Winnowing at the surface / by Christina Rosalie

Awakenig after a night of strange sleep, has me feeling like I never went to sleep. Does this ever happen to you at night? Drifting to sleep you hover just before it, on the brink, not quite able to shake the weight of consciousness. It doesn’t happen frequently, but when it does, and I toss about, poking my feet out from under the covers or seeking the muscled spoon of DH’s hot back, I am struck by how utterly exhausting consciousness is.

Each day is a fracture landscape of moments we intend and moments we do not. There is so much reaction in my day; so many times I’ll carry something from one end of the house to the other without thinking about it; or worse, say words I don’t really mean. More than words, it is tone that oozes with the organ-dark mess of moods.

Especially breaking back into a daily routine structured by necessity: earlier wake-up times, more to accomplish within the falling sand of every hour, I watch my energy and effort splinter off. I remember certain things while others leave me almost as soon as they happen. Like steam from a mug of tea; or summer’s heat once autumn has arrived.

Maybe I’m shallow. Maybe I am hardwired to be more resilient: able to move forward shaking off the past that has drenched every pore. I’m not sure. I do know that there are times when I need to be more conscious—especially with DH. We so easily hook each other into little spats. Small words that tailspin, ripping context to shreds. I nearly always take his bait. A sentence flung sideways.

The worst part is that often right in the middle of it, when I’m still bristling with ego and unwilling to back down, I cannot quite, entirely, recall the words that were said. I tag too much on tone, too much on gesture. I remember the context but not the specific content. I assume too much.

And then in the blurry high-moon dark I’m dream-soaked and restless, making up for lost clarity. I skate across the surface of sleep like a water-bug; not really in the water, not entirely above it either. I’m grateful for morning, and early quiet of the house as the sun slowly rises, pulled from behind the mountains like a marionette. The trees are dappled with gold. Each day more leaves turn the color of fire and persimmon. Deer apples, small and round, are sweet and tangy on the trees. I’ve promised Bean we’ll gather them and make an apple pie.