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When you’re dreaming, you’re on your own. You might be sleeping alone or with a partner, but the moment you’ve gone to sleep, the world is what’s in your head. In the morning, you may remember what went on the previous night or you may not.

Your dreams might be ridiculous and frustrating, like the night I tried to pour wine into glasses with rubber stems that tilted under the weight of the wine and spilled all night. You might dream of your beloved, who’s lying by your side or has been gone for decades. You might dream of dark places, afraid to enter, or of swimming in the warmth of a Hawaiian pool.

You might see a therapist or a psychologist or a life coach and try to learn what your dreams mean, but, in the end, only you will be able to figure out what’s right and what’s not, assuming you want to. Or you might let your dreams wash over you, filling your life with the emotion each evokes.

According to Erin Wamsley ( in her PubMed article “How the Brain Constructs Dreams, “Deep inside the temporal lobe of the brain, the hippocampus has a central role in our ability to remember, imagine and dream. Our most vivid dreams are a remarkable replication of reality, combining disparate objects, actions and perceptions into a richly detailed hallucinatory experience.”

Hallucination is an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present. “Not present” is the key phrase. You’re alone in yourself the whole time and your knowledge of your dream isn’t even “in the moment.” It’s afterwards, in remembrance, and we all know that memory’s not reliable in itself. How illusory can you get?

Yet, there they are, night after night, emerging from your brain, ready to entertain, elate, sadden, scare, process your day, and enliven your life.


“When you’re dreaming, you’re on your own.” Great opening line. Loved many aspects of this piece, speculative in a rich curious sort of way, and yet appreciative and expansive somehow as well. Thanks!

Thanks so much. Aline

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