Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Wine of Sleeplessness

3:24 am

It is night, and all around me, the world sleeps in blissful rest. I wish I could sleep. I wish I could rest my weary soul and mind, but both are uneasy tonight. There is something about staying up all night that is much like drinking. The giddy elation, the clumsiness, the foggy brain, the inability to concentrate; all theses symptoms are from the twin diseases. I have not drunk my fill in a long time. I take pride in my ability to hold my liquor, but for my own sake I eschew the practice with great seriousness. When well practiced, the alcohol of no-sleep sits in the bloodstream without the effects of drunkards. It is mostly, though, that the drunken man will let himself go unto the pleasures of the flesh and loose himself in the intoxication of the wine, and his drinking will have been in vain. I sit in the dark and sip my drink quietly while the drunken pair downstairs collapse from exhaustion and the fumes. They are not well practiced, and have not found that path this liquor takes the poets of the world. During these times I like to sit back in a chair with a cup of tea at my elbow and a writing pad beneath my fingers. At least a computer, if nothing else, to save me the trouble of writing it down later. This is the time when my soul and my mind are unfettered, and fly free, yet they are uncontrollable, and savage in their whims. I can never be too serious when I am drinking, or I risk putting weight on the decisions and conclusions I made when I was in my drunkenness. I often drink when I am wrong inside, when the warrior has failed in his mission, when the philosopher is lost for a cause, when the artist has lost his inspiration, and when the child has lost her joy. When the poet within me is tired, and can not call to God for aid in the miserable constraints of his philosophical mind, I let it go, I let my soul free. It is dangerous. Even now I know that any moment my soul could fly down tunnels of dark and wicked thoughts, where it is not fit for the intellect to trod, and blasphemy, who knows what I shall uncover in the morning, when my hangover is complete? But I must listen, and when the muse sings, I must try to write down her notes as fast as I can. Muses take many forms, mine sings to me. What she sings I long for, I desire it beyond all my wildest dreams! But I am human and lack the skill of gods. I can only attempt to copy on a scroll in measures and notes the sound of air and sea and sky I hear, muddled, yet powerful, in my soul. But back to my drinking. It is hard to let my soul free; for it has grown so used to my body that it calls it home. This is a disturbing and troubling thought to me. I know my soul belongs beyond the flesh, in the realms of things unseen. Where dwell Truth and Beauty and all her sisters of undying Virtue. My soul belongs to worlds such as this, yet it has become content with the physical realm, and desires to remain in it forever, uncompromising. A lesson my soul must learn now. I can not be comfortable in this body, not yet. This is what made those self-mortifying saints so amazing, that they forced their souls to disavow their bodies. Of course we must honor our bodies as temples of the living God, but our souls must be comfortable with forsaking the body for a time. It is our reward, and we shall receive it restored and remade to transfigured glory when we rise again. This is another reason why I drink. I find in the hazy realms where my mind wanders and flirts, a sort of distressing calm, a drunken enlightenment, and all I can do is write. I do not comprehend what I put down on paper, but pray that it may prove to be of a greater end. I can not wait for the sun rise. It is the moment when all the waiting of the past night fades and if swept up by the joy, the great bliss and elation of the pink dawn rising on the horizon. When the blazing sun pierces the sky with its first rays, it pierces me too, right through the heart. I feel so deeply when I drink, as well as feeling dead. My emotions become bees buzzing in the background of my subconscious, but they sting me twice as fiercely when out of control. I am full of wine, but sober. Another characteristic of alcohol is that it makes heat diffuse through your skin twice as fast as normal. The immediate warmth of the liquor is fleeting, and false heat; which is why, I suppose, I drink hot tea with my wine at night, clutching the mug in my fingers, and letting the steam warm my face. I can not stop drinking tonight, rather, I can, but I will not. It is not often my senses are so alert after so much consumption. I know in my mind and heart that to drink in excess is to trip and fall into a death, into a vanity where all the fruit is rotten off the tree. When removed from its source, any good thing becomes sour, as the second fermentation from fruit to wine turns to the bitter vinegar that soaked the throat of our Lord at calvary. My meditations and my wanderings can not stray too far from home, or I may loose myself in the sins of the intellect. God guide my thoughts! I am beginning to feel drunk, for my limbs are week and my eyes are closing in fatigue. I can not imagine how decrepit and distortedly shallow my thought must convay themselves on paper, for I am beginning to become drunk. This is a hard and often times undoing part of the process. I must not allow myself to become drunk, for I loose any wealth I may have gained from this night, nor can I stop drinking, for my vigil is not yet complete and all the seeds are not yet planted. Tonight I prepare for the new year alone, for I will not have a chance to remain sober once the night of revelry comes to had and I will become drunk for want of solitude. But there is a time and a place for everything, and I pray that I may find it in myself to with hold the liquor from myself and sleep when such a time comes. God help me, for I do not trust myself.

