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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The Art of War - Surrender at Sunrise

I firmly believe in conserving energy for real eventualities so scant chance of finding me aimlessly jogging, walking or hiking, taking in scenic landscapes. Having worked really tough jobs in childcare, psych wards, trauma counselling and urban living proper, I relish the energising quietude of my darkened room and the coolness of satin sheets against my body. Despite it taking small forevers to achieve a fully restful state, nothings beats that place of dreaming and fantasising, and of course those trigger-moments at which the subconscious does its best work. And it worked very well until recently.

Somewhere between the medication, mood swings related to said medication, attempts at meditation and general life analysis at midnight hours, sleep has been giving me a head-start on some game and then promptly left me to attend to some other sheep auditing programme update! So at some point in the a.m. I surrendered, admitting that my evening from all-light-to-cave-night rituals were rendered ineffective through ... well ... mating and playing-hard-to-get cats, howling at the moon and their unfed state dogs, competitor insomniac drag car racers and the general unravelling of an overachieving, but resignedly tired mind. Promptly at 3am I woke to the sound of my beating heart and the need to remember the dream. My bladder has of late outsourced its alarm function to the Tarantino nightmare folder of horrors and thrillers, many of them scarily recurring, which rouses me at a tremendous pace, searching all the sounds for footsteps, alarms, door-bells, phones, snoring, fridge motors, the list is endless. Mostly though, I just need a quick trip and if I'm really quick can fall back to sleep almost immediately. OK, this is mostly during the vodka and shooter comatose campaign, but doable all the same.

Generally though, that jolt is the trigger for a much-delayed sunrise. So I have time. A time to pray and love and miss the many people who have crossed my path. For loves shared and lost, for lives touched and for memories no canvas could capture. I sometimes marvel at the technology our minds have to protect us and that space where you can no longer remember anything, not even a person whom you have loved your whole life.


Sometimes the forced wakefulness is  like the mother who has tired of speaking to you whilst you offered half an ear, and whose voice is now loud enough to silence any resistance or counter-terrorism or sabotage. It blasts all the regrets and recriminations and To Do lists, and Elimination lists with cymbals. And the Darkness, supposed to protect me,  instead offers no way out, taunting me from all over, reminding me that unless things were swiftly dealt with, they would come back, louder and more forceful than before. That suffices for me to make mental and other notes about what and who really matters, and to face my developmental demons and to cease interrupting myself and to debate with a view to reaching some kind of draft conclusion no matter how pedestrian (as opposed to the existential problem-formulation exercise I've embarked on years ago, so engrossed, I failed to realise the sands have run out of the hour glass and the session is in fact over)

Just before sunrise I am courageous enough to surrender, having fought the internal and external enemy, prepared for normal heartbeat, and to cover my battle scars in well-to-do foundation and double volume mascara. And no-one needs to know. In fact, most often I struggle to remember what the fight was about in the first place. But I know that it waits for me at twilight ... and through each victory I will come closer to wholeness and depth.

So 'Good Night' is just the war cry ... Game On!

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