Insomnia, Language, and Poison Ivy

A Potent Mix to Agitate Both Body and Mind

I’m blessed with an ability to fall asleep with minimal fuss. Once every two or three months, I find myself struggling to find sleep. is one of those times.

evening, I found a patch of poison ivy under a cherry tree. Covered from the neck down, I hunched under that tree, and pulled up the roots. It was hot and sweaty work.

Having already suffered poison ivy 🔍 earlier this season, I took extra precautions to avoid a similar fate. I suppose I’ll know if it was enough in the next day or two.

And that work isn’t done. There’s still a large well rooted vine that will require further work. I also noticed another spot, and will need to approach that area with similar caution.

, I also spent time writing, refactoring, and reading Elisp 🔍. Enough so that it seeped into my dreams. As I tossed and turned, wondering if I’d done enough to wash of the urushiol from the poison ivy, I found myself thinking about functions, lists, and syntax. And wondering what else I could write.

I take my dreaming of Elisp to be a sign that I’m more and more comfortable with it as a programming language. Though not one I’ll use to directly write for my employer; Instead it’s a personal language I’ll use to craft tools that help me write.

In the past, I’ve experienced dreams related to languages; Once I had a dream in German, another time in Spanish. Both were when I had been immersed in those languages. A few other times, I dreamed of Ruby 🔍’s syntax or Cool Plex’s case tool or even differential equations back in my college coursework days.

Each time, my mind is working to map it’s existing connections to new symbols from the language. Those symbols gain entrance to my brain. They take up residence; shuffling things around a bit; changing me just a bit.

I have memories of this happening more often when I was younger. Now, I suppose I seek out less of these novel topics. Though, when I was in Hamburg in , it was interesting that my brain once again dreamed in German; it had been more than 20 years since I was last in Germany. And I never was all that good at German.

In this not quite fevered state, I felt my scalp itch. I woke from my coding revere. Was this from an earlier mosquito bite? Or did that cherry tree branch scratch my balding skull? Or had I missed washing of some urushiol?

Remembering the misery of a three week stint of ever expanding poison ivy, I rubbed on some poison ivy remedies and took another shower.

And as I finished, my mind decided to fully wake up and start the day. As I write this, it’s 4:30 am. The road outside my house has been a steady stream of traffic for at least the last 40 minutes; many early morning workers race along their early commute.

I suppose I’ll join those workers zipping by and start my day. Perhaps, I should start with a nap.