4:15 am

Ah, and it is time to review my situation. I examine myself with great fervor often in my sorry state when the passions of the flesh have seized me and done their will. It is like the tears and vows a warrior makes after having failed in a mission, or having been defeated in battle, when he falls to his knees in remorse. But a warrior with all the vows and tears to fill an ocean, will fail and fail again if he does not train for the battles to come. Sloth and gluttony can not be companions in the same house as Virtue. She will be disgraced by them and become a wraith in the shadows of her own halls, where instead there should be sunlight. I must learn to distance myself from my body, this weighty block of brick! For what use is a body if not employed for the kingdom, and how can it be used for the kingdom when it can not lift itself? Aquinas was an obese man, but I have an inkling that it was not due to gluttony that his belly was large, rather that his mind was employed far more than his limbs. There is no limit upon me now, and thus it is will that is at fault in this situation. My reason is employed to the basest degree, and when I neglect my will, the rest of my life suffers. But perhaps, and I think it most probable, that the source for this predicament can be found in the deeper realms of my self; my spiritual life. I am most lax in this area of my discipline, and I have a theory that if I were to spend as much time in prayer as I do eating, I would exceed my current amount of prayer time by sixty percent! What a revolutionary thought. I am reminded, though, of something my father told me; that the movers of this world are the ones that take their dreams and act upon them. Until plans and ideas are put to action, that's all they are, plans and dreams. I can make plans for myself all I wish, unless I go past my conceived limitations and comfort realm, I can not make anything of myself. It is an interesting state I find myself in. I dislike the future, I've always said so. I will never go someplace willingly if I can not see the road ahead of me, and my usual plan of attack is to ignore the path entirely. I must grow up, though. I am becoming more and more aware of the fact that I can not live for myself. I am obligated to fulfill my days in the service of those around me, and that is not a reality I have been willing to accept. I have looked for and dreamed of a future where the only person in it is me. I never imagine a mob of people, only a select few with whom I would pour out my soul. But again, I must now learn how to grow up. It will not be easy, I know this and it's probably why I have been so childish in the past, but it must be done. Lord help me to grow up. I know I'm late, dreadfully late, and like the foolish brides maids, I deserve no pity; but I cling to your word; “God's graces are new each day. They are new every morning, they are new every morning,”

Poem of the day

And I know...

I stare out my window at night,

when the rain falls down,

down in torrents and tears.

I hear its drumming and know that I am alive

I breath in the cold air and let the moisture hit my lungs

and I know I am alive

I stand on the hillside

when the wind howls over the plain

like a hound chasing its prey

I feel it surround me and I feel as if I could fly

I close my eyes and spread my arms, bracing myself against it,

and I feel like I could fly

I lay on the sand

in the summer by the sea

When the sun saturates my every breath

I hear the waves lapping at the shore, and I know I am safe

I feel the sand beneath me, warm and rough and solid

and I know I am safe

I sit with my family

at the table, or in prayer

our chatter, our laughter, fills me

I hug my brother, and I know I am alive

I cry with my father in anger and in grief

and I know I am alive