I write this from a dorm room at Goddard College where it’s naughtily late, and I should be sleeping. But I’m not. Blame it on a day of travel, too much coffee at the wrong time, a slight time change, the excitement of a visioning retreat I’ve been dreaming of that happens tomorrow (which is, unfortunately, now today) or after-50 body karma. Maybe it’s the seasonal time change I’ve just come through, jumping ahead from Kansas summer into Vermont fall. The deal is that I’m awake when I shouldn’t be, and I know that if I lie there and worry about not sleeping, it’ll be even harder to sleep. What’s a gal to do?
I think about an article I read in a recent issue of Spirituality and Health about insomnia as a wolf you can go out and meet instead of shunning. I think of Pema Chodron’s writing about not pushing away what’s hard, triggering, thick and dark but instead, drawing it near in curiosity and friendliness. I think about the benadril I just took despite how it’ll take a heavy cup of Joe to get the train running tomorrow. I think about the quiet white noise between my ears, and that makes me want to stop thinking and start dreaming, which could be an involuntary way of thinking when I think of it.
In any case, I’m trying to enjoy my slow breathing, tell myself it’s okay to hang out with the wolf in the dark — he won’t hurt me, and if I need to do little cat naps tomorrow, he’ll sleep too. Besides, there’s something clear, vibrant and deep-black-sky rich about being here, awake and conjuring surrender.