I’m not sure about everyone else, but I have not been dreaming since the pandemic started. I don’t mean wistfully dreaming of the future or fantasizing or anything like that. I mean at night, while asleep, I am literally not having dreams. Doing a quick search on this issue, it seems I may be the only person not dreaming at all.
I’m the type of person who almost always remembers dreams. In fact, I can still clearly remember some nightmares I had years and years ago (and occasionally I get that déjà vu jolt during the waking hours of situations that are reminiscent of past nightmares I had as a younger adult or even a child). But for some reason, I haven’t really been having any dreams since maybe December 2019.
Since my husband gave me a FitBit for Christmas this last year, I now see the reason is because I’m hardly getting any deep or REM sleep. I’m definitely getting the steps in that I was hoping to track with this very bossy and judgmental device, but I have also learned that I am only averaging about 4-5 hours of sleep per night and it’s almost all “light” sleep with above resting heart rates. OK, stress might be affecting me a tiny bit. The best way to solve this problem is to stop wearing the dang watch to bed, probably…
Last night I actually had a real, vivid dream! Just like the old days! And it was about the Camino. I dashed out everything I remembered as soon as I woke up this morning (really because I only had about 20 minutes between shower and running out the door, and I didn’t want to forget any of it when I was finally able to relax tonight). So, are we ready to engage in that good ol’ fashioned fun tradition of trying to analyze a dream à la Freud? It will be like we’re all undergrads again. Here are my notes from this morning:
I’m not sure how I got to Roncesvalles, but I started there checking in to the albergue. Apparently this Camino is skipping the Pyrenees. I’m the only one wearing a mask, so it’s freaking me out a bit. There are a lot of giddy pilgrims ready to start their Caminos (no one walked from SJPDP? Everyone is starting there?). It’s also winter time, like November or December winter. For some reason I have my old backpack but only have normal clothes, no outerwear. I also only have my regular Seattle-style New Balances (my current ones that are breaking down and ready to be replaced) and no boots. I don’t have my phone, water bottle, any coats/outergear, or any of my gadgets/ziploc baggie of tools. I was particularly upset that I wouldn’t be able to listen to music, take pics, or use the TrailSmart app/GPS tools without my phone. I call Al (but not sure with which phone), and he tells me to buck up, walk to Larrasoaña (?) and I can purchase everything I need there. Why that tiny little village I don’t know. I’m arguing with him that I should fly home and try again, but then the discussion of the cost of burning the plane ticket becomes a fight. I don’t understand why Larrasoaña, so I decide I’ll buy everything I need in Pamplona. Everyone in the albergue is in a party mood and again no masks. I’m getting creeped out by that part. Then I see Chantal is checking in to walk the Camino again. We hug a lot, then she said she rented a car and let’s go get some drinks in Larrasoaña where she is meeting Anthony. As we’re driving, it starts snowing then white out conditions like northern Nevada two weeks ago. We reach Larrasoaña, but it’s all built up like a large town with a distinct downtown and massive buildings lining the main street. We start to have problems with the car in the deep snow… and I wake up.
So what is this? There are so many strange details in this dream that are just begging to be examined:
- My dream placed me at the beginning of the Camino in winter weather with no winter gear. My dream told me that I was ill-prepared all the way around. Yes, if this were real life, everything one could need is available in the cities. But for someone as tall as me, it’s not that easy to get some of that outer gear. I did drive to Arizona to see my grown child a few weeks ago and was caught in freak white-out conditions in Northern Nevada (similar to the conditions Chantal and I were in from the dream). This might be what happened last month creeping its way into my Camino. It did start snowing on me twice during my 2018 Camino, but it was just flakes/flurries that did not stick. I’m planning to leave in early April again next year, so I think this whole dream world snow thing is a leftover from my Nevada highway terror last month. I’m going to start collecting all of the other tools and gadgets now, though, and just store them in my backpack. This could be a reminder to start gathering stuff again. (I did try to wear Bunny this morning, but discovered his zipper is broken. Oh Bunny.)
- Another possibility is that the detail of being unprepared is similar to another standard dream I used to always have — either I’m still teaching college lit and I don’t have any lecture notes or lesson plans prepared for class OR I am still waiting/bartending and the restaurant fills up when I am the only person working. Is this “no gear on the Camino” detail my new updated version of the classic “caught unprepared” dream?
- Why did I start in Roncesvalles and not SJPdP? And why is everyone else starting there? (I don’t remember meeting a single pilgrim who started there in real life in 2018.)
- I’m wearing a mask but no one else is? Is this some sort of deep-seated fear that the pandemic will still be raging in Spring 2022 in Europe? Or that it will be over but I will still be anxious? Probably the second.
- Larrasoaña may be the weirdest detail in the whole dream. I didn’t stay there last time, and really just walked through quickly looking for a bar/WC, couldn’t find anything open, and continued on to Zuriain. It’s tiny in real life, but in the dream it almost looked like the main street of Arzúa (but with buildings even taller and more congested). What do I take from this? Maybe I should try to plan my legs so I spend a night in Larrasoaña? Maybe I need to do the same in Arzúa (it was raining so hard and we were so exhausted in 2018 that Georgia and I never stopped — we just barreled right through town as fast as we could).
- Frankly, the only part of the dream that seemed normal and not unusual was Chantal and I going to get a drink with Anthony. I didn’t see Anthony in the dream, but we were on our way. Why she rented a car, I don’t know. Where the rest of my 2018 Camino family was, I also don’t know. Did we make it or did we get stuck in the snow, I can’t tell you. But Chani and I going for drinks? Yeah, that checks out.
Enough with the pop psychology for now. If anything, I’m glad I finally had such a detail-rich, memorable dream because it reminded me I need to be posting more on this blog. Thank you for that nudge, Mr. Sandman. After all, it was just a dream.
In other news that is real, verifiably factual, and super-promising: I am scheduled to receive dose #2 of the Pfizer vaccine next week and will have full protection soon (I’m estimating by May 1). My hope and wish is that every person around the world (who can receive it) gets vaccinated soon so that they too are safe. Let’s bring this awful global pandemic to an end, my friends!
Buen Camino and good health to you all!
P.S. I’m reminded again just how terrible the new WordPress editor is now. I apologize for any weird formatting.