I don’t sleep well on most nights. That’s usually because I woke up late that day and have an abundance of unused energy.
My nights are restless. Some people would say that they are restless until they rest in God and, for the most part, these are good people who I look up to for their prayerful qualities. If I examine myself carefully I understand that I am not a good person. My nights are restless because the blanket is too warm or the fan is too loud or I can hear the second-hand of my watch go off. My nights are restless because they just are. I can’t put my finger on it but I’ve had trouble sleeping this year.
This doesn’t happen on the nights that follow days full of accomplishment and service to others.
Some nights I’ll turn over in my bedsheets and blanket and lull myself into sleep. Other nights I’ll get up, take a shower, do things I’ve forgotten to do in the day, and then go back to bed a few hours later. Those are productive hours but my mind is not at its sharpest. Still, some other nights I’ll take my guitar down from its hook on the wall, play some song I know or come up with something new, and that’ll be enough to get me to sleep. Sometimes I read. More often than not I think about my life.
Tonight I’m writing.
Well, I’m doing both: pondering and writing. One begets the other.
I’m spurred to write having read some other peoples’ blog posts. Other peoples’ work usually inspires me to write or, if it isn’t creative output, it stirs my mind at the very least. I find a thought spinning out of my mind because I’ve read something that somebody else wrote. That thought turns into a sentence and then a paragraph and then I’m moved to write. Then I usually lose it. If I do write, the finished product is usually very different from my inspiration. It’s a weird process but it happens.
I think about love a lot. It used to be just mostly romantic love when I was younger—and for good reason: I always threw my heart around to see what would stick. (Not much.) That’s the best way to describe it. It’s a terrible way to love and I admit that but it’s what it is. There’s a lot of heartbreak to go with that. Now I think about all kinds of different loves: unconditional, God’s, familial, all that three-dimensional jazz. I could go on: love damaged irreparably, the love of friendship, selfless love, selfish love, and so on. But I always, always, come back to romantic love. There’s something stupid in the way my mind is wired that brings me back to it like in the Sara Bareilles song “Gravity”.
Romantic love is nice and it feels good but 1) it’s been a while since I felt it and 2) it’ll be a long ways away until I feel it again. I learned a long time ago that there is a very subtle distinction between immensely strong feelings of infatuation and attraction and legitimate romantic love. Sometimes the line is blurred between the two. I’m very good, unfortunately, at convincing myself that one is the other (usually the latter).
As an aside, it really is a blessing and a curse to have memories triggered by just seeing someone (or the image of someone). Like most people I remember the good with the bad. More often than not, I remember the bad. The worst is wondering at the absence of closure, even if it was just a blip in the radar A few months is nothing against the average life expectancy. 2010 was a long time ago. Funny how that works. I know that I genuinely cared for that photographer, and I know that the feelings were substantial, but, again, there’s that subtle distinction between one state and the next. Oh well. (No, the whole of this prose isn’t about her. Just this paragraph.)
It’s been almost two months since I really wrote prose of substance and the feeling is nice. It’s calming and, as erratic as the inspiration may be, it’s a nice sense of constancy when my life is in turmoil.
I don’t usually edit. I’d remove too much vulnerability and honesty and authenticity if I went back and over-scrutinised my words.