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Still of the Night, When Your Head is Anything But

We’ve all experienced what it’s like to be awoken by troubling thoughts. Common garden variety stressors or potentially life altering events. Turning in place in bed and unable to go back to sleep. Sometimes it’s playing back conversations that went awry in your head. Maybe its weighing options and outcomes of your life or wishing you had played a situation differently. Maybe you fantasize about your shitty boss suddenly quitting or retiring and being replaced by a forward-thinking millennial who institutes a four day work week in (sweatpants) and let’s you do yoga or ping-pong for the first hour of every workday. The scenarios bounce around inside your head like a rubber ball, or on a playback loop that just repeats over and over.

Of late I’ve been experiencing a completely different phenomenon, being awaken by good thoughts. Not like the night before you embark on a 10 tropical vacation or like Christmas eve when you’re so excited knowing you got (I mean Santa got) your kids that one thing that’ll make them shriek with joy. Just simple good thoughts. Like knowing your son is in an emotionally good place after months of doubt and uncertainty. Perhaps it’s the realization that you shinned at a fundraising event that otherwise would’ve sucked without your direct guidance. Perhaps it’s the fact the old paint and sip business is steady and strong.

My wife contends I’m a perpetual “glass half empty” person. She see’s my pragmatism as a leaky faucet that drips a steady stream of negativity. I’ve learned to let that go. I know I wouldn’t have made it through almost 50 years on this big blue marble if I was truly a “glass half empty” guy, with all I’ve endured since my shitty childhood. I don’t see a half full or empty glass, because to some degree it’s always partially filled. Sometimes more than others. I know it starts empty and ends empty. It can overflow or it can break.

But of late, I awake at night not bothered by negative perceptions but of things that are going right for a change. Initially I was annoyed, but after three to four days in a row of interrupted sleep, I’ve made peace with it. It’ll pass just like the stressful times pass. Life’s huge pendulum that swings high back and forth.

Last night I went to bed early. I thought I’d catch up on sleep, well, I got through most of the night. I was awoken this time by a by moonlight that shinned like a spotlight on my face through a partially open curtain on my side of the bed. It would’ve been easy to just reach over and close the gap in the curtain, but the light was so pure and silver and focused on my face, I had to see the source. Of course it was a big full moon with feathered clouds on either side that were like wings. That moon angled that shaft of light on my head as if it had something to say to me. I know it sounds foolish. I don’t pretend it’s some sort of epiphany, but I can’t help thinking I was meant to see the moon like that, in that moment, full and on the wings of night.

Yes, at some point this will be a painting I suppose. Stay tuned.

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