Last night I had the most nonsensical dream. It featured a woman I’d maybe met once about 40 years ago. I only knew of her because my then husband was a college instructor at the same college as her husband.

I doubt I’d ever been in her home. And I don’t even recall her name.

Yet I dreamed about her in vivid detail.

The Puzzle Of Dreams:

Aren’t dreams strange?

I’ve always thought that dreams are our brain’s way of making sense of our lives. Of working through things.

But why on earth did this woman have a starring role in my dream?

I know I’ll never figure that out. But the dream has stayed with me, interrupting my routine and morning thoughts.

Did you know that mulling over important thoughts, things we think about often or that have emotional significance, activates our dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)? This is a brain region that facilitates memory.

So physically, dreams are responses to our thoughts.

But I barely knew this woman, and then only in passing. So how could she possibly have figured into my thoughts?

The Who, What, Where, When & Why:

Therein lies the mystery that dreams run the continuum of who, what, where, when and why.

In the dream I was decorating her home for some event. Since I doubt I was ever in her home, then how did I know the rooms and layout?

Were the physical facts just manufactured in my dream?

People Are Complicated:

I have always been one of those people more interested in meanings and concepts than people. It’s like finding the end of a string and pulling to see where it goes.

People are so complicated. You can never know what they’re going to do next. They may care about you briefly and then walk away, never to be seen again. You can’t put your finger on their impulses.

But if it isn’t all that important to you to have a constant stream of people in your life, then it’s really just a blip on your radar. You just stick your head in a book and move on.

I guess that’s why I choose to be alone most of the time. People confuse me. I don’t usually get their subtle signals and they often don’t mean what they say. Or say what they mean.

A Fascination With Words:

As a child I learned that many words can be akin to other words. They can be used almost interchangeably.

Words can just be subtle shades of expression. I thoroughly enjoyed writing them down and then moving them around like puzzle pieces.

None were exact fits. Some worked better than others. But it was my way of learning dexterity with words. It’s like using a muscle over and over again. That muscle becomes more defined.

Why did I really need physical playmates when I had all this stuff swimming around in my head to entertain myself with?

Your Life’s Fascination:

The sum of your parts make up the whole of who you are. Whatever occupied and fascinated and drew you as a child usually creates who you are as an adult.

If you were more introverted as a child, chances are you will remain that way.

And if you didn’t really need people around you then, it’s likely that your own thoughts will be better company to you when you’re all grown up.

Like me, you might just be content to row your own boat out to sea. You will take notice of everything around you. Words will form in your head to serve as bookmarks to your thoughts.

You’ll never be lonely because your thoughts keep you company, and there’s always a mystery to be solved. Your curiosity will keep you engaged. Books will entertain you and make you think.

Sometimes just being around people is too mentally taxing to be worth the effort.

People say that it is the quiet ones that always surprise you. They fade into the background and don’t want or need to be noticed.

And unless, for instance, they write a blog and tell you their daily thoughts, you wouldn’t even know they exist.

I don’t usually work out what I will write here each day. It’s just easier to look at a blank screen and let whatever is in my head at that moment tell a story. Or posit a question.

It’s a place where I attempt to work out the causation of my dreams. However nonsensical they may be. Where I engage with all of you, which is basically all the social activity I seem to need.

Every day, if you have the time to read all the way to the end (and sometimes you won’t due to time constraints or interest), you’ll derive your own personal meaning from what I write.

And like dreams, that meaning will stem from thoughts you might not even recall you had.

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15 Comments

  1. Hi Brenda. Thanks for sharing that post. I read about the dream, and it had different details than I remembered and was even more powerful and mysterious than I remembered. It could be a scene from a mystery TV show or movie. My comment on it wasn’t at all what I remembered. (My name was JKaye on my comment). But I sometimes write a comment, then decide not to post it, and then write another one. It’s so weird, I was sure I made a comment about a native American story! Oh well. I did enjoy reading about your dream in the boat again.

  2. Hi Brenda. I started to reply to this post yesterday, but didn’t have enough time. There are so many interesting elements to the post that I need a bit of time to make a reply. First off, I am always interested in your posts on dreams. I remember when you did a post on a particular dream about five or so years ago. In that dream, you were in a boat on a big lake with one, maybe two other people. It seems like one of them was a young girl, and one was an old woman. Something happened that the old woman wanted you to resolve. I can’t remember the exact issue, but she was telling you to do something you didn’t want to do. It was something like, the young girl had fallen overboard, and you were told to jump in and rescue her. I don’t know if that is the exact problem, but, it was something kind of scary like that. I made a comment on the dream in which I compared what happened to you in the dream to a story I had recently read in a book on native American folklore. Something about the symbolism in the dream and story seemed similar to me. Do you remember that dream? It made a big impact on you at the time, but you didn’t know what it meant.

    As far as your dream about this woman you barely know, I have a guess, but, it is totally without any sort of expertise when it comes to deciphering dreams. But, it occurred to me that maybe the woman represents a part of yourself that you don’t know well, or maybe you are just discovering some things about yourself so the woman represents this new part of you. You are decorating her home, just like you decorate your own home, and lately you have been making some changes based on meeting your new physical needs, such as getting a different chair and mattress and so on, so it seems to me like the woman could be symbolic of you in this new phase in your life. But it’s a guess.

