Since I’m still sick as a dog, I’ve been spending a great deal of time sleeping, and having some really strange Nyquil-induced dreams. One included waterspouts on the Grand Canal in Venice. In another, I was having to open my drawbridge for a herd of giraffes that were walking on top of the river. (Actually, it’s called a “tower” of giraffes, apparently, but if I had just said that with no explanation, would you have known what I was talking about?) It was very stressful because they weren’t slowing down, and I wasn’t sure I’d have the bridge open in time. But you’ll be relieved to know that I did get it open, their fuzzy little horns missing the underside of the bridge by mere inches. I think Dali would be proud of me.
The thing is, I’m sure there are people out there who would say they could interpret these dreams for me. There are dozens of books and websites on dream interpretation. You can find out, for example, that if you dream of your gall bladder it means you need to get rid of negative energy. If I ever dream of my gall bladder I’ll be sure to let you know if that “scans” for me.
Whatever. Honestly, where do they get this stuff? As far as I know no one has found a Rosetta Stone to our subconscious. And if they did, one would assume that each culture would have a different “language”. The lions in my dreams, for example, must mean something entirely different than those dreamed of by a bushman of the Kalahari. So when someone attempts to interpret my dreams with even the slightest degree of certainty, I tend to look at them askance. The truth is, for every unequivocal dream interpretation, there had to be somebody, somewhere, pulling this stuff out of his or her behind.
And let’s not forget that there are always mitigating circumstances with our dreams. I’m sure my chugging Nyquil has added a whole new layer of confusion to my brain, so how can you interpret the dreams I had last night the same way you would on a night when I was healthy and unmedicated? It can even boil down to what you ate before going to sleep. I agree with Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol: “You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato.”
Trying to figure out your dreams can be fun and it will certainly make you think. But if you honestly believe that there’s a dream dictionary out there that will answer all your questions, keep dreaming.