Eyes Wide Shut


Last night I woke up wearing my favourite skinny jeans and grey tank top, facing the dark cul-de-sac of my street as I casually hung out on my driveway.


Don’t ask me why. I generally can't give a reason or rhyme to my nightly escapades, but what I do know is they take me on adventures that range from the banal—like taking a shower or flicking light switches on—to the peculiar such as dressing in my prettiest cocktail dress or rearranging furniture.

It's something that has become a norm to me: sleepwalking is part and parcel of my daily life. I will say that the night I awoke fully clothed next to my car with keys in hand was unusual and slightly frightening. Although strangely, I felt robbed of the experience by waking up.

My nearest and dearest have learned that a gentle encouragement to wander back to bed is all that is needed to end the wanderings; although I often find myself in a sticky situation long before waking another soul. It seems I must be stealth in the night's darkness.

Someone once said it was the curse of a creative mind that I endure these somnambulating adventures. That I am so wired and imaginative my thoughts and ideas permeate my sleep enough to cause strange activity. Which got me thinking.

Do I want to be 'cursed by creativity'? Is that the sacrifice I must endure, for want of an eternal supply of ideas? To think differently to others I must be tired all the time from strange midnight ramblings?

While it does conjure up all kinds of weird and wonderful impressions of living out my days of creative pleasure with the bane of nightly marauding as a penance, paying sacrificial tokens with arms outstretched and eyes wide shut—I don't know that I buy it.

I do know that I am such a vivid thinker that I can recall paintings on walls of rooms I walk through and the number of cars on a street I drive down in every dream I have. That nearly every night I dream things that would rival any master of surrealism and either there's some deep hidden mystery to the meaning of it all or I just get incredibly bored while asleep. I guess it does mean that I have an over-active imagination.

But I simply put my sleepwalking down to being overly tired and stressed. So while it may be a curse of creativity to some extent, I'd say it's the result of creativity as opposed to the reason for it. All I know is that is a rather awful—albeit fascinating—symptom of someone who doesn't know the joy of deep sleep.