Free Time vs. Dream-poetry Explained

Skyfish - fancy goldfish
I took the day off work so I could score tickets to a museum for my book club.  I succeeded.

This may sound silly (and if you've met me you're unsurprised) but I assure you it was very serious.  Glenstone allots free tickets monthly, two months in advance, at 10 AM precisely on the first of the month.  By 10:03 they're gone.

We do something like this at my day job.  There's a set opening date and time for convention exhibitors to book blocks of 5-50 hotel rooms.  Madness ensues as people all over the world vie to get into the preferred  hotels.  We usually have juice and bagels on opening days; we discuss strategies for moving phone conversations along because every second counts.  So when I tried on April 1 to get Glenstone tickets, and failed, I knew what had to be done.

At home and unencumbered by other duties, I set my alarm for 9:55 and loaded the website. Hit snooze when the alarm went off, refreshed the site, and got ready to hit enter. This was my one shot... and the site wasn't loaded yet.  Do it all again...and bam. 8 tickets.

You  never know where you'll learn what you use to succeed.  We don't suffer regrets.

The key is to believe in yourself - even when you were miserable, struggling, hateful, your brain recognised and retained things it's saving for later. This is the stuff of dreams: the good, the bad, the ugly that your subconscious tries to communicate while you're asleep.

Not all of the messages are meant for you - your brain is conducting maintenance that you don't need to monitor. I've had waking-dreams, though, in which my brain repeated words and images, insisting that I remember and record them once conscious.  Here's a poem that happened that way:


Stigmata
Write my life in numbers.
Statistics show how I lived my life:
51 emails today; 22 instant messages; 103 Facebook posts;
Physicians' referral letters by Secure Fax.
I write my poetry in my dream-life, half drunk and running naked in the wooded yard on the first day in my new house where my husband surprises me by coming home in the afternoon.
I wake at dinnertime to find the neighbor downstairs is playing NPR at a volume the helicopters can hear when they fly overhead. He's very old and I think his senses are leaving him.
I write my poetry in dreams, now, and pass the days
Punching another set of numbers into the computer.
© dce 2014 (I think).
The first four lines I really wrote in my dream, as well as the title. My brain was adamant about the word Stigmata, even though it seems to have little to do with the body of the poem.

The next two lines are about the dream itself and my waking from it.  The last two lines were what I was struggling to figure out when, in the dream, I was stopped from writing by my husband coming home.  In real life I was awakened by the noisy radio. The physician's referral fax was real, but also really in the dream.  Just wasted a good 45 minutes looking for a photo of the fax, because I'd drawn a graph of Jazz music on it, and then faxed it anyway. I hope someone on the other end appreciated my humour. Sometimes people do.

Further Reading:

Dreams and the Brain - The Real Meaning of Dreams
This is a blog that seems well-written and I plan to dig further into it.

Why Can't We Remember Our Dreams? - Live Science

Your Brain Forgets Stuff Carefully and On Purpose - Gizmodo
This article by Jamie Condliffe cites two competing proteins as the reason dreams look so weird. This is feasible. Here's the paper Jamie cited:

Forgetting is Regulated via Musashi-Mediated Translational Control of the Arp2/3 Complex
This brings up an important question:  I don't forget very much. I've been forgetting more as I eclipse 50, and it's a bit of a relief.  If I could intentionally forget more, though, would I want to do that? How would it affect my art if my brain didn't have so many scraps of data from which to form unstable conclusions?


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