sweet dreams

You give your hand to me
And then you say, “Hello.”
And I can hardly speak,
My heart is beating so.
And anyone can tell
You think you know me well.
Well, you don’t know me.
(no you don’t know me)
No you don’t know the one
Who dreams of you at night;
And longs to kiss your lips
And longs to hold you tight
Oh I’m just a friend.
That’s all I’ve ever been.
Cause you don’t know me.
(no you don’t know me)

These lyrics play on "date night" as Phil and Rita dance in the gazebo. My recent mnemonic device when I was driving and couldn't write down notes, remember, included dreams. That came from this song.

"...you don't know the one / Who dreams of you at night..."

A couple things occurred to me. The first: is it Phil who dreams of Rita or Rita who dreams of Phil? Consider: Phil does know Rita. She just doesn't realize it and so his familiarity comes off as creepy. Rita does not know Phil, on the other hand, yet she's dancing with him. I think the choice of that song in that scene was obviously meant to refer to Phil dreaming of Rita... especially with the echo later of Rita telling Phil, "you don't even know me."

But then, there's the other thing that occurred to me. Does Phil dream? I mean, we assume the loop runs from 6 am to 6 am (or rather 5:59 to 5:59). Phil tells Rita it's "not until six." That is not exactly a precise measure. He could easily be rounding off. The latest time we see in the film is 4:05 am, the night Phil breaks the pencil (the end of Day 2). But, I think it's safe to assume Phil stays up to check the limits of the loop at some point that we don't see.

But, what if he didn't? What if the loop actually runs from, say, 5 am to 5 am, or 5:30 to 5:30. Does he dream in that bit of time before he wakes? If so, is it the same dream every morning?

Or, does he not dream at all?

I got to wondering why we dream... not that I haven't wondered that before, or read plenty of explanations before. But, I wondered if it wouldn't be possible that not dreaming would mess with Phil's head a bit, make it hard to live his life. Physically, he wakes up in the same body he had on that first February 2nd. But mentally--mentally, he wakes up an older, more experienced and, eventually, wiser man. Anyway, it's not the why of dreaming that got in my head the other day but how important was it that we do?

Time magazine, 14 January 2014, tells us:

From a strictly biological standpoint, scientists have learned much about the physiological process of dreaming, which occurs primarily in REM sleep. “During dreaming,” says Patrick McNamara, a neurologist at Boston University School of Medicine and the graduate school of Northcentral University in Prescott Valley, Ariz., “the limbic part of the brain—the emotional part—gets highly activated while the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, the executive part of the brain, is under-activated. So the kind of cognitions we experience during dreams are highly emotional, visually vivid, but often illogical, disconnected and sometimes bizarre.” That suggests that our dreams may have some role in emotional stability.

That does not necessarily mean, most dream researchers believe, that dreams are random expressions of emotion or devoid of some intellectual meaning. While some scientists maintain that dream patterns are strictly the result of how different neurons in the brain are firing, Deirdre Barrett, a psychologist and dream researcher at Harvard Medical School, believes they represent something more. “I think it’s a fallacy that knowing brain action negates a subjective, psychological meaning any more than it does for waking thought. I think dreams are thinking in a different biochemical state.”

That makes it sound, to me, almost as if dreams are just some accidental thing that happens because we sleep. National Geographic, 29 November 2011, tells us of a recent study that "suggests that REM sleep may help us work through difficult events in our lives." We certainly like to think that dreams are somehow meaningful, even conscious, that they connect to our everyday lives. Whether they do or they don't, sleeping and dreaming do have a positive effect on us, obviously. Phil Connors would be missing out on that...

This topic will lead me right back into Benesh (2011), because her study uses "hermeneutics and a specific method of dream interpretation" (p. ii).

But, I will save her for tomorrow, when I am at home again... actually, I will probably write tomorrow's entry on campus, but it will be back on my usual campus and not this one. We are heading home from Utah soon.

Today's reason to repeat a day forever: to not need to dream because I'm already doing everything and anything I can think of that there is to do.


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