They appear for no reason, or perhaps because of middle age itself.
I’ll be sleeping along happily – and I do love my sleep, my bed, my room, love the nightly entertainment of dreams – when I am suddenly, rudely awake, either already pouring sweat or undergoing any of the myriad symptoms preceding that condition.
It wasn’t always this way.
In early adulthood, I suffered the insomnia of the insecure. Would I get the job, would I keep the job, could I sing the high C, would he call, what would I do if he called, what if no one called, would I have to go home to mama.
Childhood had its own pleasures and alarms. The recurring nightmare, the sudden desire to be awake, learning to wake myself, learning to sink back down, the precise moment when floating up could be diverted, dreams rechanneled, chosen, dreaming of breathing underwater after many nights of drowning, learning to trust my psyche, believing that one cannot die in a dream. Choosing mid-night wakefulness.
Happy hours pretending to be alone in a full, silent house, making friends with the linden tree just outside my window, learning the phases of the moon, sailing with the night sky clouds, stars that were always there but often invisible behind those clouds and leaves and branches.
No light, no reading, but writing in the moonlight, poems, thoughts, the passionate desires of an unhappy child. A learned love of solitude.
Ah. Another lesson re-absorbed. Sleep whenever one must. Create whenever one can.
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