Saturday, June 21, 2014

Insomnia, and the thoughts it brings.

Friday before last, or, rather, early that Saturday morning, I was dealing with yet another bout of insomnia. Like ol' Ben Franklin, I've found that rather than lying there and grasping towards the sleep that refuses to come, it's better to get up and let the bed cool off and allow the still of the night to settle in around me.

It was a warm night, star-filled, the just-past-full Moon then low in the sky, glowing through haze and the remnants of clouds. It was just past 4AM. The rush and hum of traffic on the turnpike, five miles away, was right at the edge of hearing. A few stray lightning bugs flickered on and off, out late.

A clatter and banging was making its way up the street. Before long, a king-cab pick-up drawing an impressively long fishing boat rushed past, heading for Lake Erie. The silence that descended in its wake was again broken, this time with the sound of voices.

Next to where I live is a clear-cut corridor over which high-tension wires are strung. It makes for a good deer run, and herds of them occasionally make their way from east to west and back again.

Looking west, as always.
This night, though, the deer were absent. The voices I heard faded into hearing from across the night-fields; it was a young couple picking their way through the dark. I never saw them, as I was on the porch and a small thicket stands between me and the corridor. His voice was quiet, hushed; hers was louder, blurred by drink, her laugh floating merrily on the breeze. They hurried on into the night that was soon to be unequivocal morning.

The quiet returned, and eventually I called in my little dog and returned to bed, where sleep finally claimed me. I briefly thought about how a multitude of stories surrounds us, even late into the night, with us just barely in the background, like bit players in a movie. And, of course, the same is true in reverse; the grand theater of our own lives plays out with others inhabiting their own supporting roles, barely noticed, if at all.

Times like these remind me of this meme I ran across, the word and definition originating at the rather wonderful Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

A lovely image paired with a lovely concept; I'll try to track down who made it to credit them.
Of course, this is a subject I've discussed more than once here, the notion of us all passing into and out of the lives of others, even if unnoticed. The sheer randomness of how we know the people we know, how easily the people we care about might never have passed into our lives, perhaps with others coming to fill similar roles brought to us in just as fickle a manner, is something that often runs through my mind. It makes me think of just how precious those we have connected with are, just how fragile those connections were initially, and how much sheer potential there is of all the connections that we have yet to make.