Two nights ago, I didn’t sleep well. Since I’m a sleep-hound and lucid dreamer who guards ‘sleep well’ sessions like a trained attack dog, any night of ‘not sleeping well’ must be analysed and dissected to figure out the “Why?” and “How to avoid in the future”
I did the ‘check in’ with self:
- Too hot?
- Too Cold?
- Coming down with something ya should do some quick self-care on to nip in the bud?
- Stressed about something?
- Hungry? Didn’t eat enough fats/protein for your body’s use in repairs while you sleep?
I awoke about 3 hours after laying down – which is not, in itself, uncommon – I sleep 3-5 hours in deep, dreamless sleep, awake, turn over and go right back to sleep… into the wonderful dreamland where solutions, beauty or wisdom show up that I can ‘hold onto’ when I wake up in the morning, to greet the day and solve challenges with info I received in dreamland from the mystic universe …
(or from my subconscious that has been working on the challenge/solution while I distract myself via other things -you are free to choose which ever answer/storyline that floats your boat).
Small Sleep vs. Big Sleep
Sometime ago, I learned that ‘small sleep’ and ‘big sleep’ used to be the norm for our society, before we advanced into modern living.
Back in Ye Olden Days, before electric lights, sturdy walls to protect humans from predators of the night, central heating thermostats, baby monitors, enough outbuildings to protect all livestock from harsh winter conditions?
We went to bed sometimes when the sun did, got some rest, then got up to keep the warming/scare predators away, fire going, check on children in need of care, run the herd around the corral for awhile to keep their internal furnace stoked in the frigid temps of middle night.
Ah…but when I gave up an hour later and decided, if I’d just fix myself an egg sandwich, I would be able to go back to sleep, I stumbled out to the kitchen and realized, “My! Aint that moon pretty – when is the full moon this month?”
And all became clear –
- I’m Hungry! as I thought back and realized, I hadn’t eaten but twice in the previous 50 hours or so…cheese and crackers can’t carry ya far (put peanut butter on grocery list – remember? You’re out!)
- My deep ancestral DNA, when I’m overall, well rested? Awakes me to the bright, moonlit nights, despite having blackout curtains throughout the house.
Oakley, the Wonder Dog used to be my “Full Moon Approacheth” Alert
For most of my adult life, I haven’t been well rested or given the full luxury of sleeping/resting when I’m tired, and getting up and doing, when I’m gol durn ready and rarin’ to go for it.
My own work, spouse’s schedule, educational schedule for children, animals and family/friends to care for, meant, Often?
I stayed up long after I was ready for bed, and/or got up long before I really wanted to.
I realized, this past week, that while I THOUGHT I was waking up during the full moon approach and event, due to Oakley’s once a month dance, licks on the hand and happy jumping around on her paws in middle of the night, begging me to come outside with me and play, Mom!”, even as she aged, got arthritis, started going blind, deaf and senile – –
I, too, the longer I had some control via me, myself and I only, over my rest/awake times?
Awoke to feel the call to venture outside.
But oh, how I still miss waking up to her licks on my hand, and once I was dragged back from my slumber travels, doing her little happy dance, saying, “there’s storm/full moon to go outside and c’mon mom! Let’s go dance! Don’t SLEEP through THIS!!!”
I guess, in one way, I’m already working up to her ‘been gone nearly a year now’ death anniversary.
Month of May and Full Moon Approaching, reminded me…
My grief and missing of her, is, just part of my journey the past two days, into myself.
It’s my understanding that long, LONG ago, in hunter/gatherer societies, sometimes hunts took place during full moon, as the light of the moon helped put humans on more equal footing with predators who see better at night than we do, but also, because selected prey weren’t as awake or alert as they might otherwise be at various times of the day, unless the ‘in common’ predators of we and our prey, arrived at the resting herd, first.
I don’t know if that’s really true or not – but I remember reading that premise.
I also remember reading an excerpt from a long ago printed book for housewives, on the topic of fertility, suggesting that mating rituals to gain a child, should always take place AFTER the small sleep, for the health of the child and higher chance of fertilization success, should a couple be struggling to ‘conceive offspring’.
I don’t know if that’s true either.
