|English: ImaginOn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
While it can often be easy to pinpoint the source of a theme in a dream, why we dream about that particular topic in the way that we dream it can be more puzzling. If something weighs heavily on our minds prior to sleep, we may dream about that thing either directly or indirectly, but it's often easy to understand the connections between the waking life concern and the dream story
A exemplary case from my own dream experience involves a poem I wrote for a contest my writing group recently held. On Tuesday night (of the week when I had this dream) I entered my poem of light verse and won the contest. Wednesday night before going to bed, my wife read my poem and then had me explain it. Since English is not her first language, there were some things that she didn't quite understand. I went through the poem with her and then afterwards told her that a lot of people who were not familiar with poetry and English literature would probably not understand the references I made in my poem. My poem was geared to a fairly specific audience.
As I was trying to go to sleep I began going over my poem in my mind and thinking about other poems that I might write. Throughout the night I slept fitfully at times. I continued to review my poem in my mind during sleep, half-sleep, and waking. I mentally composed new lines for new poems.
At one point I looked at the clock. It was 4:08 AM. Dismayed, I thought that I would not be able to go back to sleep, but then I quickly fell into a deep sleep and began to dream....
I arrive at work early in the morning. It is just starting to turn light and no one else is around. I am going back to my old job at Morris Costume Company. The workplace reminds me of the place where I used to go except that it looks older, perhaps larger. The building is located in an older industrial area where some of the other warehouses appear to be no longer in business. The parking lot is larger than the one at the building where I used to work and it seems to be mostly gravel. I seem to be on foot and without a vehicle.
Since it is so early I am the first one at work. It seems that Morris Costumes has reopened their California warehouse and today is the first day of this new work term. The office is dark and seems mostly unfurnished when I go inside. The surroundings are similar to the place where I used to work, but perhaps larger. I go into my office and begin arranging things. The phone rings. A customer is on the line. I remember this customer. Her name is Sherri Larson. We talk briefly and I think I take an order from her. She says she wants to speak to my boss when he gets in. For some reason I have the impression that she wants to speak to my son-in-law Tom, but then I realize she really means the company owner Scott.
I go out of my office and notice things are now much lighter. The day is gray but the sky is brighter than it had been when I first arrived. There is still a sense of gloominess--a dream setting haze perhaps. A rail container has been dropped at the front door. I open the container and begin unloading it into the front office first and then into the warehouse. I notice that employees have arrived and are working in the warehouse. This warehouse seems at first like the warehouse where I used to work, but then as I look I see that it is much bigger.
Thinking that I could use some help unloading the container at the front door, I walk to the back of the warehouse where a number of workers are busy unloading a trailer at one of the docks. Ray, the warehouse manager from the Charlotte, North Carolina location is in charge and I realize that all the workers are from Charlotte. It's almost like the front of the warehouse is California and the back is North Carolina. After speaking briefly to Ray and a couple of the workers, I return to the front office.
Scott has arrived in his office. I let him know that Sherry Larson has called but he seems uninterested. I ask if it would be alright if I got one of the workers from the back to help me unload the container I've been working on. He lets me know that I can do it myself. He seems terse and grumpy.
Returning to the container, I continue to unload boxes. They aren't heavy, but it's a hassle to bring them through the front door and into the warehouse. I start wondering what it is that I'm unloading. Most of the boxes aren't marked, but I eventually find some that indicate they have either come from or are destined for a trade show in Chicago. With this knowledge I come to the conclusion that this is product and display materials that will be going to an upcoming trade show.
As I take a load of boxes to the place where I am stacking them in the warehouse, I notice some very attractive young women working in the warehouse. They are attired very well in nice summery dresses. It seems rather odd to me that they would be dressed like this. For one thing it occurs to me that if the young women were on ladders stocking shelves one could see up their dresses. Also the dresses would get messed up as they did the sometimes dirty warehouse work. There is also an issue of safety that I think about.
Everything is much brighter now as though it is late morning. Many people can now be seen in the warehouse. The scene is very busy. I continue to work alone. The container unloading is going very slowly and I realize that I have a long job ahead of me...
I then awoke about six minutes before the alarm was to go off. Poetry was still on my mind. Somehow there seemed to be a connection between the dream and my thoughts of poetry, but I could not figure out what that connection was.
Do you ever fixate on some little thing that keeps you awake, disturbs your sleep, and influences your dreams? Have you ever created something as a result of dreams or other nocturnal thought activity? How could my warehouse dream reality to my thinking about poetry?