Slumber nor Sleep

“I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids.” (Psalm 132:4)


It is somewhat trivial in relation to worldwide catastrophe, but I sure do miss waking up in the morning to the thought of needing to be somewhere soon. Of speed walking across campus because I took too long in the shower. Or throwing my tea in a to-go mug because we’re about to be late for church. I can’t wait to be late to things again, to have groups of people expecting me to rendezvous with them.

At our house, not having anywhere in particular to be in the morning has led some of us to give up going to bed almost entirely. There have been some strange, unexpected meetings at bizarre times of the night. And usually in the kitchen, the light over the kitchen sink shining out into the backyard like a torch that never burns out. You wander down at heaven-knows-what hour past midnight, and there bump into someone else who also has nowhere else to be and doesn’t feel like sleeping.

The other night around 1:30 I headed down towards the kitchen and found Aleah baking two different kinds of brownies. Just kind of gave her and a few words and a wave and kept walking. Mom heard the dog up on the counter getting into food and jumped out of bed to scold her, but instead saw Luke at the bar eating ice cream. On Saturday night/Sunday morning, Mom came through as I was cleaning some fish I had almost forgotten about. The night before last, from my bed I heard someone trying to get comfortable on the couch – I don’t know they ever made it to bed at all. And just a minute ago, which was two minutes to 1, I ran into Aleah mixing up some cookie dough.

So many nights I’ve wished I could make time stop – I had so much to do: reading, writing, watching, making – and had to give it up and go to bed. Or else I disregarded the numbers on my alarm clock and then stumbled tiredly through the next day, wishing I just had time to work and sleep. Tonight I have both, but not as much motivation, not much to say at all. It feels like I can’t get momentum, like I’m stuck here with everything but inspiration. Maybe it’s the going out, the sense of urgency, the limited time and energy that create a space for making something good. I’d be ready to have that back again.

Until then, I sit at my desk and window overlooking the back yard below. And I imagine whatever might be out there in the woods looking up at the face illuminated by a computer screen, fingers meandering over keys, eyes staring back like a princess waiting to be rescued from her captor’s tower.


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