This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Creature in the Recycling Bin

Contest announcement on Monday 10/3!
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Is anyone planning to go to the BlogWorld Expo in Los Angeles on November 3-5?


The Creature in the Recycling Bin

          I threw some aluminum cans into an empty black plastic recycling bin in my back yard.  Before I dropped the bag of cans into the bin I noticed that the bottom of the can was filled with a few inches of water.  After dropping the bag into the bin, I turned away to walk a few feet when I heard what sounded like a muffled explosion and a whoosh.   I turned and saw that the recycle bin was gone.

           I knew immediately what had happened since this had happened on a few previous occasions.  I went into the house to the upstairs master bedroom to look out upon the front yard.  I saw the recycle can lid among the shrubs and knew that the can was somewhere in the yard.   I went downstairs to look for the can.

          As I walked about the yard I wondered what it was that had been causing this to happen.  With a shudder I concluded that the most logical explanation was that there was some sort of creature in the bin, that angered or startled by my actions of discarding the refuse, reacted in such a way as to cause the can to fly over the house and into the front yard.  I briefly thought about how someone could have been seriously injured if they had been hit by the bin.

         I reflected upon all of the previous times that this had happened.   I noticed that my mother's 1992 Lincoln Town Car was parked at an angle near where the trashcans are normally placed on trash pick up day.  I knew that the car had died in that spot and apparently George had not yet been able to move it or get it running.  I then realized that I was in the front yard of my mother's house in Tennessee, whereas I had previously been inside the house where I live and in the back yard of my house in California.  It all seemed perfectly normal to me.

        It was all a dream--part of a few seconds or milliseconds of sleep in the moments before waking.  And yet I had a memory of a complete history of previous events as though I had actually lived through them all.   Had these memories come from a protracted dream that had been occurring all through the night?   Were they layers of dream memories from dreams that were occurring in rapid succession and perhaps even simultaneously?  Was the dream experience related to what we call deja vu?

        Do you ever have dreams that include dream memory and an awareness of a complex history?--  Things that you instinctively know to be fact and true within the context of the dream but are illogical and even nonsensical in real life?   Where do you think dream memory comes from?



  1. I have very complex dreams that make perfect sense as I'm dreaming them. When I analyse them I realise that they are usually associated with events during the day or conversations I've had, or even photographs or a piece of music. Dreams are fascinating - sometimes they're frightening.

  2. Wow, what a dream. I can't recall off the top of my head about the complexity of my dreams, but I sure do have bizarre ones. That one would have left me scratching my head.

    Wish I could go to the expo, but I can't.

  3. I wouldn't call that a dream but a nightmare Lee. I get vivd dreams but it's due to the medication I take, some have things of the past that have happened and hopefully none of the future as I awaken scared, and it stays in my mind all day,

    Have a good week-end.
    We;re having a heatwave here in the UK.

  4. I do on occasion, but my mind is so practical, I'll wake myself up because I know it's not real. My wife says I ruin many a good dream that way.

  5. Do I dream? Oh yeh. Often I can't get good sleep because of my dreams.

    Your's is funny, to me anyway.

  6. Lee, I'm overwhelmed (in a good way) by the questions you pose here so let's start with the easiest one.

    I am not planning to go to the blog convention this year but have often thought how wonderful it would be to meet many of my blogging friends. I hope they organize these events with regularity.

    As for the dreams, it took me quite some time to recognize you were narrating a dream, I thought you were writing a story. Then it occurs to me how closely entwined the sources of story and dream actually are.

    I always wonder what the property of another person who has great impact in our lives signifies in a dream and how that translates in the subconscious symbology we place in our stories-- particularly the items that belong/belonged to a parent.

    A car is an evocative symbol, one that doesn't work, more so.

    Interesting ...

  7. Absolutely. I pick up dreams where I left off on other occasions and I do have dreams where I have memories of other dream events. A whole other life is being lived in my head when I am asleep. What is slightly unnerving is the odd (very odd) occasion when I ask myself if something really happened or if I dreamed it.

