I awaken to the sounds of birds all through the canyon. Actually, I haven’t slept all night, so I ARISE, I should say. Off the floor, off the couch, off the night I spent walking about my mother’s house, listening to snoring in other rooms. Wistful whispering sleep of others in yet others. Night owls and moon glow swooping over the mountains. Night in Palm Springs. Glorious as ever.
I am not a sleeper. I know I shouldn’t say it or put it in writing thus making it so. I know I should mantra, “I sleep like a dozing baby in the sunlight with not a care in the world.” But I don’t. Even as a young child, I awoke before dawn, before television started for the day – as television used to sign off at night and then start again at 6 in the morning. It wasn’t 24 hours until the late 1970’s – and I watched color bars until the flicker of the start of “Sesame Street” or “Electric Company” or “Dusty’s Treehouse” or “Captain Kanagroo” – I adored Mr. Green Jeans!
There are books galore on how to sleep. So many recently published by those who advocated less sleep in the past. Advice! Turn off electronics! Don’t drink coffee after breakfast! Don’t watch violent shows right before bed! (But I LOVE “Person of Interest” So very sad to see it go!), read, say affirmations! Relax! Recount your day like a movie, from wake up to into bed…Be grateful!
In high school, if we had a long night of partying, i.e. playing quarters, dancing to ABC and Bananarama and everyone passed out, I would still be awake. I missed the sleeping boat. It went across the river and left me on the banks. I watched it go. I sat up all night, listening to the snores, the drooling, the out-like-a-lights! If not in my own home with my parents away for the weekend, then in another, up in the Canyons, or the Hancock Parks, curled up in chairs by windows watching the night sky turn slowly into dawning day, panicked because I had not slept all night. What will tomorrow be like?
I should like to get into the lovely sleeping boat one night. I should like to travel in it down the river. Where does it go? To dreamland? To our parallel life and drop us off for the night? My beautiful aunt loved to sleep. She said she went to her parallel life every night. I know my parallel life is gorgeous and relaxing. Right now, we are in the South of France. Up on the hillside, overlooking fields and fields of lavender. I feel myself walking up the cobblestone ways of ancient Roman hilltop towns, buying provisions for our early dinner on the large table on the patio. There are colorful cushions everywhere, plenty of wine for those who drink and coffee and sparkle water for those who don’t, and we have not a care in the world… I feel it daily. I know I am there just as I am here. It’s vibrant, beautiful and inspiring. Everyday I dream of joining it with me here, in Southern California. And there, sleep is not an issue.
Waking up in Palm Springs puts me there too. I’m still the only one awake now. The hooting owls are hooting and buzzing bees swooping. I brought my Kings Road Coffee – (Hello! We need the best!) and I gaze at the lizardies skittering across the desert, hummingbirds hum by the flower bushes, and other critters twitter away, beginning their day.
I feel like if I put it in writing, things will change. A part of me knows that this is also learned experience. My grandmother didn’t sleep – my mother doesn’t sleep – I grew up with this. I am also 49 now and those of us who are my age knows what this means. During this transitional time, many women don’t sleep. My arms go numb as soon as I lie down, so I know I have to go back to the doctor to have them adjust me. Sometimes I am nervous to close my eyes and disappear and I can’t seem to get over it. What will I miss? What really happens to us when we sleep?
People tell me I will. Now, as I get this all out – it feels like a lot of manifesting noise to me. Wah wah wah! I can’t sleep! Who cares! I know it’s important, but get over it! Just do it! Ha! It’s a storyline that is tiresome, literally, that is for sure. Even with all the how-to’s out there – I can only hope there may be someone out there who truly understands, when the directions don’t help. It makes me kooky, not to mention not feeling pretty at all. How much beauty crème can a gal apply?? How many times can I ask why?
I am a blessed and bountiful Goddess with gifts galore and truly, not a real care in the world. Bills and debts and concerns for the future are all just facts of life. They are not special to me alone. I need to stop thinking about those and get on the sleeping boat and see where it goes. To not be afraid to sleep. To join my parallel life and visit it for real. I know I sleep there, because I wake up refreshed, ready to go into the day, day after day! And where today? Train to Paris, of course! Or truly…back to L.A.!
Beautifully written post, Alicia! Thank you for sharing your journey. The references to a parallel life were especially engaging. Sending you peace and love, J
You know her to be Goddess Molly!
I love and adore you so much. You are a ray of light. Do you ever listen to any of Tara Brach’s podcasts?
No, but I will now!!
And thank you, Lovely!
What a beautifully written post that so many of us can relate to. I don’t miss the sleep boat as often as you, but I do now and then. Loved the analogy.