Writing Practice on subject – Sleep, 15 minutes – prompt by http://www.redravine.wordpress.com
Child – How come during the day you keep your eyes on me all the time, but at night you leave me in here, alone?
My sister Margaret told me this today. When her daughter was 4 she asked this question one night as margaret was tucking her into bed. This is a logical question from a child. How do we learn to sleep alone, what are the feelings and thoughts that come to us when we are wordless and inarticulate infants and we are placed in a familiar crib in a dark room. Is it contact with a familiar we are afraid of being cut off from? what is alone ness in the dark to a young child? Is fear of the dark something we learn?
I have a friend who suffers from a sleep disorder. She cannnot sleep at night. Instead she goes about the house doing domestic chores to calm herself. She has been in therapy for many years; treated with antidepressants and medications for her bi-polar disorder. She places the reason for her difficulty to find sleep on the fact that she was a baker and shiftworker for twenty years. i have never asked her about how she feels about the night, the dark. Is that something a friend asks about. Would she find it an intrusion.
I can talk freely about my own fears of the dark, of being locked in a dark bathroom with an ebony sculpture as large as me, but this was in daylight hours. The nights held no such fears as i experienced in that bathroom.
I welcome the night. i feel safe and rarely have I felt threatened by the coming of night. Sleep and i are friends it is a renewal for growing over the gaps inflicted on me by daytime happenings. Things i may not be even aware of. But sleep heals the chinks. dreams, when remembered, bring awareness of a happening, a thought I didn’t realize was important to me from the day before, but masked in a series of images which hang like a mystery over me as i come to gradual awakeness. When insight flashes about what these dreams may reference, relaxation washes over me and i feel right. But if the dream’s meaning eludes me, i feel a disturbance and a lack of clarity.
This somewhat inchoate rambling is what I came up with this evening, in response to this prompt. Maybe the incoherence is due to the glass of wine I had before beginning to write. Well, one does not always write at ones best, most alert freshness. Mea Culpa. But I shall now review it and see what germs of potential ideas this diatribe contains.