate might be one image your brain serves up in response to feeling stressed, threatened by the possibility of illness, and so on. Swamp creatures as an external representation of internal illnesses like cancer, kindly nurses as a reminder that you do live in a first world country where at least some help for such things is possible, if your emotional mind is running through that hypothetical.

    I find I have almost no nightmares since I started meditating (knock on wood,) although when I’m sick or taking certain medications I get unpleasant ‘fever dreams’ – jumbled, rapid, incoherent images that lack any real narrative. My happy reoccurring dream is generally being at a retreat center (often I’m not actually doing the retreat, I’m registering and waiting for it to start and surprised by who has shown up there – sometimes family members or favorite meditation teachers). I assume this means my subconscious is in a good mood. My blah reoccurring dream is being in a building of some sort – generally it’s implied that it’s a place of work or school – and doing monotonous tasks that are neither pleasant or unpleasant, just mind numbing. Taking things up on an elevator and delivering them to floor 3, then putting them right back on the elevator and delivering them to floor one, or sorting and resort pamphlets, and so on. I assume this means my life lacks inspiration or I’m getting caught up on trivialities for the sake of appearances.


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