    On the topic of being introverted, I appreciated this statement that you made: “Sometimes just being around people is too mentally taxing to be worth the effort.” I do feel that way sometimes, even though I do want to have meaningful relationships with people. I used to be more extroverted, but dysfunctional relationships over the years with my parents and my first husband caused me to pull back from being more outgoing. I can be extroverted at gatherings, but inside I feel insecure and just want to go home. Meanwhile, my second husband is fairly introverted and apparently he’s always been this way. He has a story from when he was a child, and his family would get together with other relatives. One of the uncles would see him and say, “Well, there’s old Noisy! How are you doing, Noisy?” Since my husband was just a kid, he took the name Noisy literally. He thought he must have bothered someone, so he tried to be even more quiet. When he got a bit older he realized the uncle called him Noisy as a joke because he was such a quiet kid! It’s exactly the kind of experience a child can have that sticks with them for years.

  3. What an odd dream, for sure. I have been having dreams lately of being in different houses and wondering if I should buy them. lol
    While I do enjoy people I really love to be alone also- I am never lonely or anxious when I am alone.
    I hope you have a wonderful evening and a non-confusing dream tonight. xo Diana

  4. Here’s a question that came to my mind as I read about your dream about the woman you barely knew. I wondered what that woman might have represented to you. If you answered that question, would the dream make more sense? She may have illicited certain feelings or thoughts from you regarding your past or present life, perhaps. Or perhaps none of this makes any sense to you and the dream is just random. Hard to say. Maybe some of our dreams are just totally random without decipherable meaning at all. Interesting to think about anyway.

    I love your photos of your zinnias. They are one of my favorite annuals. I haven’t gotten any planted this year, sadly. We’ve had so much rain here that there are swarms of mosquitoes so I can’t spend the time outdoors working that I’d like to . Frustrating.

    I’ll close and wish you “sweet dreams” tonite!

  5. Your writing is great…those dreams that come to us are usually something to ponder..and not always good ones..thank goodness only dreams…. I used to think myself an extrovert, but I treasure being alone these days, as it is my opinion the World has become wayyyyyyyy too disrespectful and noisy…folks think we need to enjoy their phone conversations and many folks do not teach their children manners and to be quiet in public…..liking oneself and being ok spending time alone is a great gift to appreciate.. Thanks for sharing..it really helps me to know that its ok to enjoy solitude… :0)

  6. I wanted to make a comment about what you wrote, but will say that you packed so many interesting and provocative thoughts and information into what you said that I’m just going to process and think about all of it. As usual, interesting.

  7. How strange that today you write about your dream. I had a dream last night, that might interest you. In my dream was Ivy, your cat. And for whatever reason?… it’s a dream of course, I had a tall skinny fish bowl filled with water and one goldfish in a “dark” closet. Ivy (It was her, the cat was cute and black and white, got into the closet, jumped into the fish bowl, and the bowl fell over and the water and fish spilled out. I wasn’t mad at the cat, just looked for the dead fish, but the fish turned up alive swimming in a puddle on the floor. When I looked for Ivy, she was sitting in the fish bowl again, proud as could be, and it was full of water again. then I woke up….Anyway, you are right, I wonder why we dream such goofy dreams. Hugs from WI, bonnie

  8. Oh my, I had one of those dreams last night and it is making my morning seem like I am in a fog. It was a dream made up of many other dreams I have had in the past. Trying to figure out what it meant is exhausting.

    As for being an introvert, I was raised on a farm and spent my many days in the forest living out my imagination. I am still that way and can totally relate to everything you wrote.

    Thank you for making my day. And, I am ok with that too…..

  9. I often have far out dreams, dreaming of people I hardly knew (same as you did with that lady your former husband once worked with) and also literally “dream people” who as far as I know, don’t exist in real life. I’m always interested when I have a “romantic” dream about some man who, as far as I know, doesn’t exist. I sometimes still dream of when I worked at the law firms, although those dreams usually leave me waking up frustrated and angry and thinking I’m so glad I QUIT IT ALL! I have a pretty interesting life going on in those dreams, LOL! The mind works in mysterious ways and makes connections of which we are not even consciously aware. Your dream of the lady you hardly knew may have been triggered by a random word you heard, or passing by a stranger who somehow reminded you of the woman unconsciously, or a fleeting feeling or thought you had and promptly forgot. You’ll never know, and that’s the wonder of dreams. I usually enjoy mine, even the ones where I wake up feeling frustrated and angry because I can just shake my head and laugh and get on with this, my real life. Well, at least I think it’s real… Oh oh, I envision yet another sequel to The Matrix.

  10. I had a strange dream that involved a classmate I had in high school. He had an unusual name….Gaylon. I hadn’t thought of him in years. In fact, I have never thought about him at all. The following morning, I told my husband about my unusual dream. That evening, my husband was reading the newspaper and he said, “You had better sit down . The person in your dream is in the obituaries!”

    1. Your photos are very calming. I am ok without a lot of people around too. I have 3 cats and 3 dogs and they are enough social contact most of the time. Also have a husband who fortunately, if not understanding all the time, at least accepts me the way I am. Your Charlie and Ivy are a sure way to get a smile out of me.

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