Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Smuggling Sleep and Other Stuff

And this:  Sleep Deprivation Increases Risks of Strokes, Heart Attacksa headline that Coyote Prime posted on his blog, which is an extraction of written passages, stories, aphorisms, and any other newsworthy, noteable, quotable material. (Coyotea smuggler is what he is, and a good one at that.) 

Well, no kidding. And migraines and sinusitis, too. Can you add that to the headline Coyote boy? And I'll bet getting sugared up on Jelly Belly's doesn't help much, either. But that's what I'm doing right now, to keep my eyes open, because I've gotten so little sleep (and bone-dry mouth from a daily Sudafed diet) in the last few nights that perching myself on the swivel, poking keys, and thinking in this condition may very well place me in a near perilous position. So this may be short.

Or not.

My little muse has gone off on a three day excursion with her school-mates. Every year the middle-schoolers set off to a semi-remote location to get some hands-on environmental education. Where she is right now, on a couple thousand acres of forest, farmland and lakes, is also a place that provides a retreat setting for adults. Hmm, no wonder there's no lack of parent and faculty chaperons. She will be sleeping (using that term lightly) in a heated knotty-pine cabin with all her girlfriends, dining on home-cooked comfort food by a fieldstone fireplace, running outdoor challenge courses in the snow, tapping maple trees for syrup, roasting marshmallows by the fire, and learning about how animals adapt to cold winter months, and about a thing called hibernation.

Sounds pretty good, huh? You know what the best part is? As a condition precedentand as a sort of right-of-passageto this excursion, the children had to leave all electronics at home, including iPods, Kindles, radios, laptops, flashlights, electronic games of any sort, and cell phones. That is the short list. What they were permitted to take along: non-cyber books, journals, teddy bears and other fuzzy luvvies. Ah, nothing like getting back to nature with spined paper leaves and Teddy in your arms.

Isn't it fabulous?

And what all of this means, what is even more fabulous, is that perhaps tonight, tonight will be the night of full-on sleep. Not to put my insomnious issues on my little sprite, but sometimes she does wake me from a deeply satisfying delta or a rather pleasurable REM, if you know what I'm saying. See my muse doesn't slumber, forever gets up with a novel idea bobbin in the noggin, why she may even be... *ha! moment of realization* ... is it possible?... a.... somnambulant-somniloquist!talking and walking in her sleepand as I work this all out in my fuzzy head, I'm thinking I should maybe get her tested. Really, she ought to have sea-legs in the morning, swaying all night like she does. You can get away with little sleep and sea-legs when you're eleven, but hell doth loosen when you're considerably older than that. But tonight, tonight is my repose. 

Only... the last time my daughter went away for an extended time, a weekend in New Jersey to visit her Gramps and K and her adorable year-younger, half-aunt partner-in-crime, she called me three hundred times. Ok, well that's a bit of an exaggeration. She was, after all, with the kindred spirit (to whom she refers as her "cousin", a sly attempt to preserve the pecking order), the one who can party down like no pre-teen's business'xcept for the muse herself. Rock and roll all day and night, those girls cut a path of chaos like a double typhoon. Truly, truly adorable.

Did that packing list say no cell phone?

A promising tidbit, which I happen to know for a fact by way of my other musethe bigger one, the quiet, artistic one, the happily-lives-in-his-head one—who has also been on this very school trip, that students are not allowed to call home unless, and only in the rare case, of an absolute emergency. And should anyone not obey packing list orders, they'll be shipped back home on the next bus. That little man also left on a Wednesday and we didn't see or hear from him until he returned on Friday evening. But he's a by-the-book kind of guy. He doesn't prescribe to the "rules are meant to be broken" theory (although it happens on occasion). He wouldn't think to smuggle a phone in his duffel.

Here's the thing: My daughter is my son's polar opposite, a precocious provocateur. She'd think to smuggle in her cell phone. She'd find the slice between the lining and shell of her suitcase and slip her phone right in. She may even be packing a flashlight. Then, again, she'd hate for the fun to end prematurely. But that phone.

She wouldn't have. Would she?

You know what one of the biggest causes of insomnia is? Anxiety. Stress and anxiety. Not muses. Prowling the internet, I can't pull up "muse" anywhere as a reason for sleep disorders. Try it: muse + sleep disorder. Although, Mommy Muse Blog does solve your sleep problems via the ”Pantley Pull-Off” processor, How to get your newborn to sleep. (Oh, how I loathe the How-To.) Yep, anxiety. And here I am going on about hoping to get some sleep, praying I won't get a middle-of-the-night call. Enough. 