  8. Yes, I do. And sometimes they're great inspiration for stories. ^_^

  9. I often have dreams like that, but the memory of them soon fades.

  10. Wow!

    I have never heard of dream memory before your post, but I have had a few dreams that were so real, as if to have been an actual stand alone experience.

    When I was in my 20's, a few years after my Grandpa had died of lung cancer, I had a dream that the two of us were in my grandparents living room and I was so excited to see my Grandpa. There was a tv repairman working in the living room and everything was exactly as it should have been, except that when I was trying to tell the guy that Grandpa was there with me, Grandpa said, Kathy, he can't see us.

    I'll never forget that dream.

  11. Janice -- My dreams seem long and complex, but according to researchers dreams actually only last for seconds. I can also usually connect my dreams to something of the previous day or something that is going to be happening and things that I've heard or thought about recently.
    I'm rarely frightened by my dreams even if they seem like they should be frightening.

    Miranda -- If I don't focus on a dream as soon as I wake up then I usually forget it. I'll be writing about the BlogWorld expo on Monday.

    Yvonne -- This dream did not frighten me so I wouldn't call it a nightmare. Sometimes a dream image will stay with me for a long time.

    Alex -- Dreams are often like movies to me so no matter how illogical I enjoy staying in them to see what is going to happen.

    Teresa -- Yes, I thought the dream was somewhat funny. I think that's what made me think about it so much.

    Suze- I don't think many of the bloggers that I normally encounter in my online time will be at BlogWorld. I do like the idea of a blogging event where we could meet bloggers like ourselves. I think the L.A. event will primarily be probloggers and business bloggers. I purposely tried to make this seem like a story since that is how many dreams come across while they are occurring. The symbology of dreams is a mystery that usually requires a great deal of study and interpretation. I don't know exactly what the symbolism of this dream means.


  12. Delores -- I think I have dreams that have continued over time, but maybe that is part of the mysterious dream memory. I know I sometimes will awaken during a dream and then go back to sleep to continue the dream that I've been having. I too have memories that I'm not sure relate to dreams or real life, especially when it comes to events of childhood.

    Donna -- I have often used my dreams as a basis for stories.

    Matthew -- Remembering dreams requires tackling them immediately on waking and involves practice and mental development. I usually forget most dreams shortly after waking because I'm busy with whatever I'm doing for waking life.

    Oregon -- Sometimes certain dreams are so vivid in experience or the memory of them that we don't forget them. These dreams must have some really special significance. I guess dream memory could be related to real memory which has been coded by symbols.


  13. What a detailed dream but fancy dreaming about rubbish bins! I've been bothered with vivid dreams lately. I suppose it's when our brains are too active.

  14. BOIDMAN ~
    Funny you bring up dreams because the last couple of nights I have had some rather vivid ones - one quite disturbing.

    As for the dream memory thang: YES! YES! YES! I know EXACTLY what you are talking about.

    I can't, off the top of my head, give you any examples, but I have had plenty of dreams where, as the dreamer, I have complete recall of other events or other information that is not considered unusual or strange to me - even when some of those events or that information from my past is extremely bizarre and entirely fictitious outside of the dream realm.

    Yeah, it's like I have a "real" past in some of my dreams, and that past is preposterous and yet I nonchalantly accept it in the dream as if it's just a commonly known collection of facts about my life.

    Some of it has been so completely odd that upon awakening I have been almost startled to think that my mind could have even momentarily believed such things had happened to me, even just in a dream. Weird!

    Here's one I'm just inventing:
    For example, I might be dreaming and remember the time I shot and killed the neighbor's cat with a BB gun. And I'll remember the emotion I experienced afterwards.

    Then I'll wake up and think: WTF?! I have NEVER even owned a BB gun! And I certainly wouldn't have shot a cat even if I had owned one.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  15. Rosalind -- I haven't considered the correlation of brain activity to dreaming. My mind is always working so maybe that's why my dreams are so extensive.

    StMc -- Yes! You get it exactly. Sometimes it's almost as though we are a different person with a different past. Or maybe we are us in an alternate reality where our past is different that the persona of our waking life. Is it something to do with reincarnation? Or maybe we are seeing a future event? It probably all symbolism, but it all seems rational and real.
    And often it feels like the history is the same history that I've had in previous dreams. The dream world can be a strange and fascinating place.


