Friday, May 30, 2014


I have had much cause to think about sleep in the past few weeks, as well as to get a bit more of it than was the case during my teaching work. Every thing that any of us does reveals something of who and what we are; the various fine arts are lauded for their particular ability to do so, but all activities do, to some extent, bespeak their actors. It seems to me that sleep should do the same.

Ms. 8, for example, often sleeps flat on her back, arms flung out and up in a position not unlike raising hands at gunpoint. Her legs are usually angled with the soles of the feet touching, seeming froglike in posture. How to read the position, I do not know. It does not seem to me to be one particularly comfortable, but she obviously finds it so, or she would not sleep in it so much as she does. And what experiences she has had to prompt her to be in such a position, I am unsure; perhaps it reflects some of the inborn personality of her, but again, I am not able to read it.

My own sleep behavior is similarly opaque to me. I rarely recall what I dream or even that I dream. There are some pictures of me sleeping, though, and from them and the state of my bedclothes when I have slept alone, I can make some inferences. I tend to fall asleep on my right side, yet I often sleep on my back, and I seem not to move terribly much during the night. How much I snore varies by who speaks of it, but I do grind my teeth. (That last, I can perhaps account for. I feel myself under much stress, now as ever, and I have a lot of anger hoarded away.) Too, I like to be under both a sheet and a blanket; I have trouble sleeping, even napping, without something over me, however hot the weather. (Hence part of why I love air conditioning. I am not one of the medievalists who advocates a return to the medieval.)

I would welcome any insights, any readings of what I have presented. The same is true for much of the other "artistic" work I do; I find myself unable, somehow, to critically read any of my performances, and I fear that to do so will lead to some of the same problems that accrued to Poe after his "Philosophy of Composition" went to press. Whether it is an issue of my being too close to the matter to be able to apply what faculties I have in that regard or because I am afraid of what it might I note, I would welcome readings of my own work. If nothing else, it would be interesting to see what kinds of comments would pop up in condemnation of me (because it happens); I have read some rather inventive ones over the years, and I wonder what else can be said against me.

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