A tiny change and a world away

Luscious and sometimes elusive, sleep, even more than that, falling to sleep, is a definite change we experience at least once daily.

There is a small space that resides between wakefulness and sleep. This space is a stunned expanse. If one stalls at this juncture, there is a shock at the realization that one has drifted and has been snapped back. It’s jarring! It’s something that can cause a shiver.

The space where one is falling into sleep has a comfort that starts from the center and exudes outward like rings on a still pond.

If it were a sound it would at first be very still and then, just quiet. Soon, it would begin to blossom like a beautiful soft flower. With a crescendo, it would move into a low lovely flute, to a quiet piano chord.

How do we know when we are about to be asleep?

As I begin to surrender, a dream formulates. Often, I will see a person I don’t know or that my mind doesn’t recognize. It is never the same person, or that I can recall as the same person. For some reason when I see an unrecognized person I am snapped back and my wakeful mind recognizes that the person was not someone I know at all and can’t even remember ever seeing them.

What happens next is equally a mystery. When my wakeful mind recognizes this has happened, it relaxes because it notices the pattern.

This pattern of seeing an unrecognized face has been one way I can definitely tell I am falling asleep. It seems so strange. Why would this be a clue that I am falling asleep? Why would this happen as I am falling asleep? Why an unrecognized face? There isn’t comfort in unfamiliarity. I supposed it’s pattern where we find comfort?

As a child, I can remember the clue being a feeling of floating or flying, sometimes like I was drifting down the stairs. I can remember noticing my body would feel light. I would have that stillness, and sometimes those quakes would happen, you know, the things that make you jerk awake (technical term, “hypnic jerks”)

When I am jarred awake and I realize I was dreaming, I know from many, many experiences that I was falling asleep. It has been a signal and now that I recognize this pattern, it offers comfort because I know sleep is moments away.

Conversational Questions:

What are your clues that indicate you are falling asleep?
 
 Writing prompts:

As she surrendered…

It couldn’t have come soon enough…