Sunday, December 4, 2011

Out of the Sleeping Tunnel

Bright sunlight streams in though my narrow window, filling the white walled room with the newness only a cold winter morning can bring. The bed seems to hug me in a tight embrace, holding onto my skin like a lover reluctant to let me go. The sheets are soft and warm from a night between its folds and outside these quilted walls the air is bitter and blue.
I know that soon I will leave this bed and begin to move, gathering various journals and pens and musical instruments, but I’ll feel the bed calling me back all day, not just the murmuring of the soft mattress and bouncy pillows, but the state of relaxed oblivion, staring into the blue sky of the morning, thoughts bouncing like ping pong balls off the walls of my cranium with no control or order to them, springing from word to thought to word again quicker than my breath.
After breakfast that state of sleep calls my name. All through the morning, as I eat breakfast, as I deviate and stare into the mirror looking at minute pores and tiny freckles, spending precious minutes on the problems of the body- I hear the bed calling.
When the sun starts to set or I finish a small writing exercise or in the contented moments after lunch when I think of watching a TV show, the bed is calling. And it is not just the relaxed state, nor the way it holds my body in its malleable contours, it is the state of apathy, of pure laziness, the way I could spend hours staring out the window from the corner tucked onto the grooves of a pillow.
The state of sleep is always there, a sheer drop from where I sit now typing these words. One glance and I could be there, one word misinterpreted, one look or tone. The bed takes many shapes, transforming easily from fluffy comforter to dark hole. That darkness made not of all colors and lights, but the fumbling land of squinted eyes and unsaid hatred and stinging tears that rob my laughter.
I stand at the edge, I can see though this one tiny tunnel of clear attention- I see that the call, the voice of that bed, the voice of sleep, the voice urging me to relax, pointing to all the deserved reasons, spelling out the logic with charts and graphs, my body is primed for sleep, willing it on as I push into the cold winter light. The voice of reason is the seducer of the lazy, the perfect bride for my machine. It does not want transformation, it does not want to sit clothed in a bathrobe and turn time into something visible on a page. To claw myself away from the bed I must do something else, something radical to turn body into intentional action.
And so I write these goals, simple chicken scratches that only I can read. But they are clear and there, sitting right in front of me, a blaring light that shines into the rough-skinned slab of meat at the computer.
And though some days I trudge through those goals, just barely able to complete them as I sit tired and desiring those feather-filled arms. Some days I can see so clearly, that it is not enough just to do, but it is how I do. The delicacy of the flow, the breath as it travels in and out, my expression as day turns into black night. I write out those goals, I fulfill them and I move on to the next task, the never-ending flow of creative waves, moons of opportunity. I smile into the moonlight that I cannot see, part of me is ready.

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