“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” And so begins Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel which was turned into a brilliant movie by none other than Alfred Hitchcock. It starred Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.
But that’s neither here nor there. And I apologize for the title, which is the uniquely American bad habit of turning verbs—in this case, journal—into verbs. And vice-versa.
I like to record my dreams…when I remember to. It’s a simple process, really: I just jot down a few notes on my iPad and save them for later. Later, when I go back and read through them, I can see trends in my dreams and therefore, in my life.
There are places I’ll remember all my life.
I would love to have written that line, but John Lennon beat me to it.
Dreams are elusive creatures
They don’t like being seen in the light of day; that’s why they fade so quickly when you wake up. Until very recently, I’ve always been able to remember my dreams. I’ve also been able to remember if they were in color, or black and white. But lately, while I remember the basic subject of my dreams, I’m still hazy on the details.
And for the past few weeks, all of my dreams have been centered around Juneau, Alaska, as well as New York City.
New York City
The New York City dreams always begin the same way: I’m driving in my car down US Highway 101, about to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, when the bridge turns into the George Washington Bridge. I’m in New Jersey about to head into Manhattan.
The next thing I know I’m in downtown Manhattan, usually in one or two places: standing outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or underground waiting for a subway at the Christopher Street station, in Greenwich Village. But regardless of where I am, I always take out my cell phone to call my cousin, who lives in Brooklyn, to make arrangements to meet her.
At which point I wake up.
The thing about Juneau is that I lived there for 15 years. My then-wife and I moved there shortly after the birth of our first daughter in Petersburg, AK. Our second was born in Juneau 4 years later.
My daughters at Eagle Beach, Juneau
Believe it or not, we did a lot of camping in Juneau. The summers were so short we took advantage of every bit of nice weather we could. And while the season was short, the days were long. I still have pictures of a sunset I took at 10 p.m. one night. It’s the complement to a sunrise I shot later that same year at 10 in the morning.
In the Juneau dreams, I’m usually driving down Old Glacier Highway, heading towards our house on Taku Boulevard. Just as I turn into the driveway, I wake up.
Sometimes I’m shopping in downtown Juneau. Not current-day Juneau, of course, but the way it was when we left in 1989. My friend Suzanne owned a kayak that she would lend me so my daughter Suzzanne and I could paddle among the whales. Naturally, thee two of them became Big Suzanne and Little Suzzanne. She also owned a health food store I frequented.
Usually, the shopping dreams ended when I entered Suzanne’s store. I’d wake up, feeling disappointed.
And I’m still not sure
What my dreams mean. But I’m not losing any sleep over it. They do, after all, give me things to write about.
Thanks for reading.