This, That and Other Stuff

Bob Neuman

“To sleep, perchance to dream” – Shakespeare

I’ll bet you have never attended a lawn party in your birthday suit. Well, I have. I also stabbed a burglar in the back, wandered around deserted cities at night looking for my car, been chased by a man with a gun, and backed at least two cars over cliffs. I often dream of being late to teach a room full of waiting students because my legs have turned to rubber.

Dreaming one night, I actually kicked my wife onto the floor, abruptly awakened when she screamed at me.

Dreams do place us in strange, interesting, and sometimes frightening situations. While dreaming, no one is exempt from the involuntary mixture of real and imaginary people, places and events.

If we could choose our dreams, instead of a madman with a large weapon, we might select something like this: there is a fair maiden sprinting toward you in a daisy covered meadow. A slight breeze gently ruffles her long, blonde hair. She smiles as you lope toward her. Before you can embrace her, your wife snorts and tugs on the blanket, nearly turning the bed over. Now wide awake, you glare at her backside.

Do you know by age 60 you will have slept 175,200 hours, dreamt 87,000 hours with 197,100 dreams? Some recall their dreams vividly while others never do, but only a small percentage can interpret them.

Why do we dream? Some theories state dreams release stress. Dreams come from the subconscious mind. In our waking hours we take in sensations from all around us. During night time, our conscious mind is stilled, providing the opportunity for our subconscious to take charge.

There is a wide disagreement to the cause of dreams. Some think dreams of deceased people are methods of communication. If so, next time I dream of my dad, I will ask what he did with my grandfather’s clock.

You may recall Scrooge looking at the door knocker and seeing the dead Marley’s face. Scrooge brushed it off by remarking, “It probably is no more than an undigested bit of beef.” So should we watch what we eat before bedtime?

You may think of numerous songs about dreams like California Dreaming, Dream Lover, Beautiful Dreamer, etc. And who could ever forget I Had a Dream by the famous Shorty Long?

Night dreams must not be confused with day dreams that are waking imaginings; a series of usually pleasant images that pass through the mind of somebody who is awake. Ah, memories of my English classes of students engaged in this practice while staring out the windows.

This business of dreams is a deep, complicated subject. In fact just writing about it has made me drowsy. I should take a nap, but on the other hand, I am considering something more exciting. I believe I’ll look for a lawn party to attend – as soon as I can get out of these clothes.