I can’t sleep.  I have never really slept well.  I remember not sleeping when I was little little, my brother and I talking from our twin beds across the room, his under the window, mine by the bedroom door.  My father would carry us both to bed, and then say our prayers with us, and lay at the end of our beds and talk with us about anything and everything.  We could store up our questions from the day, our imponderables at that age, to ask him about.  He always seems to have the answers.  And I remember seeing ghosts by my bed, but that’s another story.

I know my bro checks this blog from time to time – did he lay at the end of each of our beds individually?  I can’t recall us ever interrupting the other’s conversations with Daddy…and that wasn’t like us!  Do you remember, E-Bro?

I think I’ve written about insomnia before.  For a few weeks, not too long ago, I was going to sleep without taking something to help me get there, and it was wonderful.  That bliss has fled back to wherever it came from.  Now it feels like nothing works.

I know why.  I want the  shoulder to rest my head on, the warm love to reach out for when dreams get strange.  I’ll have it again.  I know I will.

For now though, when I sleep, I sleep sideways across my bed – at least I did last night.  The moon was so bright it kept me awake until I dozed off staring at it.  Owls were hooting gently in the trees along the fence.  They would pause when the coyotes started their joyous, kill-celebrating chorus, which they did from various distances, three times.  It was a good night for hunting, no doubt because of the brightness of the moon.

I can’t see the clock from my bed, which is a good thing.  (Because of my eyesight, not my clock placement.)  Otherwise, I’d do that thing we do when we look at the clock and count how few hours we’d have if we fell asleep right NOW, and we think about how awful tomorrow will be because we had no sleep.  If I don’t know what time it is, I can’t do that – a small mercy, I think.

Eagle next door seems to be an insomniac as well.  I hear him at odd hours, with his distinctive call, and I wonder what he’s thinking.  Does he mind being cared for by Mr. National Geographic?   Or does his cry in the night speak of his longing for his freedom?  Is he dreaming of flying?  I will never know, but I find him a comfortable companion in the wee small hours.

I was talking with a friend the other day about what it must be like to live in the northern climes where there is no night – or no darkness, rather – for months at a time.   Since lack of light is a contributing factor to seasonal depression, would seasonal depression be less prevalent in those places?  Or would your circadian rhythms be completely wacko, because it is always light?  I expect my insomnia would get worse, as I can only sleep when it is light on rare occasions – Caribbean naps or in the perfect lap.

I wrote some months back about the hamsters that would traipse through my brain when I couldn’t sleep. Currently, the hamsters seem to be sedated.  Perhaps they’re hibernating for summer.  At any rate, they don’t prevent me from going to sleep and I seem to be able to lull them into submission if I awake in the night, even if I can’t lull myself into submission.  Their absence makes the wakeful nights less stressful.

But my insomnia is not about waking up and not being able to get back to sleep.  It’s about not being able to go to sleep.  I am told I have poor sleep hygiene.  I read myself to sleep, which I shouldn’t do.  I should just get in bed, turn out the light, close my eyes and try to sleep.  But that’s the only time I have to read, and I love to read.  Hmmmm.  I need to think about this one – you can make time for the things you love without sacrificing the things you need.

Occasionally, sleep eludes me because I am too tired already, and I know my dreams will exhaust me.  My sub (or is it un) conscious mind is so active that my dreams are loaded with symbolism, incredibly busy, and usually have a cast of thousands.  (Picture a film with the shared directorial perspectives of Cecile B. DeMille, Francois Truffaut, and a bipolar person in a manic phase, and you have my typical dream – what does that say about me?)  I look forward to using my dreams in my future shamanic practice.  Perhaps that will help me to come to amiable terms with them after all these years.

My bed is wonderfully comfortable, good mattress, feather bed, down comforter, high thread-count sheets, and  fleece my mother bought for me as a parting gift that carries the colors of tropical waters.  One day, I am sure, insomnia will have had her say, and sleep will be, for me, another form of peace.

Shakespeare said, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” 

Let’s see what Morpheus has in store for me tonight.

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Holding the moon