Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When My Restless Sleep Is Done

Some people sleep through the night.
And some do not.
I do not. I lie in bed and wait to get up.
I lay there, usually half awake, in anticipation of daylight.

Some people are night people.
They sleep during the day.

I am not a night person.
I do not like to be out at night, and I do not like to be up at night. I like to be in bed even if I don’t sleep. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s dark at night. It’s hard to see where you’re going, or who, or what, is coming your way. It’s also hard to be warm at night. I like to be warm, so I prefer the sun to the moon for that purpose. The moon is always beautiful, it’s magical, and romantic even, but it does not keep me warm. It enthralls me, it enchants me, and it captivates me, but I usually have to wear a coat if I’m going to be outside enjoying it. The same with the stars, they provoke me to dream, to daydream, as it were, to envision ways and places beyond my own means and circumstances. I like that about the stars. Stars, like the moon, stimulate my imagination.
For me, the one drawback about the moon and the stars is that they’re out at night.
I wish they were out in the daytime so I could enjoy them more than I already do.

The other thing about the night is that darkness hides an abundance of intentions. People act differently at night than in the daytime. If you haven’t noticed that, it’s probably something you just have not cared that much about noticing. I remember hearing an old axiom that simply says, “Nothing good happens after midnight.” Well, that may, or may not, be true, and probably isn’t, but I think the idea of it is true. There are a lot of statements that are not necessarily specifically true, but which are regarded as truth.
This could be one of those. In any event, it’s a cautionary axiom.
And those are important.

And speaking of the night, Keith Richards, guitar player and songwriter for The Rolling Stones, once said something to the effect of, “I feel sorry for those people who sleep at night because they miss out on a lot of good songs.” In the context of that particular interview he was implying that he writes his best songs late at night after everyone else has crashed.

I used to write my best songs late at night also, when I was younger, and had some boundless energy.
But that’s changed. Now I lie in bed at night and listen.
And when my restless sleep is done
I get up and write down what I heard.

Even though I prefer the daytime,
I guess you could say I’m still writing my songs at night.