When you wake from a dream there are often images swirling around in your head. Sometimes they are connected by a narrative. Sometimes they are not. It all begins to fade very quickly. This is why people keep dream journals. Write it down before it fades.
Words and phrases are often the afterimage from my dreams. It is even more important to write these down as there is no context to help remember them.
A recent example: “Some places are just evil. You feel it in your uncles. You feel it in your shadows.”
Besides being another in a series of anxiety dreams where I and my trusty band of traveling companions were being chased or followed – or were following or chasing – I have no recall what this dream was about. Those were the words I woke up with and I wrote them down.