Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dream Log: Energetic Priest

I dreamed I was a Roman Catholic priest. A very liberal one, to put it mildly. I was openly flirting with a woman in front of a young priest, who was also very liberal about such things and not bothered by my behavior, and a superior of mine on the Church hierarchy, who was very much bothered by my behavior, and threatened to have me thrown out of the priesthood. I wasn't rattled: I didn't think he could have me thrown out, and I didn't much care if he did. I didn't believe in God in the dream any more than I do in waking life.

Then for a little while the young priest and I were cops as well as priests. The two of us very energetically chased some suspects through a wintry city neighborhood, running very fast, going up and down many exterior staircases on old wooden houses, climbing over tall fences. Then we were no longer cops, but we kept up with the running and climbing, for reasons which were unclear. If nothing else, it was fun and a really intense workout. I was 54 years old in the dream, just like in waking life, but in the dream I was in much better physical condition.

Then I and the young priest and a third man who was young and athletic went inside my modest apartment. The two of them were both very hungry, so I got two dishes I'd made out of my refrigerator: they were mostly potatoes, plus some odds and ends I'd had on hand. I was embarrassed, because I thought that both of the dishes, both improvised on my part, were rather disgusting. But the two of them ate with great gusto and seemed to enjoy the food very much.

It occurred to me how some people seem not to realize that one and the same sort of food can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on how much a person exercises. These potato dishes could be quite fattening for sedentary people, but people like us, who'd been running and climbing very strenuously for long distances, could eat the very same thing, and the carbs would burn off very quickly, and the food wouldn't be fattening. I was reminded of a program I'd seen on the Food Network, hosted by Bobby Flay, in which two women were featured who ran a bakery for a living, and also ran marathons. On the program they prepared one of their favorite items, a huge chocolate-chip cookie with an enormous amount of calories. When the cookies were done they had a lot of their regular customers over to try them, including many other marathon runners. The women who ran the bakery, and the other marathoners, were all very lean and attractive-looking people. And they were all talking about what a great pre-race food this enormous cookie would be. And Bobby Flay seemed a bit confused, as if he didn't understand how this huge cookie full of fat and carbs and sugar and chocolate, which he would regard as a decadent indulgence, could actually be healthy food.

That was a real Food Network show which I saw in waking life, and then in the dream I remembered seeing it, as I watched my two young athletic friends chowing down on potatoes.

Then I woke up. Recently, in the past year or two, I'd been confused about whether I had occasionally done some fast running, or just dreamed about it so intensely that it seemed like real memories of running. When I woke up this morning all doubt was gone: all of that recent running has been in dreams. I mean, I've done SOME running in real life, recently, but it's been very different than in the dreams: in waking life, now and then in the past couple of years I've run for up to 50 or 100 yards at a time, and without necessarily turning blue every time, either. But in the dreams I've been going for miles, really fast. In these dreams I've been a better runner than I've ever been in real life.

But I'd like to run that well in real life. I used to be a very lean person who could chow down on big amounts of carbs without it fattening me. It'd be fun to be that lean and strong again. It felt good, decades ago.

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