Sunday, July 27, 2008

Serendipity of sleep.

"There are some good things to be said about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who's always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated and anyone can transport himself anywhere, instantly. Big deal, Buckminster. To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me."

Edward Abbey

"This above all: to thine ownself be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!"

Hamlet, William Shakespeare

Serendipity of Sleep - When it's most needed in preparation for the coming of another day of challenges and tasks, it seems hardest to find.

People playing guitar and singing upstairs, others dashing up and down the row of apartments shouting/screaming and banging on the railings. On the surface I'm a bit grumpy about that as I'd like to be sleeping, so that tomorrow goes more smoothly. I'm pretty sure that what's really keeping me up is a little closer to home though.

As strange as it sounds, I think it's actually the predictability of my life right now that's bothering me. The regularity of work, the knowledge of just which problems I plan on tackling in the morning, details and plans for the coming two weeks. All of this mixed in with plans for a fall job, plans for years of graduate school. I usually think that it's the not knowing what will come next that bothers me the most. But maybe I've got it all backwards, and what scares me is knowing what comes next. Because with that certainty (or at least the semblance of it), comes the knowledge of what won't be happening next, and a bit of the joy of a spontaneous life evaporates. It's an interesting dynamic - the tug of war balancing act between stability and spontaneity.

I think usually I prefer to participate in spontaneous things within the context of a stable foundation, like when I was in college still. I had a background orderly flow to my life, stabilizing enough that I felt comfortable (safe?) being spontaneous, with respect to events on campus, visiting friends, procrastinating, trips and the like. Little pockets of unpredictable goodness.

So maybe the trick to adjusting to this transient part of my life is to accept that the foundation is the spontaneous part of my life right now, and to learn to work from that to create little bubbles of stability. Maybe.

Or maybe this is just the product of light night mental ramblings. Seems to make sense right now though. From the Abbey quote above - to be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever. Note to self: stop trying to be everywhere at once in thought, spend more time being here and now, even as the heres change to theres. Remember that each time you stop to realize that you are here, in this place, right now, that realization is a little piece of stability in itself.

Chamomile's gone, time to try the pillow again.

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