My trip to Madison

I have written before about some strange dreams I have had over the years. They often fascinate me, at least when I wake up remembering them in such detail. Sometimes, the reasons behind them are obvious, but on occasion, they are completely baffling.

When I woke up this morning, I was aware that I had been dreaming. It was probably one of those ‘just before you wake’ dreams, because the details were fixed in my mind, and seemed very real to me. Not like a dream at all, more like being in another place, then transported back to my bed in Beetley, awakened by the yapping of a neighbour’s dog. This one is worth examining.

I was walking by a huge lake. There was a well-constructed path, affording scenic views over what might have been a coastal area, with a large modern city behind me. I was walking with another man, and I can still see his features clearly, though I have no idea who he was or is. We were heading for a kind of food stall, perhaps a van converted to sell food. The man and I discussed what we might buy to eat, and he recommended the German Sausage, in a roll. He told me that it was the “Best in Madison”. I was speaking in my normal voice, and looked just as I do now, at the same age. He was undoubtedly American, and though around the same age as me, was much fitter-looking, with a full head of hair. When we got to the vendor, I ordered the sausage in the roll, and he handed me the food, declaring “You won’t get better anywhere in Wisconsin, my English friend.”
Then the dog started yapping, and I woke up.

I have never been to America. I have heard of Wisconsin, but only in the context of Schlitz Beer, the brand that ‘made Milwaukee famous’. I am also aware that it is close to the Great Lakes, and the Canadian border, but that’s about it. So, I looked up Madison, and this is what I found.

“Madison, the capital city of Wisconsin, lies west of Milwaukee. It’s known for the domed Wisconsin State Capitol, which sits on an isthmus between lakes Mendota and Monona. The Wisconsin Historical Museum documents the state’s immigrant and farming history. The city’s paved Capital City State Trail runs past Monona Terrace, a lakefront convention center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.”

That have me a few chills up the spine. It has a lakeside path that runs along a waterfront, and the large city behind boasts a population of around 250,000. More research tells me that the area is famous for the production of German food, especially sausage, and that there are a lot of German restaurants in the area too.

I have no explanation for this dream. No idea why I should have been in that city that I had never heard of, walking with a man I don’t recognise, alongside a lake that I can still see in my mind. But I was surely there, as it felt as real as sitting here now, typing this. And how else would I have been aware of the small details?

Another of those wonderful mysteries of the mind.

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85 thoughts on “My trip to Madison

  1. I blame John Reiber. Haha. He was bound to post about food. πŸ™‚ Maybe it was buried deep down in a memory or a read about it somewhere long ago. Or perhaps there are things in this world we can’t yet explain or have not yet fully discovered about ourselves.

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  2. Very interesting post about your dream. I was thinking along the lines of a past life, perhaps. There are so many things I use to think were true and un true, until I grew older and hindsight enlightens such thoughts into more thoughts. If, that even makes sense. I use to wonder why so many of my past dreams were of a certain nature, until I look back and some of them make sense now. Or, because of looking back to make sense of things ~ They become what you need them to be. Hum.. I must ponder more on this issue.. Take care, dear friend across the pond.

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    1. This dream has me flummoxed, Laura, and I can think of nothing in my life that could have inspired it. It wasn’t scary, but it was certainly very real at the time. As I get older, I am less convinced about things that I once took for granted.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Kate. I still can’t stop thinking about this one. A place I had never heard of, and a few very accurate details too. One of the weirdest dreams I have ever had, and so real.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. A very interesting dream. And love the suggestions too. I don’t tend to remember many of my dreams, at least not recently. It’s even more mysterious than the bra… Have a great weekend!

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  4. Dreams of the environment (Or or a house or a building in which you find yourself) usually are connected to the physical body or the dreamer and the introduction of food into the dream suggests to me that your physiological self was searching for some nutrient found in such things as the sausages or that the dream happened just before your normal breakfast time and you were hungry whether you were aware of it or not …Water in a dream (The Lake) is always a sign of good fortune and improving health — or of opportunity that is presenting itself — but it is generally always a good sign (water) unless you find yourself overwhelmed by it in the dream … and then it can signify quite something else again. The stranger in the dream was possibly a vision or realization of your own higher self inasmuch as he seemed to be suggesting that you do something (Partake of the sausages) — or a guardian angel as it were … but do keep in mind that the human brain always has the best interests of the person as its first priority and this is something we call the “Survival Instinct.” — So whatever the message intended by the dream it was probably something suggesting something beneficial to you and even if you can’t put your finger on exactly what that something beneficial to you might have been I think you can be assured that your subconscious mind will lead you along the path of discovering whatever it is … and this usually happens at exactly the right time and under the exact proper circumstances.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts on this dream, John. You make some interesting points. I was never afraid in this dream, as it all seemed perfectly normal. The biggest surprise at the time was waking up in my own bed, with the feeling that I had been ‘instantly transported’. It was a very different sort of dream to those that I am used to.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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      1. People are known to have “Astral Displacements” during their sleep time … especially so if you are prone to precognitive abilities … what is your astrological birth sign and I can tell you more about this.

