They are the odd sputterings of our subconscious. As our cerebral cortex sorts and shuffles through the memories and insights it has gathered, it spins and weaves those bits of data into peculiar narratives. Our nightly defrag may be there to keep us sane and our psyches healthy, but it creates some fascinatingly fractal reflections on the various concepts we've encountered or experienced. Interpreting and exploring them can be both entertaining and revealing.
Like, for example, the dream I was trying to process on Saturday. That Friday evening visit from Morpheus involved me, sitting in a room, reading a strange book while wearing a veil.
Given the stuff I'd been prepping for the sermon on Sunday, this was not surprising. The images and themes were derivative from the texts and commentaries I was reading. The veil imagery was clearly influenced by the "veil" (masweh) worn by Moses in Exodus 34:29-35, the passage I was emphasizing in my sermon.
When you've spent all week reflecting on and reading commentaries on a passage that includes a "veil," or whatever the obscure term masweh referred to, it is no surprise that a veil would surface in a dream. Interpreting the underlying symbolic referent of that dream was straightforward, particularly in context.
Or it would have been, if it had been my dream.
But it was my wife's dream. She said, on Saturday morning, "I had the strangest dreams last night." My wife, with whom I'd not shared/talked about/presented/discussed any of the things I'd worked on over the last week. I generally don't for my sermons, her being Jewish and all. And she hadn't seen the sermon, she couldn't have. On Friday night, I hadn't written that part yet, though I'd thought about it.
Why would her dream about me make total sense to me and be meaningless to her?
Well, that's a bit harder for me to figure out.