Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

Sleep, Writing, and Filet Mignon

with 2 comments

One of my professors during freshman year at college gave all his students an article to read that said the number one spiritual need on a college campus was – wait for it – sleep.

And I thought, excellent! But, sadly, it was not to be. See, when you attend bible college (and then do something really daring by actually taking it seriously), you’re in for a few late nights trying to hammer out scholarly research papers. The frequency of such nights tends to double, I’ve learned, when one of your profs earned his doctorate under one of the foremost rabbinic scholars in the world, and also happens to be your father-in-law.

Sleep becomes a very elusive prey under those circumstances.

It’s also quite elusive when you’re a writer. Writers will vary on the atmosphere they prefer. I mainly prefer a quiet room, lots of light, windows shut with the daylight fighting to get in, and total silence. But writing at night comes in at a close second. It’s the stillness common to nighttime that holds the appeal. At no other time in a single rotation of the earth is the air quieter.

Sleep is essential if you ever plan on writing well. The writer of that article I mentioned knew what he was talking about. Sleep keeps our bodies balanced; its chemicals and hormones doing their thing, which is already enough to drive us crazy. Why make matters worse, right?

But I don’t like to sleep, you see. That’s my problem. I like how it feels; I like the peace that comes with laying your head on a soft pillow, and drifting off to an empty, timeless place where the imagination can run unfettered. It’s good for me, just like flossing and brushing my teeth and eating my vegetables. We like vegetables because we know they do us so much good, except some veggies taste like cardboard. So I guess sleep is a vegetable that tastes like filet mignon. At least to me it is.

So, adieu. I go now to enjoy a warm and tender meal, whose spice is that of the cool underside of a pillow, and whose garnish is the stuff of dreams.


Written by taj

January 25, 2007 at 10:43 pm

Posted in Writing

2 Responses

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  1. Well put. That same professor of which you spoke taught to be succinct. In other words, “Good night.”

    Love ya


    January 26, 2007 at 6:58 am

  2. Whoa, who’s your father-in-law? I also happen to have a father-in-law (and mother-in-law, for that matter) who once came across as intimidating. Now he wants to take me to Germany.

    Lord Vertigo

    January 26, 2007 at 9:49 pm

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