Most of you who read my blog with any regularity know that I am beset and bedeviled with insomnia from time to time. It is a curious “predicament” in which to be, because its affect on me is sort of counter-intuitive. It seems like I should always feel sleepy on the days that follow sleepless nights, and that sleepiness would only increase as the sleepless nights continue in succession. Yet, what seems to be happening to me is a constant desire and inner urge to write. The main problem with that is that at times, my writing gets less and less cogent, and my thoughts muddled and rather “far-flung” in a number of directions simultaneously.
Having experienced the “racing mind” syndrome in the past, I am aware that my current inner desire to write is quite different. As a matter of fact, the medication combo for Bi-Polar II disease that I have been taking for a couple of years has been amazingly and wonderfully effective at eliminating that problem, by and large.
Although I really miss sound sleep – and the remembered dreaming that I experience when sleeping in a more “normal” pattern, I’ve found that this particular episode of insomnia is actually yielding some interesting and valuable – at least to me – results. It also has some negative aspects: the constant physical fatigue, a “spotty” short-term memory, and fuzzy vision – even with my new lenses. I walk around, albeit slowly (composing poetry and prose as I walk), with red eyes and a sort of wild look; although the “wild” look is probably because I have forgotten to comb my hair.
But: you tell me – the following poem was written around 4 a.m. this morning:
On Lying Down
© 2011 Paula Tohline Calhoun
On lying down, in a bed I made
Books, magazines, lists of to-dos
Spread out haphazardly
In every empty space upon the sheets,
The pillows are stacked in invitation,
Waiting for me in soft anticipation
Of the time that I will lay me down
And not go to sleep.
Books call to be read
Mind-games to be played,
Notes cry out to be written.
My heart contracts, releases,
The blood of life flows on
Despite my willful ignorance,
That it will not always be like this.
Life ends, begins again.
On lying down, life/death/life
Revolves around, moves up and down.
Knowing that time is tenuous,
A temporary notion, created
For all of those who watch a clock.
The mechanism rules their lives,
Acting as though minutes, seconds
Days and years need hands.
On lying down, time is our toy,
Awake, engaged, time moves forward.
Dreaming or not, when we recline,
We are the master manipulators.
Time is in our hands, not perched
On some mantle, or circling our wrist.
Why willingly relinquish our hold,
To let time guide our hands?.
On lying down, we are un-wise.
Yet clock-wise, time’s hands move one way,
Or luminescent numbers, configured
By lines, predetermined and uniform,
Created by the reigning monarchs
Only to be governed themselves.
To such man-made devices
We yield our days.
On lying down, we are empowered.
Awake, alert, we follow as sheep.
But we have the power to live life by heart,
Knowing we can never be so free
As when we let go of time’s hands,
Existing unencumbered, freely turning,
Our minds and hearts freewheeling.
Ahead, back, side to side, in dimensions
Where time is unknown.
On lying down. “To sleep –
Perchance to dream,” or not –
We follow our own internal
Thoughts and wishes, needs and prayers.
We care not if time moves at all,
Because we all know, willfully or not,
We are rulers, enthroned on pillows.
Time is moot.
On lying down, each has the choice.
Dreaming, awake, it matters not,
To pay our rapt attention,
Ceding governance, to our invention.
Forgetting or remembering
We are the owners of our actions.
Schedules and obligations disappear,
On lying down.
On lying down, we are our own.
On lying down, we are alone.
On lying down, in our own place,
On lying down, at our own pace,
On lying down, time is displaced.
On lying down, time is replaced.
On lying down, bodies still,
On lying down, we’ve time to kill.
Gentle Readers, I wish you all time to do as you dream, and enough. . .