Home > Uncategorized > What happens to delay a dream?

What happens to delay a dream?

This morning just before I woke up, I had a dream in which I was walking through Seattle, then getting on a bus and trying to figure out how to get to Sea-Tac Airport so I could go home, and I needed to call someone but I couldn’t find my cell phone.  It was the kind of dream I’ve had many times in my life, where I’m trying to figure out the way home but can’t seem to get any closer to my destination no matter what I do, and it seems natural enough to combine that with my memories of my trip to Seattle.  But why did my brain wait so long to toss this one out there?  The memories that the dream is based on are from May 3, just over three months ago.  And it was just a month ago that I was in Baltimore, so if I was going to have a “lost in an unfamiliar city” dream, why not Baltimore instead of Seattle?

Well, maybe it’s because my “can’t find a route home” dreams usually involve buses (since that was my main mode of transportation for a large part of my life), and the last time I rode buses was during my Seattle trip, since I drove to Shore Leave.  Plus maybe I’ve been to Baltimore enough times that it’s not as unfamiliar as Seattle.

Although of course my memory of Seattle is imperfect, so the intersection where I caught the bus in my dream was a fusion of the intersection where I caught a Seattle bus in reality and a Cincinnati intersection that I often drive through when going to the West Side (and used to ride through on the bus quite frequently when I lived over there).  I remember thinking, during the walking part of my dream, that the walk seemed considerably shorter than it had been the “first” time I did it.  I guess that’s because my brain was condensing various parts of my walk through Seattle onto a mental map of that more compact area in Cincinnati.  They’re not even that similar, but I guess my brain chose that intersection because I drove through it just a few days ago when I went to see a movie and go shopping.  (It was Captain America.  Excellent movie, but I picked a lousy theater to see it in.)  But that just underlines how odd it is that I’d have a dream this morning about something that happened three months ago.  (Well, unless I’ve had several dreams about it but this was the first one I remembered.  The only dreams I ever remember are the ones that happen directly before I wake up.)

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. August 5, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Perhaps its related to the brain’s rate of creating long-term memories?

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