Sometimes I get homesick for 1994.
Boulder residents Rachel Alder, left, and Robert Blackwell walk to a coffee shop in the snow on Pearl Street in Boulder on Monday, April 15, 2013. DAILY CAMERA/ JESSICA CUNEO.
Walking in the April snow.
(Yeah, they spelled my name wrong, but whatevs.)
Source: Daily Camera
A) This book is awesome.
B) I saw Nathan Englander speak at CU a few weeks ago. It was really inspiring to see someone who had such a similar story to my own (even in terms of his origins — he grew up in the same Modern Orthodox Jewish community as me and went to my high school, albeit 10 years before I did) who really made something of himself as a writer. He was also simultaneously insightful and funny in person. I’m officially a fan.
Wolf-Meyer refers to the practice of going to bed at around eleven o’clock at night and staying there until about seven in the morning as sleeping “in a consolidated fashion.” Nowadays, adults are expected to sleep in this manner; anything else—sleeping during the day, sleeping in bursts, waking up in the middle of the night—is taken to be unsound, even deviant.
This didn’t use to be the case. Until a century and a half or so ago, Wolf-Meyer observes, “Americans, like other people around the world, used to sleep in an unconsolidated fashion, that is, in two or more periods throughout the day.” They went to bed not long after the sun went down. Four or five hours later, they woke from their “first sleep” and rattled around—praying, chatting, smoking, or making love. (Benjamin Franklin reportedly liked to spend this time reading naked in a chair.) Eventually, they went back to bed for their “second sleep.””
As an insomniac who is currently undergoing some pretty intense sleep therapy and is about to have a sleep study (yay, self improvement kick!), I’ve always wondered about this. My body tends to naturally want to fall into a twice-a-day-sleeping mode.
My doctor has given me explicit instructions about sleeping, part of which involves not napping/sleeping during the day. I’m giving it a go, but so far the no naps rule has felt tougher on my body than almost any string of insomniac nights I’ve ever experienced.
“ Just because a thing can never be finished
doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
The most vibrant forms are emergent forms. ”
Dean Young, “Whale Watch”
The year ends like this: a hot tub under the stars, whiskey, and friends I’ve known for just over a year who it seems I’ve known forever.
And the year begins with fireworks and shotguns into the sky, echoing somewhere on the edge of the Rockies, and Israeli techno beating out words from my childhood: It is a major commandment to be in happiness, to be in happiness always.
Thirty-three and a half is its own precipice.
Saltwater soaking through my sneakers, fog shrouding all but the five feet ahead, I follow the patterns of a receded Pacific Ocean out to the edges of a continent.
And trudge through the muddy grass forward toward a graffiti’d bridge, lost somewhere in the pine trees of western Washington where a wild-eyed boy, a Rex Glisson, blows smoke into the air, blows dreams into the air, as lyrics of familiar songs wind their way up toward the stone gray sky.
Wet green, dark gray. A croissant. A cappuccino. To travel is to find home. Perfect conversation with a friend who began in the same place and is moving in the same direction. In the distance, Seattle rises on the other side of the river and then disappears into haze and fog.
Or quiet, suburban, Denton, Texas. The January night air smells like autumn and to my side is my best friend of years ago. Our once mirrored lives have split and still, two decades later, we whisper secrets, we talk with passion about the future, about the promise of the unknown.
And so I believe now, with full faith, in the hard work of my present, in the transformations I am making within myself — to see the world in its beauty, to be an honest and vital part of it, to love myself and to love others, and to rejoice still in what is.
So pause for a minute or two by a tealit window in Portland, Oregon. Watch the dancers glide across a wooden floor in red knee socks. And then wander off again into a night of new manic moments.
snow, snow, snow, van gogh
folsom street is tired, this computer is tired, my fingers are tired, and still everything appears too rigidly in focus.
Photo courtesy L McCune.