|Dreaming, Sleeping, Waking, Wishing
||[Mar. 4th, 2008|05:17 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
I sleep and sleep, but it's not really restful. I wake up tired. Dragging myself out of bed is half motivation and half actual wakefulness. How does one acclimatize a body that is used to 40-50% of life spent sleeping down to the more normal range of 30-35%? I practically collapse every few days and end up sleeping for 20 hours or more, then struggling to stay on some semblance of a reasonable schedule.
In my childhood, I sought solace from life in sleep. I thought if I could just sink into the mattress and disappear, it wouldn't hurt so much anymore. It seemed like everything hurt, although I know that's not true. My internal narrative, my history, goes from one miserable moment to the next and I’ve tried to amend it, to resurrect good things to go alongside the bad stuff.
Visits to the shore, swimming in the ocean, rinsing off in ridiculously cold water in the outside shower of my great aunt's summer cottage, eating a big dinner, dozing off still feeling the steady up and down of the swells tugging at my body, messing about on the boardwalk, winning a tiny stuffed camel that I still have, the cracked tarmac gritty with sand, the water of Tom's River tinged brown by an ancient cedar forest, the consistency of my great aunt's constant complaints...
But instead of reweaving the narrative, I end up nostalgic for places I can no longer go and things I can no longer do.
Damn the selfishness of depression. It turns my eyes inward, and I miss out on life outside. Which is not to say that I only participate in an all-encompassing omphaloskepsis. I have had many adventures, so many more than I ever expected, but not as many as I'd hoped. They've been relatively small adventures. No real danger, just different countries with different languages and climates, different foods and habits. I don't mind the smallness so much, to be honest. I doubt I'd survive any great adventure, suffering through the wilderness or crossing an alien desert. I have too many idiosyncrasies, food sensitivities, and body issues. I don't imagine myself a coward, yet I am untested by real confrontation.
Still… my imagination tugs me toward more, always more, as if by experiencing everything I possibly can, I might drown out that sad old narrative that still lingers.