Thursday, March 27, 2014

Productivity in Sleep | Beware, Snooze Alarmists

"Birds on a Tree," Chris Stiles
The New Year's life overhauling impulse came a few months late this year. It's scattered across several areas, which seems to be a recipe for failure, so to what end, really? But, I suppose it comes down to the establishment of better daily life habits which would, if embraced, coalesce into a new brass penny of a life, with more creativity, more respite, more fitness, and connection. Write your checklists, start your engines: Go!

The last few nights, I have, indeed, managed to get to bed early. Sad that sleep does not automatically follow. I used to sleep easily, nap at the drop of a hat: book tented and fallen askew, sofa warm, the surprise of evening in a moment. No. Yesterday I would get up and write for a good solid hour before work, and arrive at the office already feeling accomplished! Woo, yay me! Or rather, the radio came on at 6 AM, and I hit snooze on my phone for two hours (no trouble sleeping after a snooze alarm, nope, rarely-if-ever).

The snoozefest was richly spent, bouncing between a dream narrative where a stranger took over my life by stealing my cell phone at a bar (13 of his henchman later arrived at my family's house over Christmas, and sat silently in whatever room my family members were in; somehow, their clogging presence announced that life, as I knew it, was over); a helpful sub-dream convinced me I was, in actuality, already awake and busily writing a blog post! (so no worries, good job!); NPR's reporting of the tragic mud slide in Seattle, WA met me when I surfaced, reminding me that if life truly overtook me, it would be more than a lost cell phone and reduced seating options.

This morning, no dream thievery, but again, snooze alarm was well used. From the snoozing --  a smashed, waterlogged camera, and the promise of two parties, one work-related and the other, a sprawling neighborhood affair. This American Life's "Seven Things You're Not Supposed to Talk About" includes dreams among its forbidden number -- but if you agree, you have already abandoned this post, so. That's about it. Hopefully, this is the beginning of incremental changes which will slowly build momentum into a new life...


At left, my unintended splurge after I wandered into one of Ann Arbor's long time galleries, Selo | Shevel, which has been slowly closing over the past couple months.  Hard to not feel vulturey, under those circumstances, nosing around a moribund business; and yet, especially two-thirds of the way through an abominable winter season, it's nice to have that little bloom of potential, something that was out of reach and maybe has come a bit closer. I prefer the series name on one web site, "Ghost Wood Birds," though the ghost part was not echoed by the artist's site. I had walked past versions of these, in Selo | Shevel's always imaginative windows and loved them. This one was perched on a shelf high above the register; I peered at it from behind mostly empty shelves, from varying angles. Like so many of Valerie Mann's bird wall sculptures, the shadows cast were almost as important as the piece itself.

Nice to hear the birds outside, even though it still snows. Comforting and hopeful to have these birds inside, in their bleached bone silence. Birds: porcelain | Wood: manzanita

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