Being here (2) …. Hurdles along the way to now…not submitting to sleep.
May 11, 2010
The pull of doing (and having?) on being.
As I was contemplating my sleep disciplines and decision-making, I realised that for longer than I can remember I really had not been outside the boundaries of my self-imposed requirement to be doing something most of the time. I never just let go, though I am an agile napper. Yes, I can let go a little, and this acknowledges a capacity to be with how I am at various moments – to feel tiredness unmitigated by purposeful overdrive (which I apply automatically of course). It's not a virtue, just a normal adult habit, started in the depths of early childhood by requirements of others. Not a vice of theirs either, just normal bending to the wheel.
But, this napping and self-acknowledgment occurs in the blind spots of the general commandment to be doing something. The closest I get to evading the commandment are periods of mindless activity like shopping, lawning (my nephew's word for grass cutting when he was three helping push a hand mower around our yard) and car cleaning. I almost do not feel the commandment, only know it by inference from occasional awareness (as that which started this reverie) of deep, undifferentiated drives sturdily pulling/pushing away at me all the time … the flowing undercurrent of my energies.
I am imagining this current as the sort which flows through caverns and crevices in deep limestone formations, trackable by spelunkers 'til the point of nowaythrough where quiet waters slide between too-narrow gaps in smoothed stone. An out of sight consciousness this, its weirdness perhaps signalled by the very different names for the same exploration - caving, potholing, canyoning and spelunking. The surface evidence of these formations are the famous canyons of flash flood fame, followed by potholes which have surface access, and then caves which are 99% out of sight.
Anyway, it is an unbalanced drive this flow. I am extremely good at putting my often unconscious perception of the demand of the moment before longer term considerations of my health, rest, preparation, etc. I think this experience is related to that of low grade chronic stress, where the original stressors are now out of sight, but the drain on the total system continues. It is a hurdle I usually do not even notice I am stumbling over on my way to my possibly being present.
Recently I have had therapy clients fronting up with similar hurdles. Probably they have more often been there than I've noticed. So, insight into others follows insight into self, which allows more delicate evidence to become visible. Strange to think of stress as delicate.
NB – I do much of my writing these days by starting with a theme, image, or perception strong enough to demand a first step recording – a note in my always handy pad - and then letting it unfold from the act of writing itself. Putting down the first elaboration of the image elicits other words allied to those already on the page in some way which often is not immediately apparent…I used to sketch outlines of posts, but have found that they do not advance the production all that much. Revisiting the partially developed piece does the job of extracting its completion from the further images and perceptions which those already down pull up from my innards.