But I read it and the thought intrigued me in the extrapolations my mind made, given more recent studies done into the science of sleep and the health of the mind/body.
But, the stories of yore (and/or, today) continue to fascinate me on some fronts.
Like those surrounding….
Friday the 13th and Full Moon Mythology
To my knowledge, in my own memory, I have a day that dawned bright with hope, promise, personal happiness and celebration, with something to look forward to, once, long ago, in my ‘barely old enough to be adulting it’ status.
It was my birthday, I had the coming weekend off. I had plans with close friends to celebrate my birthday, babysitting for my son, so I could go to the county fair and dance that night, and pretend, for just a moment, that I still knew how play and do something other than work and make ends meet.
It also happened to be a Friday the 13th, a full moon, the opening day of the country fair, and I worked as an dispatcher in EMS/LE industry.
Yup, you guessed it!
It started quiet, but the first 911 call came in not long after my shift started – and the second hit before 11am and by the time I got done with my shift, stayed over to do all my paperwork, notifications, blotters and reports, that Friday, in just my little locale, had already claimed 3 lives, with 2 others hanging on by a thread, and 1 other whose life might never be the same, again.
A week later? Count of 5 dead, 3 who must rebuild their life with forever changed bodies to walk/not walk through Life with.
Busy stressful day, full of non-stop work, for me, and my colleagues /coworkers, but also?
Emotionally hard on me – back then
The sad fact of the matter is, when you’re a dispatcher, it’s your job to monitor all the radio traffic chatter – and well – on some calls? that chatter doesn’t end when you/your crew have done their part at the scene. Nope, you’re still monitoring the shared channel for Flight for Life, in case, for some reason, they need something from you, your logs/info, etc.
Thus, for my personality and proclivity for ‘wanting to know how the story ends…”
I listen to the ‘we’ve lost ’em, nope, got ’em back – eta 10 minutes, lost ’em, got em back, eta 5 minutes” as the Flight crew keeps the top in USA, trauma ER team far away up to date so they can spring into action to save a life the moment that chopper lands.
I never will forget, that Birthday
Because I don’t want to – I don’t want to shove it away because of the struggle, the ugly the harsh, because if I ever forget that day?
I’m also forgetting all the beauty and one of the highest expressions of the ideals we humans tend to say we ‘believe in’, of everyday folks, if I shove that day away, because ‘it’s not a positive story.”
I won’t forget – because I can’t bear to lose the awesome beauty and courage that played out in front of my ears, on so many, many fronts.
Through that long shift of the hard, ugly, and loss for so many in my collective community, I remember too, the beauty, the heroics, the sacrifice of others, the callers who stopped to call for help for those they just witnessed and then who, became a trauma victim themselves, as distracted drivers resulted in shattering glass, twisted metal right around them, and yet, they managed to calm themselves, just then, after a moment when I heard the background, and listened to her short, screams, anxiety and one word shouts, trying to explain what had just happened, and finally screamed out to me full sentences, in her fear and anguish:
“What do I do? Should I move or stay? Am I going to die here, too?”
I knew help was on the way, I wanted her to move further away from what had become a 5 car accident scene that had started out as a one car, simple accident, low injuries, well off the roadway –
And yet, in my still rather ‘new to this job’ status, I hesitated to tell her to get in her car and drive…
Because I wasn’t certain she was in the best frame of my mind to drive safely, even if it meant just pulling the car 100 yards forward.
So, I said the only thing I could think of, in that moment.
“Are you hurt?”
“Okay, listen to my voice – take a deep breath – in…out… okay? Now, look around you and can you count for me, how many cars are crashed now and how far away from you are they? Think of a football field where is the crash – where are you?.”
“There are 4 – 5 if you include the truck of the guy who stopped to help…he wasn’t in it…but…OMG! He…..He…..He….”
“Deep Breath – Breathe with me – In/Out…. Good – Do you feel safe enough to drive? How far away are you from the crash site?”
