Tossing and turning in bed at night. I’m keeping her awake again, I know. She always sleeps easy, slips into dreamland with the ease of someone who has finished her days work and is satisfied by it.
In the middle of a sentence sometimes, her breathing changes and I know she’s almost gone. Just like that.
Not me. The dark and stillness makes my brain come alive. It is then – when all the activity has finally ceased and the house settles into its quiet nighttime rhythm – that the artist inside finally wakes up.
Are you having trouble falling asleep baby?
I can’t sleep yet, I’m writing in my head.
You need to stop that and rest. You’re exhausted.
I can’t stop the writing. I can’t. It just is.
Sometimes I envy it, that letting it all go accessible to those not possessed by the ceaseless drive to create. But then I wonder, would I really want that?
Yes, my brain and heart have an inconvenient tendency to spin in endless loops at 2am, stringing words together into something beautiful, imagining an image not yet created, conceiving of some incredible community or action or change. But those middle of the night loops are connected in some fundamental way to the depths of my spirit, to who I am as a person and to why I am here on this earth.
It is those moments, curled up in the chair in the corner, scribbling lines upon lines in my journal by the light of the moon, that I am the most fully alive. And when that happens, I feel sad for all the people who just sleep.
Where are you going?
It’s okay. Go back to sleep. I have to write.