Saturday, June 09, 2007

what falls away

About once every three months I get a wicked case of insomnia. It's happened to me for as long as I can remember, and usually at a time when I'm unsettled or anxious about something in my life. I've learned that fighting it is frustrating and futile, and so now when it hits me, I try to roll with it. Get up, brew some coffee, and take advantage of the silence that surrounds me when most of the world is still fast asleep. Thankfully, I have my place to myself, so there's no worry of disturbing a roommate, and so far today (it's now 4:30 am), I've cleaned my kitchen from top to bottom, memorized the batting averages of the Sox starting line-up, caught up on all the national news in the Queer World, and developed a fairly comprehensive list of requirements some unsuspecting woman will have to meet before I surrender my heart to her.

I'm not sure what prompted this particular bout of sleeplessness. My life has been so full lately that I should be falling into bed at night and collapsing into dreamless sleep. Maybe that's exactly why I can't...I am running, running, running, and I am being too cavalier with time, as though it is not irreplacable. I haven't meditated in weeks, and have treated sleep more like an unavoidable inconvenience than an opportunity to rest and recharge. I am constantly making mental lists about the things in my life that I control and the things I do not, and the Do-Nots are currently kicking ass. This should not be a startling revelation and most days I accept it as a reality of life. Not so at the moment. And lately, I have an overwhelming sense of some new, major shift in my world, and even though it feels like it's just below the surface, I can't get to it, or even figure out what the hell it is.

I am not always good at surprises, and I am not always patient.

Yet I know that this too shall pass... soon enough I will embrace anew the fact that I cannot know the destination point of this journey, I will meditate again, I will focus on the present moment again. I will sleep again. It is, of course, inevitable.

I just need to let fall away what I can't control, and take my waking slow.

"I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow,
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear,
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go."

Theodore Roethke, The Waking

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oh are such a poet. We should talk soon? -Lori