“it’s kayI can do thisI’m okay…..(deep gulp, still of breath) there’s another guy here who stopped way back – he has his flashers on and is standing int he roadway to get folks to slow down…He’sgonnadietooIsn’tHeIhavetowarnhim….(deep gulp of breath) okayokayasemihassloweddown….hes’s stradling the lanes, to block traffic, people are stopping….(slower breath) I’m okay, I’m not hurt….but the first guy…he…he” (panic breath resumes)
“Breathe – can you count how many people may need help? “
“4, um…another ..2? No, they are out of their cars and walking over to help, I think there are 3 in the car that ran into…but it could be 4 – they are trapped under the truck….(panicked breathing) but….you have to get someone herenow! HeHeHe….”
It wasn’t until late in my shift, I learned who ‘he’ was – the volunteer who ended up giving his life, because he was the second person, after my caller, who stopped to help.
Dark and Negative Tale of Horror?
Perhaps – to some, but to me?
That day was full of so many folks, who despite the world descending into full chaos, and imminent fear of death, they chose, to stop and help, best as they could, with what they had, whether they felt qualified or not, and despite their mounting fears.
They didn’t stop because it was ‘their job’ or they ‘knew what to do’ –
They stopped to help because they were human and another living thing needed help.
Look For the Helpers
I didn’t know it back then, but really? Mr. Rogers had already wormed his way into my subconscious:
Television’s children host Mr. Rogers said his mother responded to scary news by telling him, ‘Look for the helpers.’As confirmed by Snopes.com, just because, I took time out to look up – and took the FIRST confirmation I found, because I love that quote – I don’t care who said it when – 😀
And thus, along side the struggle, the chaos, the nightmare of my first full deep dunk baptism into how quickly things can go to hell in a hand-basket, I carry within me also, the pure beauty of so many acts of courage and selflessness I was witness to that day.
How hard so many fight, for the life of another, or rush towards or stay close to danger, because they feel deep within, they simply have to.
And while many in my circle, when I try to share such tales, of what always chokes me up with joy and celebration of the pure beauty of the human spirit at it’s darkest moments, choose to believe me to be ‘negative’ or wasting my time/depressed by remembering the past?
In my internal world?
Well S**T! You missed the point of the story!
Maybe I didn’t tell it right???
Didn’t you hear the pure beauty and courage of the folks in that 8 hours of time space? What do I need to say, so you don’t miss that???
This tale, of this one day? In numbers, moments, outcome?
Pales in comparison to some tales, of some folks, and what they survived given various moments in their ‘time/space’ of history.
Both in its pure chaos and horror of the bad things that can happen and atrocities that play out on grand scales…
On the other hand? Many stories come onto my radar, that to me, ring forth with the same message over and over….
The strength and beauty that lies within the human spirit, and how, sometimes?
We don’t get to witness it in its purest, most beautiful form, until it is surrounded by chaos and fear of survival.
I received many ‘blessings’ myself, that day, too
Because I was ‘newly on job’, because the LE officer whose call sign included ’13’ was off that day, and FINALLY! broke his streak of ‘being the one on duty for every fatal that happened on the highways we were to care for, for over a year’, ALSO happened to be the husband of my new friend, in new community, who took me under her wing….and father of the teen daughter who ‘volunteered to babysit my son, so I could afford to go to the dance with her dad and mom.
Also, I didn’t get ‘in trouble’ for scrambling two jurisdictional fire/EMS teams because despite everything from that first call from the young, female traveler, who was on her first ‘road trip’ by herself?
You must know her! She’s the one I told to breathe, even while I was frantic in failing my own duties, in getting the info it was my job to get….
Every time, that day, I told her to breathe? I was breathing with her, cuz I needed it too – – 😀
I couldn’t tell, exactly, where the accident was, given ‘jurisdiction’ boundaries. Turns out, the number of crews and ambulances I asked to be called out, ended up being sorely needed, and not ‘wasted’ and being farther away for ‘another incoming call” – as that one lil simple accident turned into a free-for crash derby.
And, I didn’t get fired.
While that wasn’t my ‘first worry’ in the middle of the storm? Once the storm was sorta ‘over’ for me, but I wasn’t certain how it all turned out?
Oh, hell yes! I did the whole after action internal report of girding my heart to know, I was going to get fired for not ‘doing my job right.”
Despite my overall mishandling of things here and there, during that day of not one, but two incidents, there was no clear line that said, someone died or got hurt because of my ‘new on the job’ in-expertise, overall, and I learned more on how to do things better, via after incident debrief/reconstruction, so NEXT time something like this happens, I’ll be able to do ‘my job’ better and faster…
(Oh, lord, you mean there will be more days like this? I don’t know if my heart can take it….)
