Sleep? Very funny. I have a bad case of sleep envy. Is it only the young that can lie down and fall asleep at the lowering of an eyelash? I certainly can’t remember lying awake for hours in my youth can you? I can’t remember turning from my right side to my back to my left side and repeating the whole cycle for hours either. I can’t remember ‘killing’ pillows and having to buy new ones every few months, because the weight and swivel of my head leaves an unfillable crater in them, whether they cost £3 in the bargain shops or £30 in John Lewis.
Dreams were rare in my childhood. There was a nightmare that had a couple of times, self-inflicted I believe, and about rats. I used to play near the panny you see, a tunnel built to channel the North Brook under the road, for about a mile near where I lived. It was a sort of dare game, the place was mucky, wet as brooks are and as dark as tunnels under the road are bound to be. There were also eels in the water, so the choice was wading through it with them swimming over your toes, or trying to walk on the narrow edge where inevitably rats were scurrying over your feet. I’ve been rat phobic ever since and these images often come to me when I’m on the sleep threshold.
When I eventually get to sleep these days, my dreams are more sophisticated. I had a spell where I had very lucid dreams, like the one about the mansion. I’d be strolling through an endless set of rooms, each more grand, exciting and vibrant than the last. Very ornate, elegant and full of important paintings, sculpture and literature and I was always on the top floor of the mansion. So, as I understand it, dreams about the top floors of buildings are about the psyche, the fascinating stuff of our minds, what’s in our head space. I’ve often wondered what this dream says about me.
Another very powerful dream that’s stayed with me, was in a very definite place, at the top of the hill on the Moretonhampstead road, after you drive over the first cattle grid on Dartmoor. A deep valley is on the right and in my dream it was on fire. I want to get my family to safety in our tiny 2CV, but I know it’s futile because it’s more than just a fire. I hold my children in my arms and wait the end of the world.
My eyes are sleepy now. I might take my book to bed, but it’s rather good and will keep me awake. I need a boring one instead. I hope that you sleep well and wake refreshed.
I’ve written this in response to the Daily Post today, by Michelle W.