  16. Lee-

    I have had that sensation many times.

    But I got sumpin' fer ya to ponder?

    How do you know that THIS is the reality and THAT'S the dream?


  17. Oh and by the way-

    I have seen McCarthy around cats.

    He'd shoot one in a New York minute.

    What do they do at a Blogger Expo?

  18. Dream memory. I love this phrase. I've never thought about it, though when I was much younger, in my late teens and early twenties, I became fascinated by dreams, and read a lot of Carl Jung and Freud. I also had dreams I remembered afterwards. Now I wake up and 99% of the time I can't remember what I dreamed. Maybe the aging process is doing this to me!!

    I really got caught up in your "trash can story." This is something that could definitely be used in a story. It could be awesome if used in a Ray Bradbury kind of way!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

  19. Larry -- Ah yes, the age old question of what's real and what's a dream. Perhaps they are both alternate realities--dreams are like the world inside the mirror.
    At BlogExpo they talk about blogging and have a blog oriented trade show. It includes social media and other internet enterprises. It looks interesting. More on Monday.

    Ann -- I too had a dream fascination when I was younger. In high school and college I kept a dream journal. I took more time thinking about and recording my dreams. They are much easier to remember if you record them immediately upon waking. These days I don't take the time to do that usually.


  20. I've had what some might call prophetic dreams. Example: A year before 9-11 I dreamt I was on the roof of one of the Twin Towers in the early morning and could not get down.

    It was so eerily similar. I was trying to get down the center escape but it was locked. In reality, the staircase in the center was inacessible to people trying to escape.

    In my dream the morning was overcast with clouds, which is similar to the smoke engulfing both towers.

    I felt such a lonliness that started to grow into despair as I felt trapped and all alone with no hope of leaving the roof. Looking back, I still get kinda freaked out about how real the dream was.

  21. Hi Lee,

    Yes, I dream and like some of the others I use them in my writing. I actually wrote a whole novel based on a dream I had in November of last year.

    Gee, I can't believe it was almost a year ago I had theat dream. My novel is ready to go. Now the real fun begins.... Querying. Were we talking about nightmares?

  22. BOID ~
    I have no idea what's behind the "dream memory" thing, but what I find so intriguing about it is that in the dreams, my memory of the "phony" past seems so natural and real, and I accept it as fact just as easily as I accept for fact authentic personal history in my "real" waking life.

    In a dream, I could just as easily acknowledge that I accidentally killed my Brother decades ago with a chain saw, as I can acknowledge the genuine truth that I did in fact save my Brother's life decades ago when he went through a window and severed an artery. In a dream, the fake death feels and seems every bit as true as the life saving action does in actuality.

    Interesting topic, Bro!

    The only question now is: Will I shoot DiscConnected in a dream? Or do it for real?

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  23. I can't answer your questions Arlee but what I do know is that when there are pressing issues i don't want to actively worry about or sometimes don't want to acknowledge, i have long convoluted dreams that make perfect sense in the dream. I can even be half awake and it will feel like the dream is continuing but urgently seeking conclusion. i'm never sure if at this point its still a dream or just me trying to make sense of_its like you've been watching a movie and you're pressed to go but quickly want to get a glimpse of the end. And those are the ones i remember, i hardly ever remember any normal dreams. Its all so confusing.

  24. Dreams are usually either complex reflections of what happened to us previous day, or equally complex inner debates on some anxieties from our minds. Sometimes, some people have psychic dreams which are usually a result of them using more than those 10% of brain in their sleep than we use in our regular days.

  25. That's a pretty interesting dream. I have some pretty complex dreams like this. If I have a really cool dream I try to write it down.

  26. I told my Mom once about going to see a particular movie with my great-grandfather. She says that no such thing ever happened, and a quick check shows that he died before that movie even came out. Now I believe that I dreamed it, but I "remember" so much about the event --even where everyone was sitting.

