I have insomnia when I’m sick, and I’m sick. So, here I am.
Tonight, I played a sold out Christmas concert in the beautiful Benaroya Hall. It reminded me of my deep connection to Christmas. I love it when trees start to go up and people decorate their homes with lights. My family has never been one to put up lights on the outside of our house, but I sure do appreciate it when other families do. My dad and I used to ride our bikes around Tacoma and into Browns Point to admire the colorful homes of Christmas. Something about those nighttime rides stuck with me. I wished that I could ride all night long looking at every house in the world with lights. Now look at me. I guess the “all night long” part of that wish was granted. [insert famous saying]
These nights get easier at some point. It varies. I’m handling it okay tonight. My cold isn’t getting to me right now. It was just during the day when I had things to do, places to be. I saw this pretty girl today. She never even looked at me once. I kind of felt like a Charlie Brown character. You know, the sad one. I also had a nice conversation with my friend about how thrilling it would be to see Godzilla appear in the middle of the city. I caught myself though, because this friend of mine is a girl and I often start going off on some story or idea I think up out of much excitement just to realize that my listener is usually not a nerdy guy like I admittedly am on some level. Like the other day, I was on a bus going back to campus at night and I suddenly thought about how crazy it’d be if some guy pulled a gun on us and the man in front of us with a trench-coat was a real life superhero and he ripped off his clothes and was wearing this spandex outfit underneath and saved us and it turns out he’s like a professor from SPU and he’s also a legit superhero. But, what if there was this half alien half human sitting in the back of the bus, and the superhero stunt weirds him out and he goes all violent gremlin on the superhero professor guy, so ultimately there’s this really awkward fight on the bus that I have to break up. I literally said this to the girl sitting next to me, and she gave me the strangest look and was like, “Um… cool.” Anyways, it would be cool if Godzilla came to town. I mean scary, but freaking awesome. She agreed.
For dinner I ate a decent salad and drank two of those mini water bottles (the kind of dinner that makes me sad in the privacy of my soul) while everyone around me had yummy sandwiches and cookies. I was reminded of this girl at some church gathering dinner worship whatever you want to call it who said being gluten intolerant is much like going on a permanent fast.
I laughed a lot today, way more than usual. I’m not sure why to be honest. Despite being really stressed out about a number of things, my spirit was at ease today. That was nice. I have this shampoo that has tea tree oil in it, and I used it this morning. I love it. I can still smell it. I love shower time. It’s the best time aside from dreaming of falling love, which I haven’t done in a while. I suppose that’s not such a bad thing. I take that back, that’s not the best time. Granted, I can’t think of something that is better than that right now, but I’m sure there’s something. It probably has to do with being by myself or within community and Jesus. Maybe I’m becoming less obsessed with finding love. Well, I doubt that.
I’m used to nights like these. I sit here for hours on end looking into the darkness and I feel the energy beneath my skin slowly slip into the emptiness of my bedroom’s silent air. You may be curious. What’s it like having insomnia? What’s it like to feel weaker and weaker, to grow sleepier and sleepier, and not be able to do the one thing your body cries out for? What’s it like to feel like a dead person caught in the wake of life, full-on? Do you notice your bones shivering in the cold of seclusion? What is it you think about, really? Are you lonely? Are you sad?
I would say that insomnia is much like having doubts in God. It’s a lot like biting into a tasteless orange. It’s one simple yet convoluted question going unanswered for five years. I’ll admit that I’m still asking the same question that I posed to the first night of these. I wonder what God’s plan is for my life. I ask myself if there’s meaning in this. I ponder where life is in death. I mean, it’s not dying, but it’s pretty damn close if you ask me. But, I’ve survived and I’ve survived and I’ve yawned and I’ve yawned more times than I know, and I have yet to come out and play in the technicolor of the seasons. “Tomorrow,” I tell myself, but it’s already tomorrow and I’ve yet to fall into a dream, the only light of the dark.
God, it’s me again. Please hear me. Amen.
I hear the canons shooting off their fireworks, so that’s a wake up call. The new year is nearly here. I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions because that’s pointless and never works, at least for me (I’ve tried.). But, each year at this time, it’s become tradition for me just to reflect on everything that’s happened.
I must be slightly more grown than I was, but did I grow up or sideways? Did I make strides forward and baby steps back, or not move at all? I’m supposed to fix things, but I feel like too much is broken. If not mentally, then physically I break down, and when I’m like this, my lingering depression rises to the surface. At times I yell at the dark and swear insomnia is the worst curse of them all, but I know I’m okay and deep down I’m sure that I will overcome this and live to smile at a past I overcame. But, I do complain and I have no solutions. So, in short, I’ve come to realize I am nothing without God except one small catalyst to the mistakes I am skewed towards. Situations and consequences I can’t bear on my own have brought me to rely on what I now see as my only hope, that being Jesus Christ.
