What does mustard, potatoes and a black cat all have in common? For me, they collide in dreams.
A few nights ago, I awoke from a crystal clear dream with a fantastic idea for this book idea I’ve been developing. Many writers keep a pen and paper next to the bed to log these sudden flashes of genius. I use my notes app on my iPhone. So, when I awoke in the morning, I read my amazing idea and this is what it said:
Putting the mustard back in the fridge, I said, “I’m cool with that.”
That was my awesome idea?
I have no clue what that dream was about. Too bad, I’m sure it must have been earth-shattering. Ha!
As you know, most dreams are forgotten with the opening of the eyes and first thoughts of the day. However, a few of my nutty nighttime escapades did make it into my memory.
Dreams have always fascinated me. They seem to be a combination of thoughts and experiences and feelings of the previous few days. Some make sense, or parts of them do. And, most do not. You probably all know what I’m talking about.
You are with people you know, but you don’t really know them. You are in your house, but it isn’t really your house. You suddenly can speak different languages or play new musical instruments. You are scantily dressed (yikes) or have to go to the bathroom but can’t because everyone is watching you. You try and run, but your legs won’t move. Or maybe you get to fly. I love flying in my dreams - I fly by doing the breast stroke!
Many years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night in a major panic. My ex-husband was used to me walking and talking in my sleep, so the novelty of my nightly entertainment had worn off. So, I get up, walk to the bedroom closet, look in and low and behold there was a guy sitting in there pulling wires out through the wall. I freaked and started unloading all the items on the closet shelf and setting them on the floor. My ex just told me to come back to bed. I remember the frustration and anger that welled inside of me. How could he be so stupid as to not know some intruder was in our closet? It took me a while and I did wake up. But it took me longer to shake the extreme irritation. It felt so real.
I typically have more vivid dreams while I am heavily engaged in imaginative work, like writing. I guess my mind goes into major creative mode and continues to work both day AND night.
Of course, I have had periods when I’ve encountered reoccurring dreams. You may be familiar with those. One I had during high school and college years had to do with a black cat. It was quite disturbing. As I held the cat in my hands, it clawed my arms as I squeezed it tighter and tighter. Tears rolled down my cheeks. My college freshman psyche professor had a field day with that dream.
One of my most memorable dreams happened several years ago. I was in a potato field in Idaho (go figure). (I’ve never been to Idaho, but have always loved those little brown treats cooked every which way.) I stood there looking at all the potatoes lying on top of the soil. They were visibly shivering in the frigid air and making a chorus of high pitched squeals. While cradling one poor frozen potato in my hands, its little brown jacket suddenly split wide open. Completely overcome with grief, I started crying. I woke up crying. I love potatoes.
A quick Google search offers a myriad of definitions about potato dreams. What they mean when you see them, cook them, eat them, etc., etc.. I don’t know. I just think potatoes happened to be a food staple during those college years. And, maybe the thermostat in my apartment was set too low.
Dream interpreters out there may have explanations about what ever last one of our dreams mean. They can feel so real and often engage many of our senses and emotions. For me, they are just another opportunity to experience some crazy situations and are a reminder of how our amazing brains can work. So, try to enjoy them.
And don’t forget the mustard!