  27. Stephen Tremp--I have no doubt that prophetic dreams can occur. My wife and her sister are big believers in that. I don't recall any dreams that I've had that turned out to be prophetic, but yours is interesting to ponder. I guess if you ever have another dream of that nature you might study on it a bit more to discern if it's a prediction.

    Michael -- I think dreams often can be the inspiration for great stories if we just take some time with them. Maybe that's one of the reasons writers have dreams?

    StMc -- So perhaps dreams are like a mirror image of life? Our reality turned topsy-turvy? Be nice to Larry in the real world and in your dreams.

    Wendy -- I think sometimes our subconscious mind forces us to confront the issues we've tried to repress by explaining them in dream language. A number of people have cited cases where they've solved problems or come up with ideas through dreams. I will sometimes experience those dreams where I partly awake and then fall asleep again so I can continue the dream episode. It's much like watching a movie.

    Dezmond -- Dreams are all of those things and probably more. The real challenge is to find the correction interpretation that will categorize the dream type and determine an application to our waking life.

    Carrie-- Writing dreams is not only a good mental exercise that can lead to self-revelation, but also an inner storehouse of interesting ideas that can lead to inspiration.

    Kelly -- I think several of my vivid childhood memories were really dreams, but it's hard to say since a child's mind is like a dreamworld at times anyway.


  28. Your dream kept me on the edge of my seat. I've had those lucid dreams where waking seems more dreamlike than the dream. The hardest ones for me are those that bring back lost love ones with painful clarity.

  29. You had me going there, wondering what creature was pouncing

  30. Ann and Becca-

    Interesting, because for years (almost two decades, late 20's to late 40's) I could not remember dreams, although I did from childhood to late 20's.

    Recently, I have started remembering dreams again, and am not sure why.

    Stephen-Dream on! I dares ya to shoot!


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  32. Dreams are mysterious at best. I love to decipher their meanings - the who, what, where, when and how of the happenings in my life - translated into answers that eventually provide awareness and answers. Fascinating messages from another realm.

  33. I have those too. It's very bizarre to wake up and wonder if your memories are real or not. It makes me fuzzy headed for most of the morning. :)

  34. Hey, Lee! Dreams are absolutely fascinating to me. I can remember dreams for quite a while, because they are so very real to me... I grew up believing that dreams are telling us something. Of course, I would often share my dreams with my family and that would cause one of them to remark on something that happened following the dream, and they would say, "That is the end of your dream."
    One of these days I am going to blog about my dreams.
    Love, Ruby

  35. Leslie Rose -- I usually find the dreams about lost loved ones to be very comforting leaving me with a peaceful sense of well-being.

    becca -- Remembering dreams comes with practice I think. There have been periods in my life when I don't remember much of my dreams at all, then at other times I will focus a great deal of attention on remembering them.

    Nick -- Trying to make the account real at first was my intent. Glad that I succeeded.

    Larry -- Interesting, I think I had a similar period where it seemed I did not remember dreams as much. I think it had a lot to do with job commitments and lifestyle during that period. Maybe our minds become more free, less stressed at certain periods of our life. When I'm living a more regimented life that contains work related stress I seem to remember dreams less.

    Prasteyo -- Thanks for visiting.

    Paula -- Fascinating messages indeed. I don't think there are any strict guidelines to interpretation either. Different dreams have different purposes.

    Jemi -- Those dreams that are difficult to escape and that leave us fuzzy-headed can be very disconcerting.

    Grammy -- I am going to be creating a separate dream blog in the near future. I enjoy when people relate dreams in their blog posts.

    Damon-- Thanks.


  36. I think your recycle bin is haunted.

    I have dreams that I don't think about much, but then I'm living real life years, months later and I swear it's happened before. I'm pretty sure it was a dream.

    But that can't happen, right?

    I know dreams have been great for me to work out real life problems.

  37. Interesting. I've always loved dreams. I even peruse dream dictionaries and translate my dreams for amusement (though I don't personally believe that dreams have any intrinsic meaning). I've had dreams where I recognize someone as a family member or close friend, only to realize upon waking that I have never seen them before. Kind of like having dream memories, I suppose.


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