The other night, I had a dream that included a Roomba, a cat, and a handheld electronic device for checking out library books. I had to get the angle of my device just right, so that the Roomba could read that I wanted to recheck my library book. The cat wasn't keen on being carried around but otherwise was just part of the mental dream furniture.

Last night's dream included a house with lots of rooms, Escher-style architecture, and Alice-in-Wonderlandish phantasmagorical and slightly frightening happenings. At one point I was carrying around an enameled basin, delivering some kind of fluid somewhere (and I couldn't find where it was to go), to someone who looked like the Mad Hatter.

Last night also included the following conversation.

  • Important person: Why are people turning in their prescription drugs? 
  • Me: Because they heard the headline about vitamins being worthless and are bringing in all their medication, not just their vitamins. You know how people are about health news.
  • Important person: Oh. Well, it can't be that important. 
  • Me (peering at label): It's probably pretty important to Mr. Ken Tenudo to be taking his heart medication. 

Ordinarily my dreams seem to come from left field. However, I can trace each of these elements back to a particular person or event in real life.

One of my Facebook friends, my sister's contemporary, has posted about her new Roomba, and that's where the cat came from, too (you know, the video of one riding a Roomba, though last night's didn't have a duck or a shark constume). I recently had to take a library book back on a snowy morning and thought about how I *could* have just read it on my Kobo, BUT NO I had to check out the paper book. (Which I'd do again, probably. I like regular books, though the Kobo has its advantages too.)

Last night's house, and especially the enameled basin, were probably from watching Victorian Farm and Wartime Farm Christmas specials on TVO. I haven't watched much online TV because our internet connection is frustrating, but I've been drawn back into it this week. The delivery, or non-delivery, of the fluid in my dream is probably my typical "late for the train" function kicking in--I had a long to-do list this morning and some anxiety about deadlines.

The conversation about drugs came from the recent reports on an article in the Annals of Internal Medicine about vitamins (info here). I've been thinking and writing around science recently, and health info is the primary window into science for most people. So when I hear headlines, I (perhaps cynically) wonder how people are most likely to misinterpret the headlines.

So what's the point? To say "thank you" to the creative neurological mechanism that lets me take raw material from life and combine it in new ways. It doesn't matter to me what the purpose of dreaming is--perhaps it really is just exhaust from what I burned in the day's engine.

But it's also a starting point. I think about which image carries the most emotional heft for me, what elements of the image keep drawing me back. As I do the holiday and end-of-year stuff, I'm also thinking ahead. And these dreams are helping me remember what's been on my mind, and what I could pay attention to in the coming months.

And dreamworld: what's up with that cat?