Missing Out

Do you remember your dreams from last night? Did you at least remember them this morning when you woke up?

Dreams seem like a really big deal. People like talking about them, analyzing them, deriving meaning from them. They are, after all, a product of your own (sub-)consciousness, and they happen every day. They’re like looking at your life through a kaleidoscope: bizarre and convoluted, yes, but a reflection of reality nonetheless.

… or so I hear. See, I don’t remember my dreams. I just wake up in the morning and go about my day, with no recall whatsoever. I know I do dream because every few weeks I’ll remember one, if only fleetingly. But the rest of the time, I close my eyes at night, and then I open them, and it’s morning. It feels like no time has elapsed at all.

This is kind of weird. I know dreams play a big role in many people’s lives, and it’s strange that I’m not privy to that experience. You figure it would be pretty useful to know what your subconscious is thinking (even refracted through dreams) on any given day. On every day, in fact. Why not? When I think about this, I feel akin to a deaf person in a land of the hearing. Or, perhaps more aptly, a nonbeliever surrounded by people who feel a personal connection to god. I am missing out on a fundamental life experience.

The weirder things is that I’m not sure that I would prefer to have it any other way. The few dreams that I do remember are confusing and disquieting. My mind makes sense when it’s awake, and it doesn’t make sense when it’s asleep. It seems as simple as that, and I see no reason to clutter up my waking thoughts with incoherent ramblings from the night before. What can I really glean from dreams that I can’t simply learn by my (admittedly wacky) relentless introspection? And what if dreams only appear to say something about you, but are in reality meaningless? Who’d want to put up with that?

Most deaf parents have hearing children. There is, though, a small minority of deaf couples who would prefer to selectively have children who are deaf too. On first thought, this seems horrifying and sad: they want to intentionally handicap their children, deprive them of the fundamental human experience of hearing. But am I much different? If I could choose to have children that don’t dream, well, maybe I would. Life seems much simpler and easier without dreams, and hey, I don’t really know what I’m missing, and my children wouldn’t either. Do I simply not get it? Or are dreams overrated?

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