Sunday, February 20, 2011

These Dreams...or Rowing Your Boat

Decided to evoke the song lyrics by Heart. For some reason, the song evokes memories of myself sitting in the waiting room of my brother's speech therapist, Dr. Lauren Bradway, with her blocks shaped like letters and the green walls and the radio oozing out contemporary hits. I'm sure it was played during that time, because every time I hear the song, I think of that waiting room. So peaceful..

Songs will do that...just like smells or other sensations. The chemicals in the brain that make memories stay active for some time, as the memory fades back into the subconscious. A few nights back I had a dream, don't remember exactly what it was, but the odd part was that it had Betty White in it. I thought it odd when I woke up, and upon thinking about it, I realized that she had been on the $25,000 Pyramid show on GSN the day before, so the image got transported into one of my dreams.

It's also weird when I have the television on at night, for instance, on Fox News, as my subconscious hears whatever is going on in the world and uses some of it in my dreams. I remember one time I was in a college town, probably supposed to be Milledgeville, but it looked nothing like it, when missle started raining down on the neighborhood. Woke up and sure enough, the Israelis and the Palestinians were exchanging missiles at each other. Or when I have ESPN on I will more often than not be at a baseball game sometime during the night. Perhaps I should sleep with the TV off...

I say all this because my grandmother, Granny, has for years claimed that she helped my former boss's wife with car problems when Granny worked at the Landmark building in Conyers. There's no way this could have happened, as he lived in Maine at the time she worked there. But Granny can go into what type of car it was and everything. I realized that these false memories started about the time that her Macular Degeneration started getting bad. With her being blind, the only clear images she saw was those that developed in her mind.

Last Thanksgiving my grandmother broke her hip and is now in a nursing home, as her mental state has deteriorated to the point where bringing her home just isn't possible with us having to work. She keeps on telling us about different things that happen in the home that make no sense. For instance, she claims she was having soup one day, and it was good soup, but that chickens came in and ate the rest. I think that dementia, especially in her case, results from the memories of the mind's eye. In other words, dreams that are so much clearer than what she experiences every day, that the dreams become her reality. If she dreams that she got up, walked down the hallway and ordered food from the cook, then that's what she did. There's nothing, then, to keep her from thinking that she could get up the next day. Thus, she would never be able to be by herself for any length of time.

It's amazing how clear dreams and memories stay in the mind, even ones that aren't real. How people can believe in a story so vehemently that it becomes their reality. I daresay that the best criminals are ones that can actually delude themselves into thinking that whatever alibi they constructed was their reality. It would easily pass any lie detector. Just ask my grandmother about my boss's wife, and she will tell you without hesitation what happened, even though it was impossible.

It is a remarkable state of being, to live in your dreams, and have them clearer than real life. But also terrifying. That reality is only constructed by our trains of thought. It makes me think that maybe Berkley wasn't so far off in his analysis of metaphysics. Or, as the old nursery rhyme goes:

Row, Row, Row your boat
gently down the stream.
Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily,
Life is but a dream.

And maybe, for some people, dreams are but life.

No comments:

Post a Comment