Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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Ah - sadly - we don't do anything with the heart except let it pump blood around. It's the brain - it's all in the brain - even symbolism about the heart comes from the brain. And the mystery of dreaming is in the brain too I would imagine.

From a psychological perspective I would venture that you are having dreams for sure - and for some reason don't want ("want" in the subconscious sense)to remember them. Sometime soon again you will remember them and know why.

A person with your "heart" and mind has definitely not lost her dreams - just the keys maybe ... for awhile ...


I don't know, Tamar. Sometimes there's a simpler explanation than the psychoanalytic. I don't think I "want" on any level not to remember my dreams. I think it's the circumstances, and my inadequate way of coping with them. Caretakers are notorious for not taking good care of themselves.


Ah - I see. Yes I agree, that is so true about caretakers not taking care of themselves. Hopefully writing about this will support your taking better care of yourself! So that you might continue to remember your dreams.

I love my dreams - even the difficult ones. They always feel like a really good detective novel to me.


Amba, you're probably right about the hypervigilance. I don't remember dreams during weeks when the children are sick, or when their dad is out of town and I'm "on duty" 24-7. And I understand what you mean about missing them--it's as if you're living only on the surface, not seeing the connections and underlying patterns. But they always do come back eventually, when the season is right again ... and just think what deep and lovely ones you'll have then, with weeks of living to sort through.

Dave Schuler

It's possible that you're never reaching a level of sleep sufficiently deep to dream.


I have a couple of suggestions for remembering dreams.

A person remembers a dream when they wake up during one. If you wake up from one in the middle of the night it fades and is usually forgotten when you fall asleep again.

Psychologists recommend keeping a notepad by your bed so if you wake up from a dream in the middle of the night, you can make a note right away and remember it in the morning. I has worked for me.

I can trigger dreams by sleeping late. I stay in a state between sleeping and waking and have short dreams during light sleep. I sometimes have vivid, meaningful dreams between 10 minute snooze alarms. Unfortunately these short dreams are usually cut off by waking, but I often get something to think about.

I believe dreams are the way my brain keeps me sane by integrating conscious and unconscious experiences and emotions. They'll take care of me just by having them whether I remember them or not. But sometimes it really helps to remember them for many reasons. If you want to remember them, I hope my suggestions help you remember lots of nice (or disturbing) dreams.


Thank you all for your condolences and suggestions, and for sharing the sense that dreams are vitally important.

I'm beginning to have a strong suspicion that "it's the caffeine, stupid." I've discovered that if I don't drink any coffee in the evening, I sleep much more like I used to, complete with weirdly-wise dreams that I may or may not remember in detail, but at least know I am having. I guess in a few days I'll stop waking up with a headache, too!

The price of going to sleep uncaffeinated is that it is much more difficult and unpleasant to wake up quickly and completely, as I need to. So what I was doing by drinking coffee at night was adaptive to the situation, but it was making me feel like a robot with amnesia.


I've found that with two young kids having a variety of problems throughout the night, combined with waking earlier than I'd like, I find it difficult to keep a dream journal. Granted, I'm wrenched out of deep sleep more often than I'd like, and usually it's in the middle of a vivid dream, but I just don't have a chance to write down the images before taking care of the more immediate needs.

I also found, that rather than having a pen and paper by my bedside, I have a PDA. Frankly, I can't read my writing very well when I'm fully awake and trying to write legibly, let alone reading what I wrote in a half-awake state.

Amin Emilio Aun Joven

I too am not having any dreams, nor can I see my thoughts for that matter. I believe the problem is both psychological and spiritual. I will try to go a couple of days without caffine to see if that does anything.

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