There are days when sleep is a blissful slide into not knowing. Where you neither wake nor dream. How I sometimes seek this status. Where I do not plead with God for warm arms to once again embrace me, where I do not plead with the cat to get her furry butt off my pillow, where I do not notice that I am getting older as the mattress creaks under my shifting weight, where the worries of this life do not settle on my shoulders like a heavy blanket. I just close my eyes and then when the alarm goes off I open them again. When I was younger these blissful nights came more often, now it seems they can only be induced by a cocktail of Valerian Root and Melatonin and perhaps forgetting to turn down the furnace before I go to bed.
But when I wake all the things that did not come to me in my sleep seep under the covers with me. I muse on this quest for love, or more accurately a lover. I argue with my cousin, I don’t want just anyone. I could have just anyone. I want the right one. I think I find it and again and again I wait. What I want apparently doesn’t want me back. But I keep this candle flame of hope that at some point the two things will come together. That at some point what I want WILL want me back. I am not patient.
I muse on the transient quality of life, the utterly unstoppable changes that whip the air from your lungs, that leave you shivering uncontrollably as you weep on the bathroom floor, echoes of criticism like icicles in your veins, is this insanity to be shaken by loves promise abandoned? Your ghost clicks its tongue as it stands over me. I want to be angry but I cannot be any more. I think of death and the small signs of the spirit that gives us hope, a butterfly sticker on a photograph, a cardinal or a killdeer singing at a time when you need masculine energy in your life, a doe and her fawn when you are worried about your child, a lost dog returned at the wake of your mothers funeral. The stories we tell to satisfy the spirit. And the butterflies that now flutter in my stomach. As I contemplate the beauty of such messages.
I speak of the multitude of layers that this life has to offer, peeling them back like the skin on an onion, open it sheaf upon sheaf. The great stinking onion, which is a vegetable I am convinced if eaten regularly will prolong your life. The lotus, tattooed upon my back, a more beautiful thousand petaled extravagance of life, a life of the sound of buzzing dragonflies, the tintinnabulation of water’s aural caress, and inside this flower a pearl. Another thing to be peeled back layer upon layer of nascent light. All woven into this blanket of teeming life.
I rise from the warmth of my lonely bed, the dog annoyed by my early waking, the cat clearly annoyed by my chastisement early on in my quest for sleep, no where to be found. I feel the ache of joints left to stiffen, and I shiver in the cold morning, the automated setting kicking back in at a pleasurable 57 degrees F. I am barefoot on the hardwood floors, my toes cold, I ache for human touch. My neck cries out for lips, and teeth and a tongue. My back wants for a firm hand to pull my body close. My legs ache to be wrapped around another body. I wish for the bliss of sleep again, but I know the only satisfaction for the savage beast that twines itself around my thudding heart is making art. Is writing it all down. Is trying to find meaning someplace else in hopes that someone will see my joy, and my sorrows, and my hopes, and my passion as a gift. Will see that I don’t just have this to give to myself day upon day, but that it is freely given like the scent of the flower, like tears that fall from the chemical breeze of the onion, and of the light that is cast by the jewel that shines within.
I express gratitude this day. For all of this. The good, the bad, the ugly, smelly, itchy, aching, truth that is life.