Sunday, August 16, 2009

On Sleep

I was reading Atwood the other day thinking on sleep. I like to take afternoon naps when I have planned for them and when I know I won't feel guilty later for letting work slide by. I can never take a nap when the living room floor needs to be shined. In a few entries down you can find her Sleep poem. When I first read it I was comforted but knew in my head I had my own thoughts about sleep. When I mentioned this to my Best Friend she just laughed noting that while she was at my house recently I hadn't slept more than a few hours in days. She will tell me later that anything you do sleep deprived won't count so have fun now.


When laying awake in my bed I sometimes
conjure the spirits of those close to me
I will have a conversation with my father
in that comfort place using an ancient spell
to feel him close

But tonight while laying there
in a different bed I summoned you
You were off charting a plan of action
in a dream while your body prone

It started in whispers
I called your name and you stirred a little
then you whispered back still in sleep
and then when I pushed the hair from your face
you opened your eyes blinking
pushing back the light

We were swimming in warm water
and the sun was heating our face
while the rest of us lay cool
me pulling you around by your shoulders
still playing in your hair
still whispering
"Why did you wake me?"

"We sleep when we die
or when dreams die
or when we are tired
and I don't believe you to be tired
and because there's a place
more precious than sleep
and I want to take you there."

And we floated down this canyon
of time and there were voices
whispering stories and poetry
and the cool breeze of clarity
washes over those bright eyes
blinking at me like when you first woke

Your mother or mine it didn't matter
was making cookies
and they were baking
and she was holding us telling us to wear
socks and remember a hat
the useless information mothers give us

When you stopped asking how much longer
we were at a place where when you took
a deep breath you felt like a woman
with a presence "in" you
calming and rational and yet terrifying
and I could feel you move to reach for my hand
and I grabbed it first tracing letters
that would make up your name in the palm
letters I avoid when they are sounded out
like an assault

When we are asleep and dreaming
we are vulnerable to the world
we make an agreement but almost under duress
to follow the dream until the cock sings
until the yellow light peeks through the blinds
until the cat brushes against your thigh
until you yawn
and wake to find the dream seemed so "real"
and it was.
and it was.
and it was.

God makes dreams real and we are all God
I will summons you again
when I need your strength
and I know you need adventure
and one day when we have slept in the same dream
over and over
when we are the Velveteen Rabbit
and we are loved to the point of real
then we'll find the third place
the place where you can be in a dream

and fall from Killmanjaro
where you are clinging to the edge of the Titanic
when the Hindenburg blows up
when the whole world turns into the Sudan
we'll be here
in the water
you holding me
me holding you
you inside me
and me wondering
where you are when you aren't here
where you go right on being
the dream I had as a child
when someone conjured me
and then introduced us

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