Perchance to dream …

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I slept for ten hours last night. This is almost unprecedented – it’s been a long, long while since I’ve done so and woken refreshed. Got to the office early and two new professional possibilities came my way before 10AM. 

I’ve had a lifelong battle with insomnia and have tested all manner of sleep aids and hypotheses and there is no one-size-fits-all cure. The only “cure” is to not compound lack of sleep with worrying about lack of sleep. I’ve overcome what was a hideous Ambien habit; still take the stuff on occasion but only on occasion. Some of the sordid details are here; many are not, as I was very conscious of not horrifying my mum when I wrote for xojane. In fact, I advised her not to read a few of my pieces as they might make her sad, but she did. They can be awfully stubborn at this age. 

In 1994 I rented my first solo apartment in NY – the previous year of living with a roommate eradicated my need to ever do so again, unless said roommate was of the male persuasion. At my housewarming party someone gave me a set of those newly invented poetry refrigerator magnets and we had a contest, probably over shots of Jaegermeister (the mention of which triggers Proustian memories, if madeleines had made Proust want to vomit); this was my entry, which remained on my fridge until I moved:

Sleep I worship after shadows fall beneath the sea. Drunk from love I watch you pant and dream a thousand summer’s deaths.

I submitted it to some online poetry anthology and its was accepted. The power of magnets. 

 

 

Across the universe

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I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being. 

This quotation is from Hafez, a 13th Century Persian poet. Timeless and resonant. There are many people in my world who struggle to see the astonishing light of their beings, and words are no quick fix for decades of self-doubt. I’ve been there before, I was there for years, but I’m beginning to figure it out – my strengths, and what I have to offer. I’m certainly aware – too aware, I think – of my weaknesses.

The friend who introduced me to Hafez wrote this to me some weeks ago:

Thank you for writing this blog. You are incredible and beautiful and somehow after 12 years of us knowing each other, but not being in touch, you helped me today. You helped me get through a staggering heartbreak that made me feel alone, confused and helpless. Thank you for writing this blog.

It’s hard to express what this means to me. This is as good a reason to keep this going as any I can imagine. That and the comment I received today: I love your mind. Makes me swoon.

Swoon, darling, swoon.

As I’ve said before I am incredibly blessed with the people in my life, friends who have stood by me in my darkest hours, even when I’ve made it really difficult to stand by me. I’ve behaved dreadfully at times, and I’ve met with great forgiveness. Apologizing is important; forgiving is necessary for the soul.

I need to start going to sleep earlier. I resist it – always have – because I don’t want to miss anything. So I wind up missing sleep, and that’s not good. I’m foggy today.

I don’t know what the future holds – obviously, and I’m bewildered by the present; it took me by surprise. But I do know this: It is so, so lovely to no longer be in a horrible excuse for a relationship, one that was built on codependency and wishful thinking. One that, when I heard the key in the door, gave me a feeling in the pit of my stomach – wasps, not butterflies. One in which I felt the need to try to convince when I should have ignored the delusional accusations. One whose mother sent me a chart on the different types of abuse in relationships. One who required a preamble before friends met him. Extenuating circumstances, I’d explain. Traumatic childhood. Non-linear thinker.

My world is so much brighter without toxicity.