The Comfort Of Sleep

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I soon found myself teetering on the edge of a deep depression-hole, listening intently to the siren song wafting up from below. Each note resonated more deeply than the last, snaking around me like an enchanted silver rope, tugging gently. Entranced, I sat down and dangled one foot over the rim and then the other, tentatively, delicately at first. Then, kicking at the air with more enthusiasm, I pushed back against the ground and let myself drop over.

It’s comfortable down here. The music drowns out most of the thoughts that led me to the edge in the first place. The embrace of the mossy surface is warm and familiar. Blue walls softly glowing diffuse the dark. It doesn’t matter that are no stars above to navigate a course, because there’s no need to go anywhere. The lack of air doesn’t concern me because there’s no need to breathe. The song invites me to let my lids drift down. There’s less to fear in my dreams. Sleep is all that matters.

I’ll sleep as long as it will let me. Actual sleep, not the sleep of the dead; nor the waking somnolence of the world above. I shall be a bear; sleeping a resting sleep, peacefully dormant, my head down, all of my bones in alignment; my body still but for the soft woosh of breath. I will weave a blanket of dreaming sleep, the sleep of escape. I’ll languish, that I might yet rejuvenate, to climb out of this pit, my little nest, ready to fight.

In this moment, I am lulled by the song. I cannot move. I cannot eat. My thoughts are still. For now, I sleep.


Depression is a THING for many of us. We all have different ways of, hopefully, coping and surviving. Writing is one of my ways. I wrote a lot last year, but was too depressed to post it. Sleeping is another coping mechanism. This year, I’ve been sleeping a lot. I haven’t been able to work, which means there is little else to do but worry, be hungry, sleep and read.

I’ve experienced a lot of trials in my life which have resulted in an endless wrestling match with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My depression has always been resistant to medication because it’s largely situational and due to things I cannot control like job loss, homelessness, illness, abuse and poverty. Sarcasm helps, humor is a brilliant tool and finding joy here and there throws spite arrows that bite and sting morosity, keeping it at bay for a while. I’m always struggling, however, and eventually, I get worn down enough that my barriers break. Depression roars in like a rogue elephant, careening down the streets of my brain, trumpeting destruction, flipping neurons and stomping on hope with its mighty feet.

Sleeping is good. Retreat is good. As long as the escape really does result in rejuvenation. Our nation was asleep and that has gave us more and more serious things to get depressed about. The temptation to go back to sleep is really tempting. The reality is, if we don’t deal with depression, the unfairness of the world, the destruction of the environment, the greed and the vicious bullying at all, it will only become less and less manageable. Finding a balance is key. Let yourself sleep when you are tired. Whatever you are battling will still be there when you get up. Just make sure you get up, even if you don’t feel like it.  Rejuvenate, then get up and fight again.


Looking for images to put with these blogs can be almost as daunting as trying to guess what tags will find readers. This time I was searching for various things related to sleep, caves, abysses, hibernation) I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I came across before finding that perfect bear above:

By the way, the bear photo is from this interesting Time article about whether or not bears truly hibernate. (Spoiler; they probably don’t) 

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I went down a rabbit hole reading about the cave homes, history and evolution of the Italian city of Matera, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. This New Yorker article in particular is a good read! 

This gif of awesome popped up in the header of a review about an intriguing book series about lesbian pirates.  I could watch it all day! I may have to check out these books though my reading list is extremely bloated.
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I also found this fascinating SLATE blog about sleep called, The Drift. As a hopeless insomniac (yes, I know this seems ironic since I  can also sleep for days once I finally do fall asleep) I am going to enjoy digging into this!

I almost used this one (left) of a girl about to stroll off a cliff, which Slate’s blog above, modified. I just really liked it! I didn’t consider the man with a briefcase, but he amused me. While I was stumbling around I found another amusing WordPress writing blog, Lion Around Writing with a nifty little piece about an abyss.