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          1. Is your picture anywhere on your blog? I have some ability to look at an image and think about the birth sign and come up with some interesting stuff. (I used to do it at a local night club until the Actors Union demanded that I join their union and pay outrageous dues. That was a long time ago, however.

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          2. I found your photo on your “About” page so do you want my analysis and if so do you want the negative (If any) with the positive .. and do you absolve me of all liability in rendering my observations for you?

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          3. First of all I would like to suggest that many Piceans are very talented in the area of creating art with their minds and their hands and so many are sculptors, clay moulders, painters and the like ….. Many are very poetic and create some very deep and soulful poems that inspire the deepest sort of thought … Many Piceans are very sensitive souls … prone to feeling alone in a crowd of people … always searching for the perfect relationship … always much too generous for their own good … willing to give their shirts off their backs to somebody in need … often willing to make sacrifices for the good of others regardless of the cost to self … always championing the causes of the oppressed, the down-trodden, the ostracized .. the forgotten ….somewhat merciurial in temperament … sometimes moody … sometimes depressed …. but generally wanting to have a good time and be jolly and laughing … adventurous … exploring new ideas and venues …sometimes of a restless disposition …many many attributes of a typical Pices person … always a delight to be around … makes the best and most loyal friendships but is sometimes easily hurt by misinterpreting other peoples’ intentions … many many interesting facets to a typical Pices – The thing is that not all of any astrological sign are alike … all are different … all are individuals …. all are special and precious to the mind of The Creator … God planted the great Garden of Creation and there isn’t a single solitary weed to be found in all His plantings …. all have their place … all have their destiny … all have their calling in life … The Picean is a very strong character … great as a leader when other people realize the justification for the individual’s leanings …Like everybody who ever lived, Piceans are wonderful, interesting people ….that is the summation of my impressions anyway and none of them are intended to reflect my personal opinions of any particular person but are spoken in the widest possible generalities and for the sake of entertainment and interest only … no other motive is ever present when I write these things.

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          4. Although I don’t generally subscribe to Astrology, John, I made some interesting observations when I was an EMT. One of the suggestions is that Pisceans gravitate toward ‘caring professions’. On my small London ambulance station, out of 14 staff, 9 were Pisceans. In the local hospital emergency department, 17 of the 24 regular staff were also Pisceans. So there may well be something in that.
            Regards, Pete.

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  5. I taught for City Year in Milwaukee, and visited Madison.
    I’m pretty sure I recall seeing you, an English guy walking around the lake, and overhearing you discussing “German sausage” instead of saying “bratwurst”.
    It’s pretty clear to me, that you’re actually a resident of Wisconsin, and you are just having a very long dream about Beetley. Things like that happen in Madison, I believe, because of the odd chemical additives in Schlitz.

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    1. Thanks for clearing that up, Robert. I was wondering what I was doing in a quiet Norfolk village. I will be looking forward to waking up in my home town of Madison soon, and tucking into some Bratwurst! πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

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        1. It was a short dream really. The details were not that many. The lakeside walk, the food vendor, and the man I don’t know. I remember how he looked, and his voice, but the references to the places were spoken, not know to me otherwise.
          I have had more detailed dreams, but not since I stopped working. Most of my dreams generally concern incidents when I was an EMT, which I did for 22 years, until 2001.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I will send you the answer from the asylum, Kim! πŸ™‚
      (It was a very short dream, but the mention of both Madison and Wisconsin by characters in the dream seems somehow significant. I cannot imagine why though.)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well that beats my dream of putting a bed together with the OH. There were some odd boxes which didn’t fit. We are waiting for a bed delivery. No boxes though! The mind is a wonderful thing.

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    1. I have had some DIY disaster dreams before, Jude. I put them down to being a useless handyman, and I can at least explain them. But Wisconsin? I am still flummoxed.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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      1. I must admit, Wisconsin doesn’t come up on the radar very often. Maybe a film you have recently watched?

        I on the other hand once worked in Norway with a couple of girls from Madison! But I have never dreamed about the place.