My priorities have changed. Instead of praying to survive, I’m praying to live and live better. I want to make other people happy. I tend to cling to those who encourage me. Doesn’t everyone? So, I figure it would be nice if I became one of those people, and in doing so, it would only make sense that I will make more friends than I ever have before, and I’ve always dreamed of that. If for nothing else, It would sure help add to my friend collage I’m making for my dorm room with my disposable camera prints. But in sincerity, people are a new found love of mine. God has shown that to me by bringing me to the SPU community. I think I value everyone a little more, and it’s one of the most lovely things I’ve felt thus far.
My dogs are barking in unison at the Tacoma fireworks, an appropriate climax to the year.
Suddenly it seems like the whole world is calling your name, and you’re feeling so good you practically float on home. And when you go to bed that night, the last thing you see before you fall asleep are her eyes, and the last thing on your face is a smile.
Maybe you were wearing a new jacket that you had bought with your last paycheck. Or you had dreaded your hair over the summer. Or you broke your arm skateboarding with friends. Or got a girlfriend the first week of school. Or maybe you weren’t even a person. Maybe you were an small black and white drawing on the wall, or a neat and lovely-looking flower getting soaked by the rain at four o’clock in the dark grey of the afternoon. Whatever you were, whatever we were, we walked away smiling and maybe not saying but all thinking the same thing: it felt good to finally get some credit for who we were.
And, so, last night, I finally thanked her. In the dream she didn’t have a face, so she wasn’t saying anything, but as I recognized the silence, I wrapped my left arm around her, held her close, and gave her a face. Then, I woke embracing the sun in her place.
Grouper is the perfect music for a brisk and convicting December Thursday sitting in my dorm room, drinking vegetable juice, thinking about what it will be like again with the winter cold outside and warm blankets inside. Inevitably, I’ll always feel a little lonely, a little like hibernating for the winter.
Heavy Water/I’d Rather Be Sleeping
I realize I’m repeating myself, but I can’t get over this feeling, the fact that deep down inside of my body, there is a space that is in total love with some part of existence. I don’t understand it. I don’t believe it at times, but, I do know that it’s real.
I might be dying and falling in love at the same time. However, I’m unsure of how quickly I’m approaching my death, and how real this love is. What’s certain, though, is that I’m lost. But, as I always say, being lost is a free pass to explore. I’ve enjoyed going on walks by myself. There’s a chill in the air, which reminds me of when I would go for runs in the forest near home. The leaves painted the trails, and the birds took me places I couldn’t. The world would be so white without the colors, without nature and the cars. Maybe it’s because deep down I firmly believe that all of this will soon pass. I won’t be here forever, and if this were it, I suppose that would be enough. Eighteen years of education, most of which I facilitated. Four years and counting of health struggles. Currently, I’m doing all I can to survive. But, I don’t wish to be melancholy. I am so sure of some things. For example, I know for certain that I don’t wish to disappear. I’m also sure that I want to find her, marry her, and start a family. And, I know that I’m going to change. My own mind is going to change sooner or later. It’s already begun. But, each day, I feel myself getting further and further away from something and closer and closer to another. I saw her last night. She was different this time, cold and guilty, but I loved her nonetheless. It was as if half of me had fallen to the ground and gotten bruised, and the other half was watching unable to pick itself up out of the street. The clock said it was three in the morning, but I knew it was ten after, which is precisely when I realized I was dreaming. I woke to ponder all that I had merely imagined, and sadness filled me, for I felt as if this affectionate affair was only silence to be lost in the leaves. But, who decides what’s reality and what’s not? I do. I’ve decided that I’m dying and falling in love at the same time.
I avoid telling you this face to face so as to avoid sounding contrived, but I know this to be true. I think people open up their hearts when you sit down with them. You look them in the eye and see them for who they are and who they want to be. You see their future, past, and present (in that order). You realize that the material separating you two is only temporary, and as you open your mouth, this barrier slowly fades like wind on water. What I love the most, though, is how musical your silence is. Without perfectly defined parts, the songs flow vividly, like we’re able to plug headphones into your head, and are somehow allowed to listen to the music inside. I hope to meet you with physicality one of these days because I know we’re meant to. I pray for you. I dream of you. I cry for you. I laugh with you. And, I admire you far too much to let you pass without a glance. We’ll stop in our tracks. Our eyes will smile at each other and do all the talking.