Friday, June 20, 2008

Night listening

I had mild insomnia last night. Sometimes I get really agitated when I can't sleep, but there are other times when I don't really mind. When I relax into the dark and quiet, when I can just be part of the world.

I woke up around two and was awake for at least an hour, listening to the world around me. I could hear the wind in the trees. I wondered what they were whispering about.

I could hear a car door slam, the car start and drive away. Was it the end of a party? The start of a work shift? The aftermath of an argument? Or someone else not sleeping who wasn't content to lie in bed and drift? I do love that drifty feeling, I used to imagine I was in a boat on a safe, dark sea and the waves would lull me to sleep.

I could hear my breath and heartbeat. Once, when I couldn't sleep, I rested on my side and listened to my heart in my ear. I told myself a story about when the world was young, when the heartbeat of everything could still be heard. When the heartbeat of the rocks and pebbles was in syncopation to that of the ocean, which was a counterpoint to that of the birds and lizards and worms. And so on. It was a good story, one I even remembered when I woke up.

I woke up last night from some kind of frightening dream, I was so sure I'd remember it I didn't bother writing it down. As I lay there in the dark I reminded myself over and over, it's just a dream. I still thought it was interesting, but I soothed myself so well that now all I remember is the start of waking, the sharp edge of fear and knowing there was something that woke me.

And I remember the quiet summer dark. The rustle of leaves and answering rustle of sheets as I turned. And my breath gradually slowing as finally, I fell back to sleep.

Sometimes, listening to quiet is what we most need.

(c) 2008 Laura S Packer Creative Commons License


  1. There was a huge full moon this week - and a solstice. So many people were awake in the middle of the night. I was, and 50% of the peeps i talked to were as well.
    Insomnia or
    Was it in the stars?

    Nice blog and fun ramblings.

  2. I can so relate to you. I often lay in bed, listening to the noises and imagining what is going on. We've had lots of storms lately, so plenty of noises to keep me awake
    lisajhoney :)


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