I came across this sentence in a book:
"One especially strategic family room, where all these dark socio-cultural and political dimensions are dramatized brilliantly, is the kitchen, where the women of the home churn dreams, fears, social and political intrigues away."
I'm not all that fond of the sentence structure, but I was really wondering about the word churn in that context.
From contextual analysis, I think I understand the meaning of the sentence: the women congregate in the kitchen, where they have lengthy conversations about dreams, fears, society, and politics.
However, when I looked up the word churn in a dictionary, I couldn't find a good definition that mapped to this usage.
In addition to the process of making butter, Collins lists four additional meanings of the verb:
- (sometimes foll by up) to move or cause to move with agitation ⇒ ideas churned in his head
- (of a bank, broker, etc) to encourage an investor or policyholder to change investments, endowment policies, etc, to increase commissions at the client's expense
- (of a government) to pay benefits to a wide category of people and claw it back by taxation from the well off
- to promote the turnover of existing subscribers leasing, and new subscribers joining, a cable television system or mobile phone company
and Macmillan mentions:
[intransitive/transitive] to move something such as a liquid around violently, or to move in this way ⇒ the churning seas
[intransitive] if your stomach churns, you have a strong nervous feeling in it because you are worried, afraid, or upset ⇒ My stomach was churning before the first performance.
I suppose "ideas churned in his head" comes closest to the meaning in the book, but I don't get the feeling from the context that the women are particularly agitated. As a matter of fact, the use of the word away almost makes it seem like the conversations are therapeutic, not something that agitates or worries.
So, my questions are:
1) Is there some other definition of churn that I'm not aware of? Or is the author merely using some literary license, and bending the meaning of the word?
2) Assuming I'm interpreting the passage correctly, what other words could have been used in place of churn in this context?