I woke up this morning still carrying the weight from last night. Although I slept, sleep did not seem to ameliorate the rage that shared my pillow, but not, curiously enough, my dreams. I don’t even think I dreamed. And now I am about to embark on another day without the fresh start that I had been promised eight hours ago.
In parts of Alaska, the sun is out for over 20 hours in the summer, giving the allusion of one day running, unbroken, into the next. I have always been fascinated with the flip side of their seasons: the winters when the sun peeks up, just over the horizon, for a mere 3 hours of visibility, before darting away, leaving the people to hibernate for weeks. But the never-ending days? I am exhausted by the thought.
I must have forgotten how this feels. I do know that I have had many days where the night was merely a pause, not a complete reset. While I can’t viscerally recall the hazy days and weeks of college final exams, graduate school all-night writing sessions or, most recently, the hours that rolled into one another when each newborn arrived in our home, I am struck by this familiar (and uncomfortable) morning with no discernible boundary. But I recognize that it is not this entry into the day that threatens to rub against me continuously, like a wool sweater’s raised collar against unprotected skin; it is the fear that led to the anger which pushed me, prematurely, into a sleep that was more of a recoil than a retreat.
So, today, when I move out into the world, I will be aware of the blisters building to protect the raw skin that sits just beneath the fragile defense system. I will shield them, somehow, with invisible band-aids and gentle movements that will not burst this bubble, releasing the protective fluid and exposing the underlying skin which is vulnerable and defenseless. I will wait for the blisters to heal a bit; I will wait for the promise of gentle sleep; I will find what my morning has failed to provide.