Friday, June 04, 2004

Sometimes I just have to wonder.

I've been having what I call "brain static" dreams lately. You know the ones--they're the dreams in which nothing really makes sense. Things happen faster than the cuts in a music video. You're wandering around in your pajamas, looking for a snowcone stand, and then suddenly there's a giraffe right there, telling you jokes.

The cool thing about dreams--both the brain static sort and the intricately plotted, sense-making sort--is that nobody really knows why they happen. I have my own pet theory on dreaming, which goes like this:

Brain static dreams happen just before you wake up. They're the last-gasp attempt of your temporal and frontal lobes to discharge all the detritus of your last several days so that you can concentrate on being awake. They "mean" nothing. They don't symbolize anything except that you're a bit stressed out. They are, in short, your brain's way of cleaning out your huge mental refrigerator.

The intricately-plotted sort are a bit different. Those dreams tend to have bits in them that make you wonder if maybe your subconscious isn't trying to get something out of its system. These are the dreams that your brain makes up when you're ignoring something important. They mostly happen in the middle of the night and are longer.

I just had a really cool one of the second sort, even though it devolved into brain static by the end. I could play guitar in my dream--something I've never even seriously attempted--and sang two songs of my own composition that were really, really good. Nice harmonies, nice key changes, the whole shooting match.

Given that I ended that dream wandering down the service road of the highway naked, I'm not sure that I want to know What It Meant. I don't really care. Let the psychologists and neuropsychologists worry about why we do what we do inside our own heads. I'm just happy that my mind has such an incredible imagination independent of my consciousness.

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