I have long been thankful that humans – and most creatures – require sleep. No matter how determined, how frantic, how executive, controlling, even insomniac a person may be, eventually, sleep’s gonna win. Every pesky little doer is going to be taken out of commission, made vulnerable, and rejuvenated through a host of mysterious mental and physical processes. And on a regular basis. So… may as well find a dark nest and accept it.
I love that it’s mostly unconscious, but still one is aware of time having passed afterward. A solid chunk of relief from I, from thought – and the awareness that it happened, even though there’s really nothing to remember. Long hours of simple bodily being, practically without effort. As a sucky meditator, but one who loves it on the rare instances when it “works,” this is a spectacular reprieve. Being in a body is a strange experience, so damn particular all the time, bounded and defined. But when it gets dark– the sublime melt. Good practice for death, though who knows what that’s like. Good practice for surrender, for succumbing, for giving over what doesn’t belong to me, not permanently anyway.
Of course, it is interrupted by absurdities, which are in turn laced with archetypes – two of the most interesting things around, really. But even without dreams, there is no boredom. Thank the powers of evolution that it’s not possible to lie asleep bored for a third of one’s life.
And arguably, humankind does the least damage while hitting the sack. Arlo Guthrie has said that he prefers a sleeping president. After all, who can you bomb while you’re sawing logs? On a smaller scale, I know I do the world no favors when I am sleep-deprived. Even a few missed hours on a single night, and I’m beastly. This is why statistics on the ever-decreasing average nightly conk-out time of American citizens so alarms me. People of the nation, save yourselves and the world. Hear my impassioned cry for more sleep: (yawns)
Sleep makes wakefulness beautiful, or at least bearable. In these dark days, sleep is even more a confidant, a lover, a land to be explored. So good morning. I hope it was lovely. And, in not so long – good night.