Thursday, June 04, 2009
Sleep Without Struggle
In the night of weariness
Let me give myself up to sleep without struggle,
Resting my trust upon thee.
Let me not force my flagging spirit into a poor preparation for thy worship.
It is thou who drawest the veil of night upon the tired eyes of the day
To renew its sight in a fresher gladness of awakening.
That is what seems to have become the most valued, most wanted and the most important commodity in my life now. Sleep. Deep sleep.
In all these years, reasons or excuses have been changing; what has been constant is the lack of sleep – with the exception of a few days every now and then – thanks to life’s little mercies.
During teenage, it was my imaginative capability. I have always had an incredible capacity for imagining improbable misfortunes. I would brood about all kinds of things till the early hours and finally fall asleep – to be awakened the next morning with abuses by nagging parents.
Those were the days of growing up – adolescence, identity crisis, not knowing where one belonged, strict upbringing, generation gap and rebellion. Sleep had to be difficult. I wonder how it is with other children.
When the heart bled for the first time, at sweet sixteen, …don’t ask…don’t even ask… sleep was impossible. My tenacity, my refusal to let go made insomnia such a perpetual thing, that after some time, I did not even remember that I had insomnia! It had become second nature.
And then, during later years, it was that baggage from the past – it is very important to throw away that old baggage you are carrying from the past. To let go, to forget and forgive – for your own sake.
I need to practice these, now that I know how leaden the weight can make you feel and how light you become once you throw it away.
When did I read this quotation – “to be angry with people is to burn your house to get rid of a rat”… very true!
In fact I am much better than I used to be a few years ago. Time has healed…
But in the last few weeks, my back muscles hurt during early morning. I am sleepy but I need to keep tossing and turning hoping that the pain will subside.
As I said, the Goddess of sleep has been giving me different reasons or excuses …
Ironically, I am known as a ‘Kumbhakarana” in the family!
I was in Ladhak recently. The climate was marked with hot afternoons and cold evenings with chill winds blowing throughout the day.
I was envious of those construction workers who slept peacefully at the edge of dusty winding roads, during blistering afternoons, even as they were constructing these roads.
Blessed are those who can sleep like a baby…
The push-cart vendor who sells watermelon, fruit plates and tender coconut outside my office does the same – sleep in the afternoons on naked earth with a piece of rag for pillow.
True, God does not give everything to everyone, nor does he take away everything from someone.
Har kisi ko mukammil jahan nahain milta…
Kisiko zamin nahi milti, kisiko aasmaan nahin milta…