I’m thinking of trying segmented sleep. I’m a steadfast sleeper, one who won’t give up on her eight or nine hours without a heady consideration of the consequences. So I couldn’t, wouldn’t want to think of sleeping less, going to bed later, becoming a creature of the night. But. The idea of breaking up a night’s sleep into two pieces, that appeals to me. The peacefulness of it, the static quiet of deep night and its room for soft, meditative movements appeals to me. Whether I’d use it to stretch and drink chamomile or to consider what’s sacrosanct, I couldn’t let myself think in that space. I’d also need: heavy drapes, long ivory tapers, the ability to stop analyzing.
Do you know, I’ve had a few moments this week of feeling terribly overwhelmed. It’s petty of me to taint a time of true joy with complaints, but here it is, another inability: to enjoy what’s good without fishing out the bad, finding them an unpleasant membrane-crunch in a buttery dish of scrambled eggs. I am too busy. And like I need a good eight to nine hours of sleep a night (it’s not negotiable!), I can’t be as busy as my peers. I can’t run from one thing to the next without wearing terribly thin, without losing my ability to process what I’m seeing, hearing, and feeling. For a while this is all right (even good for me), but on Saturday, you know, instead of seeing Donna Tartt speak at the Chicago Humanities Festival, like I paid to do, I stayed at home underneath my covers, nauseous, churning, listening to the rain, full to the brim. I drank peppermint tea to calm frayed nerves. I went out, later that night, and I was happy but tired. I hated that there wasn’t enough of me to give.
Is it really worth sacrificing peace of mind for the ability to experience more, and more, and more? I’m grappling with this. There’s so much to do, but is it really worth it? At the end of the day, does it matter that I’ve seen this or that, eaten here or there, had this or that cocktail, been to this or that art gallery? Maybe, as with education, I should specialize: seek to find out what’s truly important and stimulating for me and focus on that. But what’s fascinating to me is a person. It’s a group of people, fumbling through, holding out hot-from-the-dishwasher plates and hoping to get a scoop of meaning.
I find, more and more, that people my age want to travel, want to know more, see more, taste more, experience more. But I’m ready to settle into a rhythm. I’m ready to find home. I’m ready to limit myself for the sake of knowing something as well as I possibly can, the nooks and crannies of a private fortress with a front door well-loved. I want to say, mine. We journeyed around for a bit and found the world lacking, not in beauty, not in hope, not in what it had to offer but in hearth — in true connection. I’ve made my bed with many experiences but I wouldn’t want to sleep with them, curled inky postcards, itching at the parts of me that haven’t been held by softer, stronger arms.