My last post was more than a month ago. Huh. Thought I was doing a better job of keeping up with life. But no.
Also, I fall asleep a lot. When trying to study, or write, or gather my thoughts, or pray, or pay attention. With all good intention I sit down to watch television with my husband and within ten minutes am a misshapen, horizontal, snoring lump. Isn’t this alarming? Should I be getting help?
Someone once said (I’ve been told it was St. Therese of Lisieux) that “God does his best work while we’re asleep.” I hope this is true—and if it is, then maybe this past few weeks have been tremendous spiritual strides for me. I said (out loud, because I was feeling drowsy), “Holy Spirit, feel free to do whatever’s necessary while I’m sleeping.”
Then, because I slept last night when I had planned to be praying, I set aside everything else during my morning commute on the train. I gazed out the window at the city coming out of its gray, and said (not out loud, because people were around), “Okay, Lord, I just want to sit here with you, and listen, and know your presence.”
And then spent the next forty minutes chasing my wild monkey thoughts all over the place. I mean, every thought led to some other thought, which led to a worry or a task or a bit of anger. So I’d drag those thoughts back to the quiet place, only to have others pop up like preschoolers during church and go running off somewhere else. I’m sure God was present, but I wasn’t in the least.
Which made me think that sleep might not be a bad alternative. At least when I’m asleep, the only activity is somewhere besides my conscious life. Perhaps my deeper self has long, luxurious conversations with God while the snoring self on the couch is knocked out and oblivious. I hope so.
Fatigue accomplishes some of the same effects that grief does. It strips a person down to a self who is defenseless, who moves with pain, and who does not have the energy to create an unreal life through elaborate lies. These days, I move slowly and very close to whatever anger or hurt has been living in here. I have to ask myself, every day, Why am I doing this (going to school, trying to write, taking on responsibilities)?
And I barely sense time passing. Now I’m studying the book of Exodus, and tomorrow it’s Leviticus. Now I’m editing author A; tomorrow it’s author B. Now I’m eating a salad, tomorrow a burger. Last week? I have no idea; reality does not reach that far back. In getting from one day to the next, I have lost the weeks—in fact, the entire month of October. At least I spent part of a Saturday taking two girls shopping for Halloween costumes; that anchored me in larger Time. In Time with a capital T, everything is present tense anyway.
Until the next post . . . enjoy your right-now life.