i know you have never experienced this. nope. never.
mars-venus. saturn-pluto. smack-dab in the middle.
SMACK-DAB. ©️ 2021 kerrianddavid.com
smack-dab in the middle of the night. like every night. i lay awake listening to the peaceful, gently-breathing sighs and sounds of him sleeping. sleeping! the gall!
and so, smack-dab in the middle of the night, i wake him up. since, smack-dab in middle-age, we decided to share our lives, it only seems right that we share our non-sleep moments as well as our sleep moments.
we are not alone. it would seem, especially in these times, that there is a lot – a hell of a lot – of insomnia going on. it is likely i could, should i choose to, have a texting conversation with most of my friends in the wee hours. we’d all be completely and utterly awake, completely and utterly coherent. perhaps more coherent in the wee-wee hours than in the day, when we are weary from the night.
when one lays awake at night and ponders all of life, one uses up much energy. and thus, i get hungry. and not just a little. in the ‘olden days’ (read: when we first married) we used to get up and make pancakes. there is nothing like midnight pancakes to soothe the weary soul. but we have cut to the chase these days and choose, instead, a shortcut to satisfying midnight hunger pangs. and so i poke at his shoulder and ask, “youwannabanana?”
post-banana we sit, happy lights turned low, and chat. there are no real rules to this. sometimes we watch a trail and joey coconato ultimately tucks us back in to sleep. sometimes ‘grace and frankie’ make a middle-of-the-night cameo appearance. eventually, and it’s heavy on the eventual, we settle back in and sometimes i end up snoozing in-between hot flashes and heaving blankets and pulling blankets up and moving pillows and removing pillows. it’s exhausting. but somehow, it is not sleep-inducing.
i don’t know much. but i do know this: we’re smack-dab in the middle of middle-age. and by golly, we are going to celebrate THAT.
SMACK-DAB ©️ 2021 kerrianddavid.com
** and, by the way, i don’t REALLY “guffaw”.
i write this with a sound-asleep babycat tucked up next to me. he is snoring, deeply sleeping, curled up, his paws tucked in, one under his little head. it is sweet and i savor this moment of his complete trust. he is obviously in bliss.
i envy his blissful slumber. i am not as good a sleeper as he. this middle-age-menopause thing wakes me every night. and every night, despite my urging to the contrary, my brain, clearly wildly uncontrolled, starts to think. lists accumulate, calendars form in my mind, my worry starts. and that’s it. i am lost in the weeds of insomnia.
after we had spoken about it a day or so prior, dan told me one morning that he had been awake thinking of our under-the-sink plumbing problem at 2am (!) and had, at that hour, come up with a solution. truth be told, he didn’t really have to wait under the next day; i’m quite sure i was awake and could have had a plumbing-solution-guru-text chat in the wee hours. wendy and 20 have both teased about texting me in the middle of the night when they are awake. i am not alone in sleep deprivation.
this painting is like looking at babycat. a sleep that is uninterrupted, peaceful. it evokes younger images of small children on mats during naptime. it is serene.
babycat stretches and rolls onto his back. he is tucked under the computer cord, laying on top of papers. but he is content. and back to sleep. sweet sleep.
4×4/SLUMBER ©️ david robinson
it was the middle of the night and i woke up. like wide-awake waking up. but not the i-want-to-get-up-and-vacuum or anything kind of awake. just the lie-here-and-ponder kind. of course, after a while, that pondering gets, well, a little old, and i was wishing i could go back to sleep. counting sheep. counting the minutes (and the hours) as i watch the clock. counting hot flashes. counting my own breaths. counting the mosquitoes i can hear. counting – sheesh- anything trying to get back to sleep. somewhere in there, the night turned to early morning. and then i hear them. the loons. in the distance out on the lake somewhere up here in the north country there are loons gathered and i can hear their mournful cries, that gorgeous sound, the timbre of which is indescribable and yet, so recognizable. i listen. i am both reassured that all is well in the night and in the world right at this moment. i close my eyes and float with the loons. mmm…the gift of insomnia.
it was the middle of the night and i woke up. i had been sound asleep. we were all tired from a big family celebration. i rolled over and tried to get back to sleep, but the images from the day were hankering to be looked at again. so i laid in bed and thought about the whole day. the moments of hugs, the moments of hard work together making a party, the moments of laughter and great banter, the moments when looks of great love and history were exchanged between people who had been related forever and people who are newly related. i partied through the party once again, this time in my mind’s eye, this time meandering a little more slowly through the precious moments. mmm…the gift of insomnia.
it was the middle of the night and i woke up. i had been sound asleep, the sound-asleep kind of sleep that comes from drinking in the mountains all day and weeping at every turn. i was so overwhelmed with the beauty of the day and the drive through passes, thousands of feet above sea level (with, by the way, no guardrails.) sheer majesty. i laid awake and reviewed the drive. each bend of the road. each steep ascent, each use-the-brake descent. i could feel the air on my face, i could hear the rustle of aspens, and i could smell the crisper-than-the-crispness-of-a-fresh-apple-off-the-tree air. i close my eyes and can see those mountains. mmm…the gift of insomnia.
it was the middle of the night and i woke up. i was surprised because i had spent a good part of the day hiking and outside in the superbly fresh mountain air. my sprained-not-too-long-ago ankle was aching and i had those good aches that come with having really great exercise. i tried to go back to sleep, but i already missed the mountains, even though i was still there. they are glorious. they are alive. they make me alive. i closed my eyes and reached out my arms to hug them. mmm…the gift of insomnia.
the middle of the night can challenge me. like you, i can find myself reviewing and worrying and worrying and did-i-mention-worrying? but tonight i will wake up – again – in the middle of the night. and i wonder what gift i will find there.