Friday, July 29, 2011

Counting Sheep

"The only time I have problems is when I sleep." Tupac Shakur.

I have written about sleep before, and I will again, because of what is signifies. It signifies vulnerability. Some people are these utopian, somehow inhuman creatures that cannot be touched. Some people are a fairytale of everything you have ever wanted to be, but at night, when the sun goes down and the mask comes off, they close their eyes just like the rest of us, and wander off into somewhere different.

Sleep is scary because for 5-8 hours a night, you have no idea what is going on around you. There could be a guy with a giant sickle standing at your feet grinning at your bad dreams. Or there can be an angel that fights away the evil things unseen to you in your most vulnerable time of your life. We will never know, because when we close our eyes and drift off to somewhere else, we leave whatever consciousness remains here. We go to wherever our minds want to take it or not.

I too often go to where my heart does not want me to go. I go to the very moments I fear the most. I hear things I don't want to hear. I see people I know cannot be there, except it all feels so real. You wake up over and over only to drift back into this abyss of forgotten memories and subconscious lies. And sometimes truth.

I used to fear falling asleep. I would sleep at the foot of Will's bed because I knew that when I fell asleep, I would not be alone. I have always hated being alone, especially in my most vulnerable state. I won't write about some of the things I have seen in the dark, they make me shake even now. But I will write about the methods I used to defeat them. Starting with the things that didn't work.

Metronome. I slept with one ticking exact seconds away in 4/4 time, 120 BPM for a couple of years. It was effective in putting me to sleep, but not effective in releasing the dreams or the fear of the dreams.

I tried sleeping under the kitchen table and in the bathtub. They helped for a while, to trick my brain into believing I wasn't in bed sleeping, but dreams will always catch up...because your life will always catch up.

I tried pretending I was in these horribly unsafe scenarios, but was completely safe, like in a boat in the middle of the ocean in a hurricane, but completely untouchable from the storm. It puts me to sleep most nights. It is my single most effective way to drift off, but nothing keeps the dreams from finding me. When I close my eyes, there is nothing I can do. I lose control of the one thing I always have conrol consciousness. I lose control of the way I see things. I lose control over reality and things that are impossible. I lose control over my own ability to stop calamity from happening. Many dreams, I get to watch my worst fears realized with no defense or any ability to change anything. It is a horrible feeling and a horrible way to wake up to the world...knowing you are completely helpless. Hopeless.

But isn't it a reflection of reality? Isn't that the real world? We cannot control everything. Things happen whether we want them to or not...great things that we celebrate with family and friends and horrible things that we mourn all the days of our lives. If we could go back and change some things, whether you admit regrets or not, many probably would change them. I would change many things because I am tired of feeling bad about them and am tired of knowing I did the wrong thing and don't know what might have been. But what would happen if you did change them?

Chaos. Chaos theory is based on things like the migratory pattern of birds and the way things don't happen as predicted by many years of study. Life is a series of anomalies that when predicted would have turned out differently. I guess this isn't why we get to control of the world. I guess this is why nothing really works out just like you had planned it... because there is chaos. That chaos is a delicately composed symphony radiating from the fingertips of God, but to us, it is chaos and not understandable. So we fear things like dreams....things unpredictable, because they make us lose order. No one wants to lose order.

I say, God was never meant to be predictable. We cannot always have control. Our dreams show us a wonder that may not be possible, but can be completely real to us. They can teach us something about ourselves, and maybe even others around us. At the least, they can teach us that God is in control, even when we aren't. Because we wake up...most of the time.

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Thanks for reading...Z