Monday, June 4, 2012

Sleeping In The Dark

Over the weekend we were gone to the mountains and the lake and the place where the wild things go and the humans follow, where there are trees dripping into the shores of the shimmering lake and thick husks of rope hanging to swing into the water and splash next to the orange and yellow fishes. One of my dearest friends got married there, and I will soon regale you with that story, and the gorgeous pictures of really the most magical wedding I've ever attended. Clue: the invitation said Dress: Forest Elegant.  I'll have to also tell you what kind of person this woman is- the kind who when planning her wedding thought about how expensive it would be for everyone to drive or fly in and do the normal wedding tromp, and so planned a wedding where literally our only expense was the gas to drive there and back. Lola was a fairy flower girl and not only was her dress made and ready for her, so was a crazy gorgeous flower wreath for her head. My friend is a mad fairy masquerading as a regular human, and I'm so blessed to know her.

We made our way up toward the mountain and then up more and in, driving through the fog of a long mountain night to reach the log cabins settled right up against the lakeside. It was 1am and the baby had slept, cried, nursed at the side of the road and repeat for most of the drive. We were exhausted. Mr. Curry drove for six hours at the end of a long day of work and after hauling our things into the cabin, dropped heavily into bed. I let Lola lay with us for a handful of minutes, acclimating. After lots of snuggling I shooed her to the top bunkbed, over Ian, and we switched off the vintage table lamp.


It has been a long, long time since I have experienced that kind of dark. It lays across your face like a blanket and presses into your eyes like, I couldn't help feeling, the very hand of God telling you to sleep. It is the entire Universe collaborating to tell its children to sleep. And so we did. We fell asleep, all five of us, in five minutes. One minute per person. And the next night, the same. Lights out, and darkness, and no whining, moaning, complaining, water drinking, potty breaking, teary eyed complaints- just sleep. Blissful, heavy sleep. Ever slept better than she does at home.

Which made me wonder: Are we sleeping with too much light? 

The night sky of Nature can have it's brilliant light- but it is of stars shining from hundreds of years away, the light of time. Our lights are man made and piercing and demanding and remind us of waking life. They are not lights of spirit but lights of obligation. 

The Alarm Clock Light- Your going to have to wake up and take your kids to school at the crack of dawn!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

The Computer Light- Your novel is unfinished, you didn't answer your email, oh my God look how long it's been since you Tweeted, they probably think you are TOTALLY IRRELEVANT 

The Cable Box Light- I'm green and pointless and tiny and super mega annoying. You forgot to record Girls, by the way. 

Our master bedroom is the hub of the house at night. Everyone is in and out of here, showering, bathing, watching the freakishly enormous and so outdated we couldn't sell it on Craigslist TV of ours, or browing online next to the fan, or playing with the baby on the floor, or rolling around on one of our two beds. At bedtime, everyone disperses but often the computer is still on, left that way in case I can make myself get back up and work- which I do, 80% of the time- and the alarm clock is set and facing us, and the cable box is glowing, and oftentimes the closet light is on just to help me stay awake and get things done.  Ever sleeps in here and mostly so does Lola, on the little bed next to our bed. On top of all this light, our windows- we have three in here- are closed with gorgeous white shutters which still let in light from the streetlamps. That's a lot of light.

So tonite, I've draped a shirt over the alarm, Ever's pants over the cable box, and a small towel over the computer box. Melatonin, the hormone our bodies produce to make us tired, is created only in the absence of light, and I know that people who sit in front of glowing computer screens (ahem) quite a bit can have problems with sleep, and I'm sure our hormone production has much to do with that, along with the way our brains work. 

Part of the problem for me is that I don't have any light to read by. I can't just lie down, barely tired, in a dark room and go to sleep, because ANXIETY. So to wind down, I'm often watching TV right before bed, or online, and although this feels relaxing, I don't think my brain agrees. If I had a reading lamp, I would read every night, which is what I've done most of my life until... I didn't have a reading lamp! I'm going to buy one, and add that to my sleep arsenal. I also like the influence it has on my kids to see me reading every night, especially since I read less right now because of Ever. 

Maybe we will sleep more, and better.  I'll let you know.

*couldn't find source for image
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