September 30th, 2007


Memory & Dream

The Effexor really does have an odd effect on my dreams.

It's not, however, that they are "weird" per se--they're always weird, of course. I don't know that they could get much weirder in any dimension, and while they seem marginally more coherent now, such things are too subjective to say with any confidence--it's not like you can lay two dreams side by side and see which one unravels first.

What they are is vivid. Highly detailed. The other night, at one point I tripped on the sidewalk in a dream, and the sidewalk was incredibly detailed--cracked pavement, gravel, lumpy textures, scattered all over with little blue cubes of broken safety glass where a car windshield had shattered at some point in the past. It's as if I've begun dreaming in high resolution.

What I wonder, though, is whether I'm really dreaming in greater detail, or whether I'm remembering the details more clearly. Were the sidewalks in my dreams always elegantly realized, and they're only now sticking with me as I wake up? Are the drugs affecting my dreams, or my memory of the dreams?

Or, for that matter, since dreams are often constructed of memories, are the dreams calling up more and crisper memories? Last night, I dreamed I was in my grandmother's house, and it was surprisingly well realized. I'd always remembered the antique bed, but I'd half-forgotten that the bathtub was pink, and that there was a dark wood bookcase against the wall in that room, but there they were. (And, rather interestingly, it was entirely and only my grandmother's house--there was none of the mish-mash of remembered homes and old apartments that tend to make up the architecture of dreams.) 

Well, we probably don't know enough about either brain chemistry or dreaming to say either way. Still. It's peculiar.

Collapse )