For over a month now…I’ve had hard conversations with many
Regarding my negativity and cynicism –
Often, because I don’t tell stories like this one, in a way that those who focus only on the positive, can hear or see what I find so supremely beautiful in the human species – those moments when the shit hits the fan and yet, amateurs show up and just, rather, save the day, on many fronts, and really, doesn’t mater how perfect they are or how good they look while doing it – they did what needed to be done…just then, best as they could.
And yet, as I write this out, as I continue struggle with hard conversations and judgement from those I love and depend upon them being in my ‘circle’ of trust, over and over during the same time?
As I struggle with myself to see their seek and focus on the positive side – try to admit I am wrong/broken/in a bad place, and yes, I’m negative/cynical, and I’ll try to do better – (cuz, ya know…well, I’m open to the possibility I’m a total screwed up mess!)
I also know who sometimes gets called upon, when folks aren’t at their best
Increasingly? Folks in need of my brand of long ago learning to say embrace the chaos and look for the possible good – somewhere – maybe not right now, but maybe someday,
“Yup, that truly sucks! No wonder you are (insert negative thingee) but then also??
“It is rather beautiful to me, though, that you are showing up and doing, despite allthat – that you are willing to keep showing up -I know you are hurting and struggling, but, my oh-my – in my eyes? I feel I’m witnessing you as your most beautiful, right now! even while other’s label it imperfect”
It’s so easy to love folks when…..
They think like you do – things are going well, they stroke your ego and tell you how great you are – when their life is going great and they are generous with their various spirit and material resources, that benefit you, personally…..
Oh my yes – ain’t it EASY to Love those folks!
Every time the above list of stuff, ISN’T true, often makes loving those around us a lil bit harder, one brick at a time….on some fronts, for some folks…
And yet? For me?
There continues to be times, even as I celebrate with and am happy for those in my circle when things are going well, that I simply find it easier to love those around me, so completely, I worry my heart might explode from the expansion of it, when they, in fact, not at their best, just now…
For better or worse, when they fear they are at their worst?
Is the same moment I tend to see how they are to my eyes and also the moment it’s ACTUALLY easier for me to love them fully, unconditionally, without expectations at all.
And, because of this, I figure it’s my job to remind them of their true beauty and courage, because it comes through to me in such blaring clarity and most likely, within my brain/memory, I hold the stories of the past struggles, when they exhibited the same beauty & strength before –
Reminding them of their past triumphs of overcoming the odds and surviving, and how greatly their way of being when made a profound difference for the better in my life and worldview? when they say later, they were at their worst –
Is, for better or worse, still, the main way I can easily, effortlessly show love and support to others, at the very moment they need it.
And, should chaos, horror, atrocities hit their world?
My brand of ‘showing support/love’ seems to work for them, too -here and there….
I just have to remember to fade away and not show up to ‘wreck’ the good life if all is going well in their world –
I’m only On Duty for when Life isn’t so grand…
And, well, this past week? I re-watched a movie, “Our Brand is Crisis” just because, I begin to suspect, that maybe that’s the only time I am of real service, to some in my circle, whom I love – that comes easy for me, even if I suck at being a medic, soldier, LE, EMS, RN, LPN, etc.
There is a possibility, that for whatever reason? This IS, in fact, by best to give to others – and I just need to get over myself, or trying to ‘make my point’ to be understood, instead of understanding –
The Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Um, yup, I, personally, am still falling short of the prayer/ideals of the above – I don’t need anyone to understand me, I seek to understand them better, JUST until, they judge because I wasn’t on the exact same wave length as them, in one moment of time….
It continues to a paradox for me – Am the ONLY time I’m truly ‘there’ for others in a way that is useful to them, is during chaos/fear/hardship?
What does that say about me? Them?
Best way I can be or not?
But for now – I guess, whether through being tired of revisiting this core dichotomy within myself, OR because I reminded myself of universal truth, I seemed to have learned long ago, but needed reminder of?
See? I can do Positive & negative story lines all at the same time!
