Thursday, November 29, 2007

Beth's website and dream journal

My friend Beth Terrell-Hicks has posted a link to her website in my comments section under one of my dreams posts. (By the way, the comments in The Half-Assed Game are usually the best part, because most of my friends have ideas as interesting as mine but are better writers than I am.) Beth's an author, and her website is devoted primarily to writing.

Beth is an unusual dreamer: she almost always dreams in the third person and watches the stories unfold. Beth's dreams, and writing, and waking life all deal with good conquering evil. Read about some of them here.


Scott said...

Geez Louise, your friend Beth's dreams, on her website, suddenly make it seem much more unlikely that dreams could in fact be random discharges and arbitrary electrical firings of neurons. Those are the most narrative dreams that I have ever heard of.

The few dreams I have DO seem more like arbitrary constructions of entirely unrelated and separate thoughts (and Mary Beth's dream about having to write the essay seemed that way, too-- random and desultory like, "then I put on my shirt. But it wasn't really a shirt, it was a cow, so I milked it.")

It's almost like Beth is having some entirely different process going on in her head at night.

It always seems to me like there is a lot of discussion around about how our dreams are a way of figuring out what is going on in our lives and of processing the information that we take in during the day and making sense out of it, strengthening neural connections, etc. But I always wonder more about the opposite thing: how our dreams effect who we are during the day. Maybe the dreams come first, and the way we think when we're awake is mostly determined by the stuff at night, the dreams. Like our daytime selves are just life support systems for our dreaming selves.

Mary Beth said...

My theory is that Beth's are about problem-solving too, only the problems she's solving is as an author, not as a character. (i.e. how is good gonna triumph over evil this time?) That's my explanation for their being problem-solving... not for their being arbitrary firings.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mary Beth!

Scott, I really like your idea about dreams affecting our daily lives rather than the other way around. If you look at it from that perspective, it opens up a whole new way of looking at the self and consciousness. It would be a good jumping off place for a story--or a scientific study, except that I don't know how a study like that would be conducted. Any ideas?

A friend of mine from college once made a similar observation about something different going on in my head at night. I described one of my dreams to him, and he said, "Now I know why you don't take drugs. Your mind already works that way."

BethTH said...

That last (anonymous post) was mine. I had to make a Google account so I could get a username.