Tuesday, 8 May 2018

A Shoe Shop

I dreamt I was in a shoe-shop on Dawson Street, Dublin. This was one of those places, familiar in the dream, which has no counterpart in the real world. I wanted to buy a pair of shoes the same as I bought here about 20 years ago. Don't worry, I was not relying on the shop-assistant matching the shoes from a description: I had the product-number, which I handed to her. You might think it would be a simple matter for her to key the product-number into her computer to check if these shoes were available, but she considered that it would take considerable research, and she was too busy to engage in that. So, she lifted the phone and spoke to her father. Her father was retired, but living upstairs. He came down to the shop, rolling up his sleeves, eager to get into the project. She sent him downstairs to the cellar to do the research down there.

Unusually for a shoe-shop, this shop had a line of tall bar-stools, facing a line of computer-screens, where customers could research  the store's products. While waiting, I engaged with one of these computer-screens. The matter I requested was taking time to load. So, while it was loading, I decided to type a letter to a newspaper, using another window. The newspaper I was addressing was the Sunday Independent. In my letter, I recalled the advice of Hippocrates that, if a person becomes sick after changing his dietary habit, (for example, if he starts having two meals a day where he formerly had only one, or having three meals a day where he formerly had only two), then, he might be cured by returning to his former habit. I suggested that the same could be said of a nation. When I was a boy, we Irish ate our dinner in the middle of the day. Now, having bent to the practice of the western, industrial, world, we often have our dinner at night. Consequence: increased obesity and incidence of cancer. The solution could be to return to our former custom. As usual in dreams, what starts out as a simple proposition becomes more complex as I recall that in my youth, Irish people often had a glass of milk with their dinner, but now have soft drinks or  wine, and that we had milk also with our breakfast, with porridge or cereals; that we only occasionally had "Irish Breakfast" and then on special occasions as a Brunch rather than a breakfast, and that the matter was more complex than just the timing of the dinner.

I was tired of the letter-writing and of waiting for the man to finish researching my shoes, so I decided to go home. When I went out the shop door, instead of turning left towards Trinity College and home, I turned right towards St Stephen's Green, and wondered why I did that. "O yes," I answered myself, "No doubt I am going to turn right at the top of Dawson Street and then turn right again at some street, such as Grafton Street or Georges Street, to head for home."

I found I was walking funny. My left knee would not straighten nor move forward. I was going high with my right foot, and low with my left foot. I tried and tried and tried to straighten and move my left foot. Eventually, I gave a kick that awakened me from my dream. Then I realised that I had been lying on my left side and in some way restricted the flow of blood or life-energy to my left foot. I recalled many dreams of my childhood years, where I had dreamt I had difficulty walking, and had to drag myself along by the railings. I reckoned now they were probably the result of a similar restriction of energy to my leg(s) because of my sleeping pose.

As to the shoe inquiry, this matches a real-time mental exercise as to a possible purchase of a new pair of shoes. As to Hippocrates, I have recently downloaded his collected writings on Kindle, and, yes, he raises the question of illness resulting from changes of diet, from which discussion my subconscious mind is obviously drawing parallels.

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