Still paying homage to the night {Just One Paragraph 15/30} by Christina Rosalie

WingIt felt like fall today, even though we're at the height of summer. Crisp air, and the most beautiful bright bowl of blue up above. The weather has been anything but ordinary, and for that, I am glad I guess, though there is a part of me that longs for the familiarity of seasons; for the year broken into parts, for snow then rain, then sun then wind. At lunch, I walked the long way around the block just to catch a glimpse of it up above: blue, between hours working at my desk. It was a long day, all in all, though short on hours (how is this always so?) And now I'm heading off to sleep, while the night swims up to the edges of the house that sits like a raft at the edge of the valley, moored among the grasses wild and sweet. I love the way the air smells, not just here, but all over New England in the summer time after dark, as though the earth is exhaling sweetness. Rest rustling in the tall branches of the oak and fins out along the even, splayed leaves of the sumac whose leaves will soon be red. Owls calling in their secret owl language, silent wings stirring the air into spirals as they swoop. "The thing about getting up earlier, is going to bed earlier," I tell my friend. "Getting up isn't the hard part really, it's going to bed earlier that is."
I still haven't figured this out--how to flip flop the day and night. Start at the beginning rather than at the end. Write forwards instead of back. Explain this to me, morning worshipers, how does this work?

tonight by Christina Rosalie

“Mommy,” he says, sitting up like a small bird in his top bunk, “I just have the feeling stuck in my head that the lightening can strike and kill me. “ I can’t see his eyes, but I know they’re huge; red rimmed from allergies, lashes so long they get crisscrossed when he rubs them.

I’ve been in class since one; in meetings since eight this morning. I’ve had a cumulative fourteen hours of sleep in the past three days. There are circles under my eyes; I haven’t exercised; deadlines still defining every waking hour.

I hear him sniffle, rub his nose, squirm under the covers, his thin torso still propped up on an elbow. I can see his silhouette: he’s watching the window, even though the shades are shut.

I want to snap at: Stop being silly. You’re fine. Go to sleep. I want to plunk the little one into his crib instead of holding him in my lap, rocking as he squirms around, not settled either, also anxious about the storm that has arrived suddenly, just as T drove off for a meeting. I can feel the impatience thick on my tongue.

Instead I take a breath. I zero in. I let the breath expand the place where my ribs join; let my love for these two boys flood me like the storm.

“It’s okay," I say softly. "I’m right here. Mama will be right here,” and then I begin to whisper, “Shush, shushhhhhh.”

And the lightening comes, the thunder comes, the sky grows dark, darker. The windows pelt with rain, and I rock and whisper and then begin to softly sing Brahms’ lullaby, until I can feel Sprout’s body soften, his hair suddenly damp and warm with the onset of sleep. And I keep singing.

I keep singing as the lightening lights up the room, once, twice, six times, twelve. I lose count and keep singing until I can hear Bean settle, curling like a small animal in his covers. I sing until they are breathing in time, steadily, evenly, with the sweet magic of sleep.

Dreaming in the morning by Christina Rosalie

I feel like I am a feather or a tumble weed; something blown about across the vast space of the night. The morning comes too soon. I haven't dreamed enough. I wake, go through the motions: coffee, eggs + toast, say goodbye to T and the big boy (whose birthday is tomorrow!) and pull out my laptop, intending to be productive. But I can feel the way everything resists. My mind still feels slight and suggestible and tossed about, and when Sprout goes down for a nap I crawl beneath the covers of my sun striped bed and sink into sleep again.

Except I don't feel like I am sleeping: I'm not gone entirely. I've slipped into an almost lucid dreaming state. At first projects replay on the inner screen of my mind: the code and the physical dynamics of an interactive piece I'm making spins in and out of focus; other things arrive as well, rotating, repeating, overlapping. The cat leaps up onto my bed and for an instant I am awake, in the room, and then gone again under the opaque sheath of dream.

This time I get up again, go downstairs, do things: except that I am dreaming. My body heavy beneath flannel. My mind testing the length of thread that I can follow through the labyrinth back to myself.

Eventually I begin to have vivid dreams: each one complete, like an envelope with a snapshot in it. In the last one I am standing on sand dunes by the water, holding the strings of five or six yellow and orange helium balloons. I ask the friend I am with to take a picture, and then I run and leap, and feel the way the air catches beneath my feet before I finally land; the water warm, the sand pebbled and golden.

When I do finally wake to Sprout calling, it's like he is calling me from the other end of a tunnel, and I can't just snap to. I trail myself. I feel the way the dreams still flutter like prayer flags. I look about the room expecting that I will be wearing the clothes I dreamed that I put on. My disorientation is almost physical: it has a weight and color to it. And then finally I am here again, in this body, bare foot, and stumbling down the hall.

I haven't been getting enough sleep and I think I'm running a deficit. I think I haven't been dreaming enough. Not metaphoric dreaming; real dreaming. This kind of dreaming that filled with irrational beauty and wonder and disorientation and utter belief in circumstances of disbelief. I can feel the way I need this dreaming time to be wholly creative. It's vital, but I can't quite put my finger on how.

I'm curious: what are your dreams like? How do they affect your creative life?