(Early) Saturday Morning

paul-schneggenburger-sleep

The mind cannot fall asleep as long as it watches itself. Only when the mind moves unwatched and becomes absorbed in images that tug it as it were to one side does self-consciousness dissolve and sleep with its healing, brilliantly detailed fictions pour in upon the jittery spirit. Falling asleep is a study in trust. Likewise, religion tries to put us at ease with the world. Being human cannot be borne alone. We need other presences. We need soft night noises – a mother speaking downstairs. We need the little clicks and sighs of a sustaining otherness. We need the gods.

– John Updike, Self-Consciousness: Memoirs

 


Notes: Quote – Thank you Whiskey River.  Photo: Paul Maria Schneggenburger with his long exposure photography with series titled “Sleep of the Beloved” (via beautifuldecay.com)

Comments

  1. ‘We need soft night noises’ – far preferable than the cacophony in my head!😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • “The Creature From the Marsh” affirms “The Night Country” as perhaps Eiseley’s best book, and the obvious place for newcomers to start. The essays gather around the theme of Eiseley’s chronic insomnia, which he learned to embrace as a peculiar gift. He read and wrote in the wee hours before dawn and often took night walks, the grogginess lending a surreal edge to his observations.

      “I have said that it is the sufferer from insomnia who knits the torn edges of men’s dreams together in the hour before dawn,” he writes in “One Night’s Dying,” one of his greatest essays. “It is he who from his hidden, winter vantage point sees the desperate high-hearted bird fly through the doorway of the grand hotel while the sleepy doorman nods, a deed equivalent in human terms to that of some starving wretch evading Peter at heaven’s gate, and an act, I think, very likely to be forgiven.”

      ~ Danny Heitman, If You Like Thoreau, Read Loren Eiseley (wsj.com · November 25, 2016)

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/if-you-like-thoreau-read-loren-eiseley-1480104695

      Like

  2. and here we are, the ones who are awake.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Religion puts us to sleep. Yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One thing, there is one thing I have against your blog. When I found your blog I already had a descent list of books to read. Now? The list is not so descent anymore. I find my self constantly shuffling and prioritizing. And just when I put them in order you throw another good one in.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John is right, falling asleep is a matter of surrender and trust. The only reason we lie awakes at night, is to control or workout what can be done. Sleep is about letting go of it all, until tomm. 😚

    Liked by 1 person

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