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  7. That’s a well cool dream Pete. And the connection with Theo is spooky! I know I dream and remember but they fly out of my head 5 mins later when I’m up and at’em. I did though have one wonderful dream I still remember, I used to be addicted to a TV show called The Legendary Journeys of Hercules ( The offspin was Xena Warrior Princess) looking back the series were pretty naff, but I really enjoyed them One night I had a great long dream where I was in a episode with Hercules and Iolus the main characters and it wasn’t a ‘real’ episode I’d seen, but one my brain must have made up, but looked exactly the same, and there I was with my ‘hero’s’! I was right fed up when I woke up and was back in real life. That and one dream from my childhood have stayed with me for years, and I guess yours will too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember Hercules, but I wasn’t a child of course, so didn’t really dream about things like that at the time. The Theo connection is very strange, considering we have never met (or spoken) and I had no idea that he was brought up in the Madison area. Maybe his thoughts really did travel the Atlantic. That would indeed be something worth writing a book about! πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I have a theory that the brain, once it has slipped into dream mode, is sometimes able to connect with the sleeping brain of other people, or maybe even with their subconscious while awake, if their subconscious mind is particularly receptive. The brain engages in electrical activity, and may be capable of telepathy when not focused on the massive amount of stimuli that inundate us during waking hours.
    But there is more. When in the dream state, there may be a temporal awareness as well. I won’t go into the details, but we’ve experienced a handful of premonition dreams that boggle the mindβ€”and I don’t use that term lightly.
    Your dream is a reminder that our brain is able to evoke people we don’t know, and construct places we’ve never visited. Is this pure imagination, or have our brains received this information via dream telepathy?
    At first glance, it would be easy to explain that a French native in my dream would speak the language fluently, flawlessly, and with a perfect accent. I’ve spoken with, or heard speak, many French native speakers. But if my brain is able to create this individual in a dream, why can’t I fully emulate this individual in the waking state? Taking language a step further, what about dreams in which I find myself in a foreign country whose language I don’t speak? How does the brain put a foreign language in the mouths of the characters it has generated?
    Pete, one could explore the subject of dreams at great length. I think there is much to be discovered, much to be revealed.
    Your dream is puzzling, to say the least. But I suspect that many people have experienced dreams that defy rational explanation. Thank you for sharing your visit to Madison.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your thoughts and ideas are most welcome, David. Perhaps you could share some of your dreams on your blog one day? I am definitely more aware of these strange occurrences in my dreams now. Perhaps because I live a quiet life, with less on my mind?
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pete, have you seen any sort of film or read anything that may have had a reference to the city? If not, you should pack your bags, head there now, grab a german sausage and see what happens – call it research for your next post!

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  10. Amazing my dreams are similar to GPCox….I am somewhere like a hotel or Mall or other structure and I cannot find my way out of it….and of course the smartphone is no help….always people I do not know…..chuq

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    1. Those dreams of being unable to find your way out of confusing places are familiar to me as well. They are perhaps easier to explain, than walking in an American city, about to eat something that I could smell too. This was a new one on me, and left a very powerful sense of reality behind.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. That was interesting. I have vivid dreams too, but I never recall any names when I wake up. So I’ve never been able to research about them for accuracy. Maybe it’s premonition, or maybe it was an Out-of-Body-Experience (OBE) and your consciousness was actually in Madison.

    Anyway, I dropped over from Lauren/Milly’s blog. Good to connect with you. I don’t see you are participating in the AtoZ though, right?

    Well, happy blogging!
    Chicky @ http://www.mysteriouskaddu.com

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    1. Hi, Kaddu. Nice to see you here. I once read a book called ‘Journeys out of the body’, way back in the 1970s. It didn’t feel like that, it was more solid, tactile. I could smell the food, and feel the warmth of what seemed to be a summer morning. I am a follower of Lauren’s blog, (we live quite near each other) but I never take part in any challenges or regular events.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. I just wish I knew, Sue. I cannot imagine any reason I would have to visit Wisconsin, and do not recall any films set in Madison. Though the man I was talking to was similar in appearance to Jerry Lewis, he did not speak or act in any way like that comedian.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ron. It has certainly got my mind in a whirl this morning!
      He was a bit like Jerry Lewis, but with a southern accent. Dressed in expensive casual clothes, and talking to me as if he knew me well

      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I spent many of my formative years in housing developments some 40 miles from Madison, WI. Initially when my father was studying at the University of Wisconsin right after WWII, then a few years later when he worked at the Badger Defense Plant between Baraboo and Prairie du Sac. Same housing, different owners. We visited the lakefront walk many times.
    Last night while you were sleeping I made a batch of sausage. Attempting to trim more and more salt from my diet, I balked at 570 milligrams of sodium in a sausage so decided to make my own with 570 milligrams of sodium in ten sausages.
    The first sausage I can remember eating was at the age of 10 on the lakefront from a food cart in Madison. I thought about that while making the sausages. If the man in your dream was 6 foot 1 inch tall and had a 1940s-style haircut, it was my Dad.
    Warmest regards, Theo

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    1. That’s a very interesting connection, Theo. The man was taller than me (not difficult as I am only 5’7″) and was wearing glasses with dark frames. He had a full head of hair, cut in a traditional style, and spoke with what I might call a ‘southern’ accent, like you could hear in somewhere like Alabama, I guess. (I am thinking of the voice of Kevin Spacey, in some of his roles) His clothing was modern though, a polo shirt with a ‘Lacoste’ crocodile logo, and casual trousers.

      Your confirmation of lakeside food carts is interesting, as is your own preparation of sausage, as I was sleeping. Could it really be possible that those connections transferred into my thoughts, from far across the Atlantic? If so, it opens up some fascinating possibilities.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not my Dad then. He has a slight midwestern accent and relatively short hair and did not wear glasses except for reading. It does sound like Buddy Holly, however.
        I can see a sausage connection in extrasensory perception experiments forthcoming at a university near someone.
        Warmest regards, Theo

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I had one of those ‘just before wake-up’ dreams myself, only mine was on a huge ship being used as an office building. [looked like a huge cruise ship], and I kept getting lost. I like your dream better.

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