sleep - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
Sleep comes so that my dreams may live.
When the stars come out to play and the evening takes on that aroma of the night, when the crickets sing for the joy of living, my bed awaits. I love the softness, the quiet, the sense of rest. My thoughts slow as a beautiful carousel, each dancing as ribbons from a kite string that reaches for sky, its colours embracing those lofty heights and inviting in the dreams that wear festival costumes and are formed of music. In sleep, as in wakefulness, I play.
Tucked into a sleeping bag that night, the sleep pooled on their eyelids, and the wooden building on top of the mountain was filled with the soft sounds of people sleeping. And the wind swooped up, over the heights, rushed and rustled through the tough mountain grasses, and gradually ebbed away through the crags to silence.
With his arms about my neck and a leg over my belly he breathes softly in my face. I know I should find it adorable but I like my space so I gently peel him off and take him back to the duvet I laid out in the other room. I'm really not much of a hugger, I never even liked teddy bears as a kid. He gives me a reproachful look and sticks his thumb in his mouth. God, how old is he? Eighteen months, two, two and a half? I really wouldn't know. Then I crawl back into my bedding to think of where I should take him. There must be some grieving mother that would welcome a substitute. Then comes the patter of feet again and this time he's shaking. I guess he's had a pretty bad day by anyone's standards. This time I let him stay but I turn him the other way around so he isn't breathing on me. After only minutes his snuffles settle to a steady rhythm. I'm almost drifting off myself when he giggles in his sleep. Damn. He's got to go first thing, before dawn, or he'll be the death of me.
As the light fades I figure I should tuck him in. Night is usually when I'm most active but on Mondays I have to be at the market early for trades. I yawn and he yawns wider. Then he tugs at me again, "Mommy?" he asks. His eyes are wide but quite fearless, he's not expecting bad news. What can I say?
"She's sleeping." His face drops, disappointed. Then he brightens.
"Wake, Mommy!" He flashes a smile that should light up even this porcelain tiled cavern but instead my heart breaks in a way I didn't think was possible anymore. He's under my skin already. This really isn't good. I have to find him a real mommy and soon, before he gets attached to me. When I find my voice it comes out quite alien, kinda choked.
"Mommy is so tired. I bet you are too." I lead him to his bed and tuck him in. I'm sure he expects a kiss goodnight but this is about as soft as I am prepared to get. Minutes after I turn in I hear the hurried patter of little feet and he dives in next to me.
I know there is something wrong with Celia when all she does is sleep. My little fiery spark is always hard to put to bed and up with the sun. These past three days she has lain cherubic on her bed until well into the morning and then returned to it the minute supper is done. She has no fever and she still eats, although it is less. The gentle snuffles and rhythmic rise and fall of her chest usually soothes me while I knit, but now each one numbs me despite the summer heat. I am cold and for the first time in four years I feel alone. My own sleep has deserted me almost entirely, I doze fitfully and wake before the sunrise. In those long hours before she wakes all I can to is pray. Pray for her, pray for strength, pray that He watch over us both.
Sleep comes like the falling of an axe. I know it must come but I fight it with everything that I have. Those defenceless hours, oblivious to my surroundings are enough to light up my whole body with fiery sparks. I am utterly wired until that time when I cannot fight it anymore and the sleep is as instantaneous as it is unwelcome. I have some warning though, when my thoughts become intertwined with random ideas, impossible ideas, I seek my shelter and wrap in thick bear fur. It could be sometime before I am with the world again.
In our sleep we are children again. We dream of things past, things that will never be again. In our dreams we have comfort, freedom and love. Sometimes we can be visited by those we lost and for those perfect hours of sleep we are whole again. Then on waking we scramble to write it down, just in case there is wisdom in the randomness. It's not that we think they're really talking to us, mostly, but our subconscious minds can send these people we esteem with solutions. Of course sometimes it's all garbage or too obscure to figure out. Sometimes they are nightmares, but those are getting fewer and far between now that life has settled back into a rhythm. I truly look forward to turning in at night, we have thick duvets and and the finest pillows, heck we have everything luxury. By the time these supplies run out we need to be fully self-sufficient, that's what makes our days so busy. Otherwise we'd just live on truffles for the next decade and then starve.
After three night shifts and only a few hours sleep in the day you'd think I'd be out before my head hits the pillow, but somehow it's all backwards. After an hour without my thoughts drifting into that welcome free-fall I'm reaching for the pills. My mind is intent on second guessing every damn thing I did for the past week and I'm going batty fast not slow. In the morning I will taste nothing but metal, that's the trade off, eight hours of blissful ignorance for the ruining of your food for the whole of the next day. But without sleep I can't function, no functioning means mistakes on the job and we all know where that leads.
I snatch a few hours sleep between my shifts. My white coworkers are like ghosts, but I hide it better behind my brown skin. The manager thinks I'm an all-star but I'm no healthier than anyone else. My sleep is a violent whirl of colour like a kaleidoscope on acid. Sometimes I wake in a sweat and know the next occupant will need fresh sheets, that's another buck. So I pay it on the way out, I don't have to but I don't need another guilt trip to make my sleep any worse. I should wash the uniform too, it's been on me 24/7 for five days and whilst I can't smell anything bad I'm sure it won't be long before everyone else can.
Hypnagogia occurs at the threshold of consciousness. Whether you're escaping into sleep or it is brought on by your screaming alarm clock, it happens. It's where your lucid dreams form. Hypnagogia is the bridge from bodily control to your brain's freedom. It's the last few moments of an exciting dream, your borderland state, the predormitium process. It's where your body feels awake, but your mind is a continuous wanderer, scaling the hollow valleys and soaring summits of your imagination.
My favorite place was hypnagogia. I could still feel relaxed, but think at the same time. It was where the epiphanies came and the hard decisions were made. I left my carousel of erratic ideas to the flat, steady land of waking life. There, I could work out a problem quicker than I could awake. There, I could see clearly, and everything was simple. No one was there to pull the wool over my eyes or smother me with human interaction, or influence my words and take away my freedom. I had complete control over my mind in that abridged hour of utopia.
The young girl wanted nothing more than to lay down and be enveloped by the warmth of silence. Whether she wanted to rest permanently or not, she did not know. She never would have though silence would be considered warm but there she was laying in her bed prepared to be swept away by the hope that her sleep would be filled by light.
I didn't want to fall asleep. I'd always thought that I'd have to fight sleep in situations like these, fight with everything I had... forcing myself to stay awake. But I didn't have to. With Alex only two doors away from us the only thing I had to fight was the temptation to get up and walk into his room. He was probably lying on a white bed with doctors and nurses studying wounds I couldn't even begin to imagine, wounds I didn't want to imagine.
I lay in my bed, pensive about everything, until I fall asleep in a position where I look like I'm a contortionist. I sleep well, in fact, I sleep better than I have before. The pain in my eyes stops and I feel a small smile form on my face.