On the Elusiveness of Sleep


(CAN'T Sleep)

So, it’s 9:05 pm and I’m still up and about.

This poses a bit of a problem because I know that if I’m going to get through the long day that is tomorrow (and the long week that is this week, and the long month that is this month), I need to get enough sleep.

Which means that I should be going to bed right about…15 minutes ago.

Few situations highlight the tension between how things are and how things should be more than being unable to meet a self-imposed curfew by dint of being wide awake.

Because as anyone who’s ever experienced insomnia will know: you can’t force yourself to fall asleep. Sleep comes when it comes, and it comes in a way that make analyzing its advent well nigh impossible. It doesn’t happen suddenly, but its gradual onset is clouded in so much fuzziness that memory stops well before the actual event.

My point being: falling asleep is a mystery. I can’t think of anything I do as faithfully every day that still manages to evade the clutches of will, intention and mastery. It’s an exercise in surrender that doesn’t guarantee a successful outcome even with the practice of wholehearted surrender (again, as every insomniac will know).

All of which, I think, makes sleeping a really good metaphor for living.

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