“We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.” – The Tempest
Talk of sleep sends me spinning. Too many nights laying eyes wide-open, trying to make sense of a day that will not let me rest.
Work is continually horrific. Today, for example, when I arrived at work, my coworker decided to go into detail about his surgery. Why would I want to know about the state of his colon? I do not. Ever. The office, called a “pod,” was discussing rabbits, the rabbits that were apparently found scattered about poisoned on the sidewalk of our building. Someone said, “…these things happen.” and “Too many fences, too few predators. …so some maintenance team poisons the rabbits”. Though someone behind a cube wall added “maybe they should get perches for hawks and owls rather than using poison.” (I highly suspect my itchy feet are from this poison!) After the rabbit-talk, there ensued a barrage of one-sided talk from my coworker about the upcoming surgery. Now as I lay me down to sleep. Dead rabbits, crazy coworker, the stuff of nightmares.
The natural world’s all out of whack. Nothing natural, nothing chemical seems to help me fall asleep. I’ve tried melatonin, and Tylenol PM, and ambien, Benadryl, and they all leave me waking up feeling like a rodent crawling out of a fog of poison. I can’t think straight, and I’m still tired. Every once in a blue moon, the stars line up correctly and I’m asleep before my head hits the pillow, probably so exhausted that my body wins the argument over my brain.
“I change during the course of a day. I wake and I’m one person, and when I go to sleep I know for certain I’m somebody else.”
“The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won’t get much sleep.” Woody Allen
My eyelids are heavy, but my thoughts are heavier. I fall asleep on the couch and lay awake in bed.
To sleep well..to leap, to see, to weep, to sweep, to sleep…perchance to dream.
Robert Frost understood….I so long to stay up, to write, to clean my house, to live the life I cannot possibly live while I’m at work….though I dream it. Writing becomes my lovely and dark wood. But I have to persevere through the most boring work days before I can have the time I need. Sleep? Just another obstacle from things that could make life bearable. The little pony keeps going down the road, away from the woods I love.
“You cannot wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.” Navajo proverb
“To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.”
“Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expir’d:
For then my thoughts—from far where I abide—
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see:
Save that my soul’s imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee, and for myself no quiet find.” – Sonnet 27