TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT IN LOVE, NATURE & ART

Posts tagged “Insomnia

Windows into Worlds: The Lighthouse

   A night of mania with no sleep

 the wee hours on the computer

running on empty and

bordering on irascibility

my stirrings awaken my husband

 a pre-dawn breakfast and a visit to

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The Saugerties Lighthouse at 7 A.M.

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What drama plays out behind lace curtains?

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A beacon of light from the Inside,

Someone stirs…


Overloaded Circuits: a Poem for World Bipolar Day, March 30, 2014

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I’m in somnia

with jackhammer brain

a buzzing mind

a humming with emotions

thoughts and pictures

memories of joys

lost to death

spirits close to my heart

seemingly worlds away

guilt, loss and happiness

sickness and death

as well as

breathtaking beauty

a bedfellow with

gnawing worries

and gnashing nerves

fleeting images from films and

music playing at high speed

in the library of my mind

voices of today, yesterday and

fears of tomorrow

vying for an ear

asking me to listen

to them all

all at once

a cacophony of sounds

in the humming silence

of the specter-filled

haunting darkness

with fearsome death dangling

its loathsome threats

before my darting eyes

afraid not for myself

but of losing him

as he lies beside me

breathing noises

breeding worry, sorry

dashing thoughts of love, passion, doubts

a scarily-still lump beside

insomniac-hyper-racing-mind

manic me

finally arising out of

maudlin months

of dismal darkness

and deep, dark despair

when death smelled sweet to me

*

I get out of bed

to lay my face

upon the windowsill

to gaze at the mystery sky

full of twinkling stars

glittering to the rhythms

of the pulsing universe

my only hope for some

semblance of somnolence

my only chance for peace.

For info on my Bipolar memoir, please see: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/ellen-stockdale-wolfe.html


My Mind is Broken

It is 3 A.M. and it is another night I cannot sleep.  I have taken two sleeping pills to no avail.  When I am manic sleep does not come easily.  I write.  I eat.  I check email.  I pace the rooms back and forth, in and out of bed.  Luckily my husband does not wake during my perambulations.  The mania is not of the inflated ego variety, though I have had that at an earlier time in my life.  Years ago I remember going by Harlem on a bus route home one night when I was flagrantly psychotic and proclaiming, “These are my people!”  Why I said this I couldn’t tell you now– sparked most likely from some manic feeling of camaraderie. But, of course, it was beyond grandiosity and just plain crazy (yes, that is a psychiatric term).   Perhaps the roots arose out of the closeness I had with my Sicilian grandfather who was not exactly white and who had much spirit– what an African-American might call “soul.”  And from my father, a jazz trombonist, who spent his youth sleeping in bathtubs in Harlem when he would come to the city from white suburbia for jam sessions.  He, too, like my grandfather, had “soul”  hidden under white skin.

In any case, thanks to the anti-psychotic family of medicines I am not grandiose tonight. I did forget to take my meds the other night  and, like Karma, that affects everything about my life.   I am just raring for the day to start, for the morning to come.  I see a drunk sitting outside on a stoop smoking.  I want to see, not the people of the night, but the purposeful people of the morning, going to school, going to work, walking their dogs.  Two hours and forty-five minutes to go.  And then time to wake up, have coffee, pray, make plans for the work of the day.  How can fifteen minutes seem like an hour?  How can the cool night breeze masquerade as a morning zephyr?  I will make one last attempt to go to bed and sleep.  First, I will post a video of Jusuf’s, formerly known as Cat Stevens, of a beautiful hymn he sang, “Morning Has Broken.”  I am also posting a photo I took of a marsh in the morning light.  Enjoy!  And Good morning!

This was written a year ago in a mild manic episode.  Right now I am fighting depression triggered by Lyme disease and antibiotics.  I have zero creativity so resort to rewrites.  Hope to be back writing soon and commenting on fellow bloggers’ posts.  Please excuse the silence but that is how it is being Bipolar.   (Click http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/ellen-stockdale-wolfe.html  for information on, and to purchase, my Bipolar/Asperger’s memoir.)


“Moonlight Savings Time”

I awaken to moonlight– it is that particular slant of silver that lights up the front yard at 3 AM.  What really has awakened me is my husband’s breathing.  It is labored like he has just run up a flight of stairs.  At times I awaken because I do not hear his breath and some alarm goes off in my head to check on him.  If I cannot hear him breathing I put my hand ever so lightly on his chest so as not to wake him, to see if I can feel his heart beating.  Feeling it pulsing in my hand I am reassured once more.  I am not alone in this breath-check business.  My sister-in-law confides in me that she wakes up at night to listen to my brother to see if he is still breathing.  My grade school friend says much the same.  Our husbands are relatively well.  They have diabetes, heavy smoking/drinking, and a delicate frame among them, but they are not on death’s door so far as we know.  And yet we are plagued by morbid fears.

In the wee hours of morning hobgoblins of fear loom large.  My husband’s heartbeat, a mere flutter, seems so delicate.  I am reassured that it is beating just as I am reassured that he is breathing.  But the breath itself is so fragile.  It scares me– the fragility of the breath, the fine line between breathing and the cessation of breath.

I prowl the house.  Through the bathroom skylight the stars beam brightly, offset by the shining, silver sliver of moonlight.  It will be a clear day tomorrow.  But it is already tomorrow.  It is so still my ears hum.  My husband, who knows so many interesting things, tells me the humming I hear is the sound of the nervous system.  Our bodies hold such mystery.

I look out the window, now hearing my neighbor’s dogs barking quietly.  I look for coyote thinking that is what they are barking at, but see nothing.  The moonlit grass on the lawn is an expanse of white, looking almost as if it had snowed, and the water in the marsh sparkles spangles of moonlight.  The deep woods behind are pitch dark, the home of many a creature. Nothing stirs.  It is too early for the birds.  The house across the way is always dark; it is up for sale.  And in the other direction, at this hour, no light shines in the driveway of the house down the road.

I am reminded of a line from a poem by Tagore “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.”  I am at my most faithless at 3 AM.

Along with the supreme beauty of Tagore’s thoughts, a frivolous line from an old song runs through my head, like a commercial ruining a masterpiece of film: “There ought to be a moonlight savings time…” and the line continues “so there would be more time for loving” or some such drivel—perhaps meant for the piquant ting of a new fling.

I check email and surf the web to try to dispel the feeling of aloneness but it merely accentuates it. Finally, chilled, I go back to bed. An owl hoots in the distance– a reassuring sound.  My husband is breathing freely now.  His body is warm in the bed and I am filled to the brim with love for him as he lays in a heap, so trustingly in the arms of sleep.  Our marriage is an unlikely and unexpected wonder.  A seemingly endless source of ever-increasing love.  A double-edged sword, for with that love comes the terror of its loss. Death can come in an instant, at any time.  We live our lives in daily denial of how vulnerable and powerless we all are.

Perhaps the only control we have is over our own thoughts.  I score low in that department.  Perhaps all wives check their husbands for breathing.  Perhaps there is an army of women out there prowling the wee hours of the night, at times by moonlight, checking on their husbands, their children, their animals to see that they all have that breath of life still flowing.

“There ought to be a moonlight savings time…”  I thank God, at such times, there is not.

(Click http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/ellen-stockdale-wolfe.html  for information on, and to purchase my Bipolar/Asperger’s memoir.)