Sitting here with my arms dangling...don't even know where to begin...what to say. It's been so long. Since I've switched to working 11-7 every time I sit down here I end up just turning it off without putting anything on. Maybe I don't want to do this anymore. Do I? I don't know. Maybe I'm just tired. But just coming back after so long away is daunting. A catch up entry makes me weary. So maybe I'll just skip that and just jump right back in.
I was so afraid of switching to this shift for fear I wouldn't be able to stay awake, make the grade. Much to my delight, however, I love it. For the first time it doesn't feel as if I'm fighting my natural biological rhythm.
Hello. My name is Galadriel and I am a night owl. I've been a night owl as long as I can remember, but never acknowledged the extent of it to others, nevermind myself. It's not the darkness I love, because I thrive on light. Part of the joy of working this shift are the brilliant, blazing sunrises I step out into at the end. It's just that my energy level peaks during the night and I can get so much done. It just feels right! Society, however, covertly and sometimes overtly conveys that staying up late is generally frowned upon. Thus, I feel compelled to "confess" my delight. People think you "ought" to be up in the morning...it's the right thing to do...or else you're lazy, irresponsible, slovenly, definitely at least unorganized and non-conforming. And I internalized this. But I don't think it's true. I finally think I should accept this about myself and enjoy it.
Even though I love to sleep...am fascinated by the concept of sleep and all that surrounds it, I've always hated the fact that humans HAVE to sleep. Staying up late was a treat, a mystery. The very idea of the world carrying on during those 8 or so hours, and me being oblivious to it all! Growing up, I took every opportunity to stay awake, or spy on those who were up thinking I was not. We once lived in a house where my bedroom was connected to the living room. I'd pretend to be asleep until my sisters were out of it. Then I'd sneak peeks around the doorway as I lay in bed. Dad would be watching Mannix or Perry Mason right around the other side of the wall. When caught, he never scolded me, but kept my secret, sneaking lemon drops to me when Mom wasn't looking, then winked at me. We had sweet tooths together and shared snowdrops, peanut clusters, zagnuts, clark bars, chocolate covered raisins and ice cream. Occasionally, Mom spotted me, gave a quick inhale of surprise and "shame on you...you're supposed to be sleeping" sort of looks. But Dad would throw a challenging glance her way and say firmly in that deep deep bass "Shet ep, she's keepin me company." She'd smile non-plused since she had fulfilled her duty of "frowning" and could now be part of our private tea party even asking if I'd like some coffee. Coffee! Imagine that! That wouldn't happen in broad daylight when people are SANE! Presently, at the end of our chats on here, Dad always tells me what sweet snack he's going to have before going to bed. Inspiring.
I remember waking up nights out in Cherry Tree when we lived on that farm, coming downstairs to get a drink and seeing dad dozing in the chair. He stayed up all night tending the fire so we wouldn't freeze when we got up. Heart-warming.
I've always longed to be one of the night people...guards, fire-tenders, overseers, watchers. In the movies, no matter if it's cowboys, Indiana Jones, Romancing the Stone, The Edge, Clint Eastwood, whatever....there comes a time when humans must succumb to the need to sleep, and danger lurks in the darkness. Someone needs to stay awake to tend the fire and be on the lookout. I've always wanted to be that person. Not so much to be brave and fearless, god knows I'm not. But I've romanticized in my mind that solitude of everyone else asleep and vulnerable. That kind of silence and solitude is different than mere quietness. It's incredibly valuable to me. The backdrop of a crackling fire, nightbirds, branches creaking, and the sound of leaves shimmying in the breeze only enhance the desire.
I've loved that aspect of being a mother. A bedside comfort to a child roused by nightmares or wanting a drink. To be a soother, whispering words to lull a limp-headed soul back out of consciousness so they can rest. I love being there, and they not knowing if they dreamt it or not (that I was there.) There is nothing more beautiful than heavy little toddler heads, silken hair falling slippery through your fingers, landing askew backward to frame their faces in ways you never see when they're awake. Pudgey cheeks still, sweet lips barely murmuring needs then pausing in a freeze-frame. (Here's S with hair put up in rags like on Little Women to make ringlet curls.)
I love to watch sleeping people. I wish I had pictures of all the people, friends and family I love sleeping. Sleeping Nants, sleeping Lyra, sleeping mum, my brothers, even strangers. I only have a few of myself sleeping which fascinates me. I've watched my brother sleep in a recliner at mom's house after working 10-12 hours at the lumber mill and found it hard to take my eyes off. One second he was talking animatedly relaying anecdotes about co-workers and the next deep core-rattling slumbering ZZZee's. His tattered, dirty jean jacket hangs open over a colorful winter flannel, and the weight of his head against the chair knocked his Stevie Ray Vaughn hat down almost over the eyes, lashes twitching on occasion. His big steel-toed work boots, laces half-heartedly pulled open don't look so intimidating now. Sometimes, you need to take the coffee cup out of his hand and he doesn't even notice. And the hand is rough, dirty and so incredibly still. Just hanging there. Where has his consciousness escaped to while the body has ferociously demanded rest.
Isn't it fun to watch your lover sleeping. Not that I get to have this experience anymore! Ha! It always makes me aware how vulnerable and frail we are....that we are after all, merely human. (I'm getting redundant.) Sometimes, when turbulence has caused separation in a relationship, it's during these sleep observations that compassion has welled up in me, compelling me to put an end to whatever the contention was to begin with no matter whose fault. Why, I wonder. What is it about this that moves me so. Why does it feel so good to be wrapped up in someone's arms to go to sleep...like putting on a seatbelt before a trip begins. You're both going there. Separately. But there's that clinging on for safety and comfort. If I should die before I wake....But then when you've reached the level where consciousness has just almost slipped completely away, that euphoric knowing that you are definitely exiting this world you feel free to extricate from the lover and surrender, sprawl wrecklessly any which way. I could talk about this forever I think. (As if you hadn't noticed.) Yet, on the other hand, I absolutely HATE the idea of someone watching me sleep. I detest the thought! Wonder what lurks behind that reasoning.
Driving to that last night of work, a mystical snow had fallen. The dusty, powdery kind that when you drive behind another car makes hypnotic swirls, twirls, and tornadoes of white powder fine as smoke. It was a white-out in my peripheral vision...you could only see the top half of your own car and the one you're following. It was like driving on the set of some rock show, contrived smoke to set off power chords. Yet it looked mysterious as a dream. Like if you'd go out in this darkness to sweep it off your porch it would just swirl and twirl off the bristles of your broom like a white brew never settling but staying forever on the move.