Friday, March 29, 2013

the waking up is like that

The past ten weeks have been full - of writing class assignments and co-leading a ministry at church and trying to stay connected to friends and trying to keep my bedroom live-able and my clothes washed and dealing with some messy emotions and feeling like I wasn't doing anything well enough and ...

Still, I had some Big Plans for this week, the week after the crazy ten. On Saturday I went to Barnes & Noble to buy some writing books and look through some magazines. I had essays and articles to write, ones I'd been putting on the back burner and that I promised I wouldn't procrastinate on any longer. On Sunday night, I sat down to read those writing books and my eyes wouldn't stay open. I went to sleep soon after 8pm, thinking that I'd be ready to start early morning writing sessions at 5 the next morning.

And then I slept in.

And as if my body knew better than my mind, which is constantly in motion, I just kept sleeping. Sunday night, 9 hours. Monday night, 10 hours. Tuesday night, another 9. For the better part of this week I showed up at work feeling like the haze that hid the mountains was fogging up my brain, and it was all I could do to stay sitting up. I just wanted to sleep.

I've been thinking a lot about sleep and my complex relationship with it. I love it and yet resist it. I've always had difficulty taking naps because I can't seem to settle down. I set my alarm earlier and earlier, thinking maybe that will help me get ahead, get control. I think something's wrong with me if I do it too much. When I was first diagnosed with Crohn's disease, and my body was a mess (and anemic), I would come home from work and take naps. I remember having anxiety dreams that I was sleeping my life away, afraid I would always be that tired. In fact, my anxiety dreams are often about being tired, being sluggish, not being able to wake up fully.

After I had knee surgery, and was so very tired, my friend reminded me that the body heals itself in sleep. I was still young then, not yet a prisoner to being tired. (That was 26, and that same friend told me that it all started to change at 27, and she was right!). I try to remember this now, that my body (and mind and spirit) must need those hours of being covered by that heavy blanket of darkness. I think of Adam, whom God put to sleep so that He could take something out of him. The result was Eve. And so I wonder about what God's  up to when I'm asleep.

The sleep is working, I think, because the past two days I've been alert and ready. I feel that spark when ideas come and I'm excited to write about them, when I read and think, how did they know that put those words, that idea next? When Adam woke up, he recognized the beauty and relevance and for-him-ness (what's a word for that?) of Eve. Sleep is so wonderful for many reasons, but maybe mostly because the waking up is like that.  

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