I'm gonna go slip on my Coyote clothing and smuggle me some sleep.

And don't be fooled by all of this, I will miss my muse.


  1. What I wouldn't give to be off the grid for a solid week. It sounds so amazing and, sadly, foreign. I'm sure my writing productivity would be through the roof.

    I'm tickled that you call your children your muses. That's great.

  2. I like the fact you call your children muses too.
    I'm off work this week so I'm going to have a wonderful nights sleep too.
    Thanks for a lovely post:)

  3. Great post :) I love your humor and honesty. And I just gotta say, the photo on top is fantastic. Thanks for a wonderful post!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  4. I'm sure she'll have an amazing time. Now go get some sleep!

  5. Oooh I don't know what is worse, sinusitis or 'feds, or looking at the bigger picture, sleep deprivation That stuff kills me, 'cept I figure that it would be better to be woken by a muse than, oh I don't know, the incessant sounds of drunken buffoons walking past my window in the wee hours.
    On the switching off mode, I treat myself (treat???) to a week sometimes two a year of going off the grid. Electronic anxiety does peak at day three but then the feeling of serene serendipity soothes my soul as I realize that I don't need to be switched on 24/7.
    The only writing I do during that period is with one hand clutching a fancy pen and another my trusty Moleskin notepad.
    Children as muses, I love it!
    Now go to sleep.

  6. Thanks for leaving a comment at my blog last week(it has taken me a whole week to get around to being back on Blogger), and I am so glad you did, or else I might not have discovered this place!
    I love your rambling way with words, and also that photo at the top(Comm. Ave.--across from the Garden in Boston?)
    I'll be back to read more....

  7. Stress coupled with insomnia=not healthy.

    Muse coupled with insomnia=fun but tiring!

    I'm a new follower here now, thanks for stopping by my blog too!

  8. The school excursion sounds great and almost brought a tear to my eye when you described all those lovely things the kids'll be doing.

    Hope you're managing to stock up on some sleep.

  9. I've been following your blog for a little while and already I feel I'm learning how to write with you. You make of a personal thing something everybody comes to chuckle and walk away with a better mood or, at least, changed. Excellent post, excellent blog.

  10. Sounds like she'll have a great time. Very wise of them to ban devices.

  11. ABS- I usually shut down for a week @ my family's summer camp in Maine. But I have to admit, I get pretty antsy by day three or four--like hitting a wall, but I push past it with Scrabble (we're pretty serious about our Scrabble).
    Kids are the best muses of all. ;)

    Paul- I've caught up a bit, but still, it's never enough! Enjoy your week.

    Sarah- Thx, and nice to see you visiting here.

    Chris- The girl would have an amazing time in the middle of a desert. Seriously, she makes the best of everything. ;)

    Dan- Oh, to pen on moleskin. Much more romantic - I attempt notepad jotting once in a while, but it seems my hands have lost all muscle memory for longhand- the outcome is not pretty. I'm sleeping... I think... Ya, I may be sleeping at this very moment. I'd like to be sleeping... Darn! ;)

    GF- My fellow New Englander - you are correct! Commonwealth Ave. in Beantown. Thanks for stopping in and leaving such sweet comments. :)

    Lydia- Welcome! Yes, very tiring as the muse is in perpetual overdrive. But I have to admit, it's pretty entertaining.

    SF- I'm working on it. I think I'll try to sneak in a nap today, before that little powerhouse shows up. ;)

    JJ- Thx much! I want to know what's behind that screen???

    Hilary- Oh, I've no doubt she will. You're right, it's great that they can't take anything but their clothing, sleeping bags and toiletries (not even any $$ - what for?!)- that list really is the short list. I love that she's away without the daily device distractions. Good for the soul.

  12. the schools have a similar thing here. three days at 'camp' doing outdoor stuff and learning about nature. no snow though.

    hope you get some sleep. it eludes me on occasion. I figured out though, that if I stay up til midnight, I will usually sleep through. but even so, sometimes I have nights where I only get a couple of hours.

  13. Don't forget they are now saying drinking diet soda will kill you also. I am doomed, doomed I say.