As I write I can feel the steady tiredness rise. It's about 11 PM and I have work in the morning and I'm feeling a bit guilty about the time I've wasted today. I should have done things like studied Portugese or gotten started on learning Java so I can write the damn app I need for my job at the West Side Farmers Market. But I need to put that behind me, or at least push the guilt off to tomorrow so that I can sleep.
Sleep and Me
The Early Years
Properly going to bed at an appropriate hour is still not something that comes easily to me. As a small child I hated going to sleep because that meant I had to stop consuming information. I would read in bed for as long as my parents would let me, and then a bit more. In elementary school they would ususally have to come into my room at least twice a night to turn the light off, or take the flashlight that I had away. I wasn't scared of sleep or what would come the next day, I just couldn't tear myself away from the experience of consciousness. This behavior didn't stop in high school, but only switched focus to video games. My father came downstairs in the early morning to tell me to stop playing and go to bed an embarrassing number of times, especially in the summer hen I had no morning obligations.
College, or The Dark Times
I carried this dislike of the disconnection through to college. All through my four years I never wanted to disengage the brain at night. I don't mean to say that I was constantly probing the answers to life's persistent questions; far from it. I was driven to consume experiences. In the dorms I sought out human interaction well into the morning hours, not necessarily trying to stave off slumber as much as finding being awake more interesting. People and talking and late nights and oh shit homework were my sundown experiences. Later in college, I began to retreat into myself as academic pressure and expectation wore me down and sleep became an evey greater obstacle to achieving anything. Or so it seemed. I knew but didn't understand the need to sleep to get things done. Sleep, and my misguided distrust of it, nearly led me out of college without a shiny-bordered paper signed by the president. It was a dark time of too much brightness from a back-lit screen.
Into the Beyond
After college, I've mostly managed to get enough sleep each night, which I attribute to not having anymore homework and not having lots of friends close by, ready to be equally distracted past the witching hour. Every so often I'll stay up really late reading articles online or occasionally playing an engrossing video game. But I don't read late anymore. I read when I want to fall asleep. I still really enjoy reading when I do it, but I haven't managed to prioritize it quite as much as I tell myself I do. And early-morning starts still catch me out a bit.
Generally though, I am improving (in my mind) my attitude to sleep. I haven't really understood corporaly the need to sleep, and I have probably killed countless braincells with all-nighters over the past five years. I do sleep a lot more now, and with practice I hope to one day like it in the evening as well as the morning.
Free Thoughts on Sleep
Sleep is death. Sleep is the space inbetween. Sleep is the time unspent living to make the living more livable, and to live the living longer. Thinking, experiencing, being, stop in sleep.
But of course all of what I wrote is mostly a lie, and probably all untrue. Sleep is the day between days, the break periods in our own TV mini-series playing on a forgotten cable channel. In sleep everything is in the conditional tense, except for nightmares happen in the present. Sleep is the time between living, or the only time we live. I sleep but I don't often dream. I only dream when I sleep. Days are times of immediate experience; I do not live in the future consciously. In dream, which is the sleep of kings, I live in a mixture of the past and present. A lack of ambition prevents me from dreaming in the future. But I am very happy to see those I know who do sleep ahead of our time. They dream out loud, conciously. Their dreams do not put me to sleep, but prod me to dream in the future, awake. Perhaps one day I will learn to dream live.
I'm experimenting with headers and paragraph titles and the like, and soon I might play with fonts and a better theme. If you like it or dislike it let me know through social meedja or by shouting. I will also probably play around with adding comments, so you can berate me that way, too.
Further articles will probably include more about this blog, running a server so far and the surprising number of ssh forced login attempts. Bastards. At least fail2ban is a thing.