Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

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Soul Insomnia

"We hit the road to Hull, sad amps and smashed guitars, played badly at the Dukes, to almost no applause. Someone made it worthwhile--when smiling with bright eyes--you gave me full attention, and you took me by surprise"--Bill Nelson

Another bout of early rising set in this morning, leaving me up a few moments before four. As I intend to arise by six in any event, it's certainly no great imposition, but it does make me wonder what set my internal clock off by a few hours.

But literal insomnia is not really what I'm going to write about here. I'm instead going to write about what I'll call 'soul insomnia'. I do not worry much about literal sleeplessness, as I view this condition as the reason why in some divine plan I have LJ friends in Australia, in order to put up posts at any time of night or dawn when I am awake.

My theme, instead, is the feeling that my metaphoric slumbers are not as restful as they might be. I know that for most people, sleep metaphors are used to describe that feeling that one has fallen into a haze of routine, and wishes to "awake" into a more vibrant life. I wish to use the metaphor a different way. I feel sometimes that this really gorgeous slumber awaits me, if only I could truly sleep.

I have discovered that in the world of sleep, one gets this incredible rest, and yet one gets the multi-colored awesome wonder of dreams. I live a life which has all the right ingredients for genuine rest--great wife, kind friends, owner of a small firm pursuing an interesting career, my own little special heterodox but comforting religious faith, fun hobbies, and a nice home. In short, I have the right pyjamas on, and a big, comforting quilt. But sometimes sleep is still hard to find.

In this metaphor, of course, I am using sleep as a metaphor to symbolize that sense that everything in my life is proceeding "as it ought to be", that I am living my life so smoothly that it feels like rest to me. Although nothing in particular is wrong with my life (excepting perhaps being very busy at work), I have that sense that I am a few steps behind at all stages. I do not exercise as I should. I am constantly racing to get things done on my "to do" list. I neglect personal matters such as keeping my car or my office in good order, or making the various health check up appointments I should make. I have a number of half-started fun hobby projects that need to be finished, but they are all at loose ends. If I could only embrace a good, solid golden slumber, I'd somehow tramsmute into someone who handled things with a dreamy flair. But I'm instead sleeping in fits and starts, less a good night's sleep than a hundred tiny naps.

Last night I found myself irritable about the mere scheduling of vacation time. I dislike being irritable about anything. This morning I must race to the post office to mail off a package which I've been needing to mail for a week. Today and tomorrow I must accomplish a literal world of things.

Lately, when I did that hobby project that showed me I could do something in 10 days that is difficult to do in 30,I felt really relieved and comforted--reminded of my skills to do things. I managed to get a lot of other things done during this time period. It's as if my capacity does not depend on the literal length of the "to do" list, but on how much I am willing to challenge myself to do. In order to get the sound to fill the room, perhaps I just need to get the 'amp up'. But I can tick off in my head four hobby projects which are now well behind my projected completion date, and I am dismayed I could have let them slide a bit. There's no good reason--I just somehow awoke and they were back in my dream state. I must tackle them this weekend.

I always liked that line in Springsteen's "Blinded by the Lght" where he says 'momma always told me not to look into the eye of the Sun; oh, but mamma, that's where the fun is!". But I rather like the obverse construct. I am not that bad at looking the uncertainties and Mysteries in the eye. What I'm bad about doing is closing my eyes and falling into a restful pattern.

It's so unrestful, though, this feeling of being behind and out of sorts. I dislike this feeling intensely. I have been asleep before, and felt the warmth of the quilt. I'd like to nod off once again. I feel as if I could fall asleep, and my life would work, as if in a dream. I know deep down this is a form of depression, and I know what I need to do to exercise and work myself through it.
But in my mind, all I need is a good life's sleep.

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