And then things got odd. I ended up with a couple of photos of old, b&w film actresses because of the keywords. This still of Mary Boland from 1915’s lost silent film, The Edge Of The Abyss just struck me. Her face is so lovely and soft, yet her gaze is so firm and direct. This was her film debut.

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From IMDB: “Lively, buxom character actress Mary Boland made a name for herself playing vacuous or pixelated motherly types during the 1930’s. One of her most memorable performances was as the addle-brained Mrs. Rimplegar of Three Cornered Moon (1933), who gives away her family fortune to a swindler because he seemed like ‘such a nice young man’. She also made a series of popular homespun comedies under contract to Paramount, in which she co-starred opposite Charles Ruggles. She was notable as a social snob in Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), the oversexed and alcoholic Countess DeLave in The Women (1939) and as Mrs.Bennett in MGM’s classic Pride and Prejudice (1940). For all her scatty or matronly character roles in the movies, Mary Boland had once been a star comedienne on Broadway.” (The original ’39, The Women, by the way, is worth a watch. I believe Netflix has it on DVD.)

I guess the 1915 bit linked some photos of the ridiculously lovely, Ann Sheridan, who was born in 1915. She had the amazing ability to go from a simple, fresh faced girl next door to drop dead, worldly glamour. She was in many films and could sing beautifully as well. Her career spanned more than 30 years, right up until her death. She was only 51 when she died of cancer. HERE is a list of Ann Sheridan films.

 

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll try to post some of my backlog from 2018 and some new stuff this year, if I can stay awake.

 

 

 

Balls!

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My inner 12 year old enjoys the abundance of balls in the kitchen right now. My roomie’s mom likes to send him things like huge tins of almond rocha and boxes of Ferrero Rocher candy, the chocolate hazelnut balls wrapped in gold foil. This leads to lots of jokes about holding my roommate’s balls, eating his balls, enjoying them and so forth. (Hey now, note the disclaimer of inner immaturity above)

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A few nights ago I was making some sort of rice and leftover mystery bean soup/chili I found in the freezer thing. As I’m working my magic, I pop a chocolate ball in my mouth. Yum! Well, my roommate also usually keeps bags of meatballs in the freezer…… you can see where this is headed, right?

J: (Walks in, opens freezer) You know, you can add some of these if you want.
Me: Oh my god! What do you want me to do with these? I’ve already got one of your balls in my mouth right now!
J: (Snorts) Just put them in the toaster oven.
Me: ALL OF THEM?
J: Sure. That would be good.
Me: How long do you want them in for? The package says 30 minutes.
J: They’re already cooked.
Me: So you want me to try warming your balls for what, 20 minutes?
J: That sounds good.
Me: That’s what HE said!

Never gets old!

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Anyway, dinner was quite tasty mmmm. We enjoyed my roommate’s tasty balls!

It seems like balls were just everywhere this week. The next day, I had boba tea and sucked a lot of balls, gelatinous but firm, into my mouth.

Then this happened:

I was just minding my own business watching season Two of,  Sneaky Pete on Amazon, when the internet glitched for a moment.

The scene: Giovanni Ribisi stepping out of the shower and when surprised, he quickly covers his naughty bits. Then he removes his hands and….

Frozen, full frontal.

Um…..For a moment, I feel like a perv, but then I think of all the opportunities men have taken to freeze (in the old days) VHS tapes of Jamie Lee Curtis (and other actresses) nude in films and now just do screen grabs and somehow 10 seconds of staring at naked man junk attached to a nice bod (which may or may not actually be Giovanni Ribisi’s) doesn’t feel so gratuitous.

Um. Thanks Comcast, Amazon, Internet fairies…I guess?

Balls. Everything full circle.

Thoughts on Loneliness

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I’m not lonely. I just feel lonely in this moment.

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Why are we humans so afraid of being alone?
Why do we perceive loneliness as an undesirable thing?
Why is the act of taking or being given a moment of solitude where our hands, eyes, mouth, mind and heart aren’t busy so disconcerting?
Why is an uncomfortable feeling automatically viewed as negative or detrimental by so many of us?

