07 February 2013

The Deep Meaning of a Dream

I had a dream this morning, just before I woke up. With my backpack on, I was walking through the Bavarian mountain village where I went to high school, looking for the book store at the centre of town. But it turned out it wasn't there any more. Then I was talking to a lady from the tourist information bureau, which happened to be in this little cottagey place next to where the bookstore was supposed to be, and I asked her when the next bus would leave so I could get back to the train station - but the buses, she said, were no longer running, either; they hadn't been for quite some time. Of course I hadn't been to the village in over twenty years, so I didn't know that. I think there was some other weird stuff in the dream, but I can't remember it; I just woke up.

Those of you who are into dream interpretation are probably salivating right now: what does it all mean? Deep, psychological, Freudian, spiritual and all that - or what? What. I'm afraid that the meaning of my dreams - and I have lots, all the time - is simply that the stuff I dream about is something I've thought about during the preceding day.

In this case, it had to do with the fact that yesterday I was at the local drug store, and they're changing ownership and are therefore clearing all their shelves and rearranging everything in the store. They've changed hands before, but usually all that happened was that the sign over the door had the name of a different drug store chain on it. This time, they're getting rid of most of their stock, presumably to start stocking the new chain's house brand, and they're no longer carrying the herbal iron tonic I went there to buy (the shelf it used to be on was full of dozens of jars of a food substitute weight loss product. I was offended.). And when I left the drug store, I saw a big sign on the video rental place next door: "Store Closing". It was one of the last holdouts of video rentals; all the big chains in town closed a few years ago. Alas, now we won't have this one any more, either; we'll be dependent on Youtube or the library for our entertainment. So there you have the reason why in my dream everything was closed or gone or cancelled.

As for why I was looking for that book store in the first place, just before going to sleep I was reading Goethe's "Sorrows of Young Werther". I haven't read it in thirty years, since grade 10, and my little yellow-covered paperback copy (published by Reclam, as all German required school readings are) came from that book store. It's got my teenaged scribblings in the margins ("S u D!" it says beside the passage where Werther first meets Lotte and is so smitten he can't even produce a coherent paragraph when he's trying to describe the experience to his friend Wilhelm. It is, of course, the perfect example of Sturm und Drang, the original emo culture.).

So there you have it: the deep meaning of my dream is to be found in bedtime reading and errands run in the afternoon. Oh, and once I got up, while I was consuming my breakfast toast, I booted up Google and did some research: the bookstore in that village is still in existence, and so is the bus line that runs to and from the train station. So the dream wasn't even prophetic, not in the slightest bit. I'm glad.

Life, the Universe, and Deep Meanings of Dreams. What have you dreamt recently?


  1. So one way to look at dreams, (the way I find most useful when it is the kind of dream that you can't quite let go of), is that every character in the dream is an aspect of yourself. So there was the "you" part, in the role of the seeker, and then the tourist info lady, the "informer" and these two parts of you were interacting, so the question could become something about the interplay of the seeker/informer inside of yourself, and what this may mean for some larger issue that is dancing at the edge of your consciousness. Hey - don't knock it - this method has helped me figure out some deep stuff about myself! tee hee

    1. Thanks! But it's okay. I'm quite content to think of my dreams as just plain weird, and caused by daily events. :)

  2. Some folks think dreams are an interpretive mechanism – they facilitate learning by integrating our multiple realities or relating new experiences to past events in order to help us understand them. It's when the dream mechanism fails, or gets overwhelmed by new or traumatic information, that we get psychological breaks. Interesting idea. Personally, I vote "weird". ;-)

  3. Anonymous9/2/13 15:01

    My dreams are always odd and don't seem to make sense! But if you want to rend a DVD, there is still one place in Kelowna - Leo's on Pandosy - and they have a huge collection.