Monday, August 15, 2016

That Space Between Waking and Sleep

Image © Lori Gravley
I’m not always good at waking myself in that threshold consciousness, between sleeping and waking, that's supposed to be so good for tapping the unconscious.  But I do notice that space in the middle of the night when I wake up to go to the bathroom.  I’ll stumble to the loo, eyes barely open.  Then on the way back to bed, my feet will hit a rhythm and a line or two will rise in my head.

Usually, I just nod back off to sleep and forget I even had an idea, but on good nights, I’ll pull out my phone and record an audio note or even pull out the iPad and type a line or two.

I know, I'm supposed to keep a pen and pad by my bed, and I’ve done that, but the next day, I can’t read what I wrote.  At least my electronic notes are legible. 

I’ve been working on a new book of connected poems for children, this time on a subject not a person, and last night, when I woke up, two lines from two separate poems rose up.  I lay down and said them over to myself a few times.  I’ll remember them, I tried to convince myself.  But I knew that was a lie. 

So I rolled over.  I’m in a hotel, and it was too much to try and convince Siri to connect to the internet.  I just tapped the lines into a note on my phone.  Tonight, when I sat down to write, they were waiting there.

It’s so easy to beat myself up for all the things I don’t do, and such a joy to do what I know I should.  Those two lines became two separate poems tonight.  Maybe the lines won’t even make it into the final drafts, but they were little gifts waiting for me at the end of a long day, gifts I sent to myself. 

Tonight, I’ll try to have patience with myself when I wake up, whether I write the words bubbling up from sleep or not.   

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