Loneliness in the moment is a good thing. A moment passes.
The loneliness reminds us of our desires, our needs.
It allows us to feel grateful for moments that are shared, moments that are full.
It guides us, gives us perspective.
Loneliness is contemplation.
Loneliness has been the fuel for periods of productivity, personal growth and great art.
When loneliness is shared through art, we all can identify with it because loneliness is a universally shared feeling. Experiencing loneliness is a big part of what it is to be human. It drives our desire to reach out.

Loneliness is what we choose make of it. We can embrace it and put it to good use or we can spiral down into it until we are lost!

I recently saw an article that conflated the correlation between loneliness and shorter life span to not having a love relationship and shorter lifespan. It completely missed how many people in relationships are heartbreakingly lonely. I am not involved in a  romantic relationship at the moment. Sure, there is part of me that would like to be, and oh do I miss sex which for me needs meaningful connection if I’m going to enjoy it, but the realities of the situation are that I do not get out much to meet people, online dating is an additional layer of hell for people my age.  I would rather hold out for someone who actually sees me for the amazing person I am with all my flaws and all of my glories and will treat me with respect and be able to feel the same about a partner than settle simply because I do not want to be alone. I have wasted a lot of time putting up with partners dumping abuse and baggage on me, I think it’s reasonable to prefer being single to doing that again.

But none of this means I am fully alone or that 24/7 loneliness is a given. Yes, I am lonely, but it is usually fleeting. There is so much that is not lonely about my life. My loneliness is not hollow, it is rich and present. I have learned to see it as a gift.

Disclaimer: This does not mean I have stopped hoping for a Scottish husband (or lady). You’ll have to pull this fantasy from my cold dead hands. *Those who know me are aware of my lifelong desire to visit and move to Scotland. There is also a running theory that the reason I have not found my true love is that they live in Scotland and I, alas am stuck here.

My Shoes!

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I’m finishing and loading up a bunch of things today, because I had that marvelous combination of time, internet access and my neuropathy being veddy, veddy quiet. Enjoy!

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“You can’t understand someone until youve walked a mile in their shoes.”

What a ridiculous idea! I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes for two steps and I won’t let you walk a mile in mine. I wouldn’t even let you walk around the block in them.

This is my path. My pain. My difficult road. And sometimes, it’s my easy street. You couldn’t stand to wear my shoes for a minute. Stop looking at them.

This isn’t some kind of challenge. And walking in my shoes won’t make you more empathetic or less judgemental. You’ll just end up pissed off with sore toes and a twisted ankle.

Oh, it’s possible the whole experience would give you some fleeting respect, a little awe for how I’ve managed to traverse such uneven ground in mismatched shoes for all these years. You might marvel at how most of the scars from my falls ended up on my insides instead of on my knees. But your appreciation won’t last because after you’ve taken your pity tour, you’ll be tottering along in your own shoes again, feeling quite superior. While you’re strolling easily or scrambling over debris in YOUR path, you’ll forget all about walking a mile or a minute of mine, although from time to time it may cross your mind that you’re glad you don’t have to.

I’ll let you in on a little secret because I know you won’t remember it next time we meet. I don’t always walk in my shoes either. Sometimes I kick them off and run completely off track for a while plunging my bare feet in sand or wiggling my toes in the grass. Sometimes I stop and lie flat on my back and thrust my feet into the cool night air and laugh at the sensation of lightness.

Sometimes I think subversive thoughts about not putting them back on again or just buying a new pair. But, no, they’re my shoes. Sometimes; a comfortable old friend, sometimes a particularly cruel bully that shadows me home, taking my refuge. Some days they hurt me to my bones, other days they soothes my soles.

I’ll walk in them until they become ghosts. When they fall off in tatters, I’ll walk barefoot until the sun sets.

LM – 2014 / 2016 /2017

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