I have always loved sleep. Well, maybe not always. My parents do love to tell stories of my very adamant refusal to sleep when I was young. I used every excuse in the well dog-eared book of childhood excuses. In fact, I suspect, though they would not have used the f bomb as the writer (Adam Mansbach) of “Go the F#@$ to Sleep” does, I’m sure they shared his sentiment (as every parent probably has at one point or another). If you haven’t heard of the story, you should check it out, but, be aware, the f bomb is tossed around on nearly every page–despite that, I couldn’t help giggling, snorting, smirking and sometimes laughing outright.
But I digress. I was talking about my love for sleeping, not my early defiance of that lovely, now treasured pasttime.
I have always loved the feeling of slipping between my sheets, of stretching languidly like a self-satisfied cat, and cozying into my perfect, fluffy pillow. With a sigh and a smile, I let go of the day and fully embrace the comfort of my bed, pulling out the book that currently has me in thrall, and then letting it have its way with me until I feel sleep pulling me, finally, from its grasp.
And on the lucky mornings when there is no alarm clock to pull me jarringly from my dream world, I love the way waking pulls me slowly from other selves living other lives. The sunlight begins to pull me, but I choose to turn it away and snuggle deeper. The sounds of my children stirring, the pitter patter leading slowly into a cacophony of sound: somthing falling, bowls clattering, bickering that leads inevitablly to my door being opened and a little voice sharing her woes–“Mom! Gavin [did, said, breathed, exists]!”
My desire to deny my world and its responsibilities lead me to some mumbled response along the lines of’ “Tell him I said to stop”–not really sure what I’m telling him to stop, but hoping it will be enough for just a few more precious, delectable, so very rare minutes . . .
Until finally, I release my dream world where the past lives and ghosts walk, and I find myself back here–in the here and now.
Last weekend was different. When I floated between the two worlds, neither awake nor asleep, a poem just sort of entered my mind, and I found myself writing in that moment about that lovely, blissful state, when you can remember your dream world and live it with some amount of consciousness even while the regular world slowly pulls you resistingly away.
This is the poem I wrote while still asleep.
I hope you enjoy! 🙂
Slowly, slowly daylight comes–
Calling, coaxing, relentlessly pulling–
Light pushing, pulsing on the edges of consciousness . . .
Sound pricking night’s filter,
Tiny holes letting sound like grains of sand slip through.
Discordant, jarring with the sweet land of youth–
The wrongness tugging at the edges of my mind . . .
Wisps of worry, nagging thoughts, tenuous confusion . . .
A gnat, annoying, pestering, but easily shooed away.
More light, more sound
My filter now a sieve denying less,
The sand a steady trickle—
Awareness stirs, it stretches, it opens an eye,
But still I resist, denying, retreating,
Tightly shutting off my mind–
Loathe to leave shades of the past.
I cling a little more,
Enticed to remain lost
In the happy days of youth and light,
Living all the possibilities, parallel realities,
A myriad of different choices.
Stolen kisses, loves long ended and denied,
Old friends, old chums, even enemies–
Time and death cannot bar them here.
Here and now they live again,
In this shadow world of night.
More light, more sound, that persistent pest,
Morning, a persistent hound, nosing at my head.
It reels me toward the here and now,
Helpless in my resistence, a fish on a line,
Drawing me nearer.
Even as I fight to stay–to remember–to relive,
One last moment, one last fragment of a dream,
When I was young and beautiful and free,
One more dance with shadows of the past,
One more stolen kiss . . .
Light undeniable shines in my eyes
Holding me with its gaze.
The sounds of dawn,
No longer sounds of waking and slow stirring,
But instead a cacophony of pitches and noises,
Bangs and shouts, tears and teasing.
Reality forces the dream away.
I wake to the sounds of children, mayhem, responsibility.
Gone are dreams and hopes and remembrance.
Just these old bones, and choices made– not awaiting–
Adulthood, and with it reality.
But dreams, so sweet, cling to my eyelashes still,
And I try to grasp the fading tendrils of their memory.