Monday, September 08, 2008


Over the past few months I’ve been remembering a lot of dreams. I’ve even written about a few of them. These are two dreams that I had one morning last week. I’ve had several dreams (including the first) in a town I can’t place. It’s on the eastern slop of a mountain (like Virginia City, NV, Truckee, CA or Helena, MT), but there’s more vegetation and kind of looks like a coal mining town in Appalachia, with the exception that the landscape to the east is flat and desert-like. In the two dreams below, there was only one person I knew, a colleague from India who worked with me a few years ago in a job exchange program. Since railroad tracks were in the one dream, I’m posting a photo I took in August 1988, of tracks crossing the Appalachian Trail in Maine.

The conference ended and I was walking the streets. My plan was to hang around another day and explore the town and have a few beers in one of the bars along Main Street, a windy road clinging to the mountainside and dotted with old buildings. Below the street with the bars and restaurants were the train tracks that cut through the mountains and then dropped to the eastern plains. Everyone was leaving by train. As I walked the streets I saw a group of my colleagues heading back to the hotel. Dueto some mix-up, they were going to have to stay another night and it seemed that everyone, except me, was out of money. I mentioned, half jokingly, that I had a half loaf of bread and some peanut butter back in my room and I invited them up. On the way back, I stopped at a little grocery and picked up some beer, soft drinks and other sandwich makings, deciding I might as well make it a party. This wasn’t what I wanted to do even though I knew it was what I was supposed to be doing. I’d had my heart set on an evening of anonymity, sitting in the back of a smoky bar and watching a band and writing in my journal. Now I was being the gracious host. Everyone was appreciative and the next morning we were on the platform waiting for the train when I woke up. The clock said 4:30 A.M.

After a few minutes, I fell back asleep and found myslef with Joel, a friend from India. We were in a Muslim country and the sun had just set and we were getting ready to eat at a banquet. It must have been Ramadan, with the faithful fasting between sunrise and sunset. For some reason, we didn’t want anyone to know that we were not Muslim, as if we were on some kind of undercover mission. Although Joel is Christian, he’d lived among Muslims in India, so I suggested he go first and that I would follow his example. There were many tempting treats on the table, including sushi and oysters on the half-shell, but I noticed Joel and the others avoiding them. I couldn’t remember if Muslims ate shellfish or uncooked meat, so I stood there looking at the table as the alarm rang. It was now 5:30 AM and time to get up.


  1. I'm impressed by how many details you can remember. I'm horrible at remembering dreams... unless they are weird or freaky.

  2., pop and PB & Js. You sure do know how to throw a party, Sage.

  3. At least those dreams didn't leave you gasping for air and sweating when you woke from them.

    I've always wished I could hook up some electrodes to my head and record some of my dreams for playback later.

  4. Some dream. Very vivid. I don't know if Muslims eat raw meet or not. I think I am gonna find out. BTW, this is Ramadan mont right now. I suppose you know that. Come evening, old Delhi is so very festive!

    Lately I have started to write down my dreams. Whatever I remember about them. I still have a vivid dream about myself dying. I have had it since I was 15. For the last 25 odd years now. I am not scared of it any more. I have had a lot of dreams about snakes....mainly blak cobras.

    Sorry if I ramble here!

  5. tc, keep a pad near your bed and make a few notes as soon as you wake up--this helps me recall the dream later when I write it down in a journal.

    Murf, Hey, I picked up other sandwich makings!

    Ed, no, the dreams of the past few weeks have been more subtle than some of the ones I had in late July.

    Gautami, I remember the day after the dream hearing that is was Ramadan, but maybe I knew that in my subconscious mind.

  6. The first dream - smoky bar is bad for health anyway, so the dream tells you not to spend time writing your journey, but drink lots of good beer and be a good host. Ha :) I made that up obviously.

    Honestly, I envy you, for I don't dream, at least I can't remember my dreams.

  7. So cool that you remember - and take the time to write about - your dreams. My grandfather kept a pad on his nightstand as well. Often woke up in the morning with a blizzard of scribbles all over his room. He'd then reassemble them and transcribe the keepers onto index cards. My mother has the stuffed file cabinet now...I really ought to take a peek in there sometime.

  8. I love remembering my dreams in detail. I'm not much of an interpreter of dream symbolism, but I bet these two are loaded with symbolic messages. I'm inclined to think that there aren't pat symbols of a collective consciousness in dreams. I think its subjective. Peanut butter and beer to you in dreamtime may be what walking barefoot in the grass is to me! Either way, its fun - and potentially helpful psychologically - to contemplate the various possible meanings.

  9. I haven't remembered many dreams lately, but I write them down when I do.

  10. I almost never remember my dreams. Nice picture of the train tracks - love the b/w look.

  11. Mother Hen: Yeah, it's bad for your health and I've never smoked, but there is something about smoky bars... I really think that dream says something about me doing the right thing-taking care of people-but sometimes resenting it.

    Carmi, what a treasure chest! That sounds almost like the making of a book.

    Epiphany, I like peanut butter and beer, but together? Uck! I often do think of the symbolism or try to, sometimes more successful than others. There are themes often in my dreams. The town I spoke of, trains, meals (maybe I'm hungry), running, journeys, etc.

    Kenju, I've often wondered if by writing them down I remember more and then write more down...

    Dan, when I hiked the AT, I shot a lot of b&w, but that's about the time I stopped working with b&w in a darkroom, so most of them just got developed and never printed. I do like working in b&w.

  12. I did have a dream last night in which I ran into a woman I worked with twenty years ago . . .

    but that's about all the details I can remember!

  13. Every time I have a dream I can remember its a weird one. You remember more than I ever had of dreams, at least of good dreams

  14. Your dreams are just as adventurous as your life. ;)

    I need to make it a point to write down my dreams as soon as I wake up.

  15. This wasn’t what I wanted to do even though I knew it was what I was supposed to be doing.

    I can't help but focus on that line from the first dream. My interpretation would start there.

    As for the second dream... it's a little tougher. Have you stayed at a Ramada recently?

    ~ Dream interps (C)2008 by Bone

  16. I forgot how to make the circle-C earlier.

    I just remembered.


  17. Well Sage, you write as if you have been there. I think you had an OBE :).