Monday, May 17, 2010

365 Photo Project - Day 135

Taken: May 15, 2010, 10:30 p.m.
Location: Healdsburg, CA

It's after 3 a.m. as I write this. Rewrite it really. I lost the first draft. I should be sleeping though. But it's been a long time since I've had a really good night's sleep.

I don't know why I'm not sleeping. I blame a part of it on my internet addictions. It's added a lot of noise to my life -- the cacophony of blips and bleeps, whines and hisses, talking and singing, rhythms that never stop. Don't get me wrong: the Internet has been a life-saver too. Access to information and research, the ability to keep in touch with friends without having to deal with everyone individually. The immediacy of email, the fun shopping. Lots of good there.

But I've been trying to tune it out more and more lately and I think it's helping. So does Ambien but I can't take it every night. Exercise sometimes does the trick too but it doesn't always quiet the noise. What I miss most is my writing voices. They don't talk to me the way they used to and I'd give anything to get them back. I think turning the sound down on everything else is going to help me get them back.

I've found kindred spirits though in the new HBO show, Treme. As readers to this blog know, my friend David Mills wrote and produced on the series, which is co-created by his college friend (and "The Wire" creator) David Simon. Mills died suddenly in March just two weeks before "Treme" premiered. I remember him telling me about the show and how he wasn't sure it would work or if anyone would care.

Well, it works all right. I'm so taken with its sense of place, the dramatization of the struggle of New Orleans residents in the months after Katrina, people saved from drowning in the flood yet sinking in bureaucracy and red tape, weighed down by racism, corrupt politicians and ignorance. I love how the show celebrates and uses live music, how it moves along at a pace that is one leisurely and urgent. And I feel a slight kinship with the characters and their battle against the extra noise in their lives.

I'm not saying my struggle is any measure as bad as what happened to the people who are trying to recover from Katrina. But I do empathize and I love where the producers are taking us and am enjoying the ride.

I just wish I wasn't contemplating it in the middle of the night. But that's my lot these days I guess, lying awake listening to the creatures scurrying inside my bedroom walls, hearing the variety of sounds outside -- the freeway in the distance and closer, the owls, turkeys and occasional dog barking.

I miss sleeping like the dead and I feel the strain the day after a restless night. I think sometimes part of my problem is, like most people, I'm not satisfied with dealing with today. I'm always thinking I have to get there, though where "there" exactly is is debatable. I know the Tibetans are right -- the future is unknown and wishing for it to be like we want is fruitless. I try to live in the here and now but it's hard sometimes, especially when you worry you're not as far along as you should be.

I've started to make daily lists. Not just to keep a record of what I need to do every day but also to keep track of what I've done. I can save them and look back and see how much I've accomplished and the progress feels more concrete. If I could just accept the small things, I have a feeling it will help me sleep at night. It's a start anyway.

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