I’m Re-Writing MY Life Story Line I have held onto as a CORE Truth, I run to safety in, for a long time.
Not really re-writing it, so much as reframing it… in my internal perspective, as I’m reminded of things I have learned before, but apparently, needed reminded of…
Negative Version of Story Line
“I don’t count/don’t matter/do not exist, really, in the world of others, until crisis, existential or otherwise, looms, and then? Holy Moly! Ain’t I a peach? GRRR….”
“I take such good care of myself, always, and provide safe space for others to be at what they consider, not their best, that I am of service to others, simply by being me – bringing my perspective to their life story as a possible story line that might land/work for them…..”
Current Return to Neutral(?) Whatever Works Story Line?
“I am like the moon – waxing/waning – there are times I simply cannot be what others need me to be, or are asking of me, right now – if I force it? Bad things happen. Sometimes? I’m rather at my best, but can get overloaded by the volume of requests that come in, and from overload? I start descending into GRR/whining status, being resentful, because I’m mad at myself for ‘not being able to meet every need asked for in 2.5 seconds.”
And Remembering, AGAIN! (Sigh…I’m such a slow learner….)
Ah – there is a ditty I first learned the concept of in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books of her childhood
And later learned in some version, said by the poet Wordsworth, the Greek Philsopher Socrates, as well as many, many other sages down through time, regions and history –
Here's my imperfect version of it all:
Before you speak,
Through these gates measure your words:
What is said,
To Whom it is said,
and is it,
There are times I speak up on fronts regarding ‘To whom it is said” knowing damn well, not the best place to speak up in, but in my world?
There are times when I simply love someone too much to answer their question put to me, and be kind – because I believe them to be asking the wrong question(s) overall, for what they really seek, or they are asking me questions, they already know the answer to, but don’t like the answer – and are hoping for another one – and yes, I never tell someone they “look fat in those jeans’ or “OMG! What happened to your hair???”
I’ve learned, here and there, to shut up and instead say,
Something is different about you – can’t quite lay my finger on it – are you okay? (or, “new hairdo?” – “new outfit”?Me – trying to sneak up on learning more without being a total arse wipe about it…
Sigh – sometimes? The ‘new’ hairdo has been that way for over 6 months – I’m NOT gender identity conflicted, even though, I have lifetime of experience telling me I just did what obvlivious male boyfriends and husbands do all the time, forever, while I known damn well, I’m female and also, drive my guy friends and family bat shit crazy sometimes with my ‘girly/female’ ways of being….
Again, sometimes? On various fronts? Whether I hurt another’s feelings or they hurt mine? In the moment? over and over? Such conversations are, rather, Necessary for both of us, to my mind in some form or fashion.
But overall, whether for them or me or us both – the one thing I always rather hope to achieve is, “My answer is TRUE best as I know it to be, right now”.
Maybe not true for them, maybe not really true for me… but for today?
Best I can do, just now, in hopes of staving off imminent danger, death, depression, whatever –
And yes, I do BELIEVE and have FAITH in Universal TRUTHS –
I just don’t always and forever, every bloomin’ moment of the day, trust myself, or them, to be that damn smart right now when one or both of us aren’t at our best.
On the other hand, true, unconditional love that shows up in service when we aren’t at our best?
That is the #1 truth I always and forever count upon and look for within myself and others –
Really, I confess, while the above story lines all have threads in common, none of them are, always, forever, carved in stone, ‘true’.
And that, I guess, for me, is the true reminder and lessons learned from the side stories of Friday the 13th and Full Moon myths, for me, personally –
What are your stories of such things?
Hogwash? Not scientifically proven to true, via stats collected? Oh HECK YA! Full moon and Friday the 13th days, truly have their own challenges!??
You do know, by now, not only do I count upon True Love but ALSO on hearing your story, in all it’s beauty, struggle and challenges, too, right?
Me? This Friday the 13th?
I’m off back to work fronts – took a break because I was trying to ‘work’ while being continually distracted by the story being played out in my head – hopefully, writing this post allows me to return to work with full focus.
But, hey, MAYBE I’ll go down and buy a Lotto quick pick today – I have some big dreams to build that could use some funding, and well…after all….
Friday the 13th is My Lucky Day, overall….
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it…. 😀