I ALMOST HAD IT – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Coherent

Early this morning, I woke from a dream I wanted to remember. It was full of people, but I don’t remember who they were or what they were doing or for that matter, what I was doing.

I sat up in bed for almost an hour trying to get a grip on it and I almost had it. I considered opening my computer and actually writing down something because I know that if I don’t write it down, it’ll be gone. Yet I hold fast to some idea that if I try really hard, I’ll remember at least a tidbit and be able to build a story on that.

You’d think I’d know by now. Dreams slide away faster than my memory of why I’m in the kitchen looking wondering and knowing there IS a reason. I will remember it about half an hour after I go back to the recliner and relax.

Dreams are much more slippery. About the only coherent thought about the process is for about an hour, I remembered it. Then, blearily, I went back to sleep and whatever thoughts I had grabbed onto went silently into my sub-conscience where presumably they will permanently remain.

I have a question about this, actually.

Do we really remember the things we forget? Is there a place in our brains where the stuff we knew and were sure we’d remember are collected? Is the door to that area which is locked, but if we found the key, could we open it?

Would all those random thoughts about things there weren’t terribly important in the first place, come pouring out like the contents of our little memory boxes from childhood?

Those little wood or metal boxes that held the key to our roller skates, a postcard from a long-forgotten friend, a report card from fourth grade and a poem we wrote on our thirteenth birthday which we were sure was going to take the poetic world by storm? Except there would be so many more things in our brains. The Tylenol we forgot to take and the toast we neglected to toast. The time we didn’t water the plants because we came into the kitchen to water them but left with a glass of ginger ale?

These days, I forget more than I remember. I’m trying to figure out if there is a special place in our heads where all these forgotten pieces live in mental cold storage. One day, the door will fly open and it will all explode outward. I better hire a mental maid to clean it all up.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!

12 thoughts on “I ALMOST HAD IT – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. I think of the sieve in this situation. Our higher brain is always going through things like this and then says -nah, not that important – out it goes…..

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  2. I have similar ‘wonderings’ about those so easily forgotten dreams and I know well the frustration when we one wants to keep it alive and it’s just gone…. Is that why people buy dreamcatchers? Something I never understood, as it seems like something to dust and wash from time to time…
    I still remember dreams of my early childhood and some important ones of my later life. Mostly however I had, as a child, dreams of ‘horror’ (crocs under our folding-down beds, etc) and my mum used to say it was because every evening, I was telling bedtime stories to my younger sisters – and they were probably not always very age-correct. Later on, I dreamed less (resp. I couldn’t remember them at all) and then, in times of huge emotional stress the dreams got weirder and weirder. For the longest time, my (future ex) husband died in many natural ways, skiing, in the mountains, on his bike – that went so far that I knew I had to divorce him or he would have died…. In my dreams, I had to let him die, because I couldn’t live with him any longer!
    And years after that, I dreamt that he did die, I woke up with a very heavy heart. The same day, I phoned with a friend in Switzerland (I lived in the UK by then) and she told me that it was very nice of me to phone and enquire about the health of my ex….. It’s a longish story and doesn’t belong here but believe me, I DO believe in dreams!
    And yes, now I don’t remember hardly ever anything about my dreams. And if I do, it’s mostly rubbish dreams I had and I force myself to wake up so that ‘this nonsense’ is finishing – nothing dramatic, just an outlet of my overbording imagination.

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    1. When I was a kid, it was dinosaurs. I was sure they were hiding in the hallway. Or in the bathroom. Or my closet. Every now and again I have an interesting dream and if I write something down, I can sometimes remember it … but if nothing is written? Nothing is remembered.

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  3. I remember bits and pieces of my dreams for maybe five minutes before they turn to vapor. As to memories, I think they are all locked in tiny compartments inside our brain, but the files have probably been corrupted and the encryption keys and passwords misplaced, making accessing them close to impossible.

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  4. Dreams disappear so fast even if they are vivid when you wake. I sometimes remember bits of mine but not the details. They are usually the ones that feature family members. Perhaps we wouldn’t like to remember all our dreams forever but it would be good to recall it long enough to write it down or tell someone.

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  5. Perhaps the dreams are buried deep in the subconscious and only reappear at night or when you least expect, so they aren’t meant to be remembered, maybe the mind is just relaxing and letting go? Isn’t it called de-fragging in computer lingo? Maybe dreams are just cluttered up half cocked ideas, thoughts and unremembered memories. Many of mine make no sense and so I think where on earth the come from and what they mean; a jumble of bric a brac, cleaning out the shed if you like.
    That’s my theory anyway

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  6. I think the weirdest thing about my dreams is how my brain will apparently come up with completely original songs that will play in my head… and if I wake up shortly after that song is “playing,” I’ll even still have it going through my head… and now awake, will recognize that it’s not a song I know.

    And then, within a few minutes, it’s gone. Completely gone… and no matter how hard I try, I can’t get the song back. Dreaming is just so weird, and I don’t think we’ll ever fully understand how it works…

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  7. I’ve learned to write down the memorable ones, if only to have something to refer back to later, when/if it suddenly has a context. Now and then I get a “precog’ dream about something, vivid, puzzling. I know I have em, because a week or a month or more later, I find myself going through part of that dream, for good or ill.
    And maybe we don’t recall all our dreams as we age because our memory boxes are so damn full they just don’t have room for all of them. Or our bladders take precedence.

    I had a spell a few years back when all my dreaming was done as voice-overs, in a really complicated process of hearing someone reading what I was reading, watching the paper flow down the screen, and often turning into a voice over describing what I was seeing, in a kind of mixed-media thing. THOSE I wrote down.

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