March 5th, 2020

Mind Out of Joint

These are strange and stressful times for all of us. But I feel simultaneously more prepared and less able to deal with this state of emergency.

With the exception of the night before taking a long trip, I've never had much difficulty sleeping. Right now, though, I find myself being hit by a wave of intense energy sometimes between 4 and 5am. Unless I manage to get to sleep before than, I will be wide awake until late in the morning, at which point I rapidly start to fade.

Why is this happening? Part of it surely has to do with the fact that my daughter is thousands of miles away and -- for now -- eight hours ahead of me in France. I'm so used to being ready for her crises, which dominated the previous decade for me, that I often can't relax unless I can sense that she is doing alright.

But there's something else at work. And I think I just realized what. I have been sleeping in the front room, whether or a futon or sofa, for many years. When the landscapers did a pretty radical pruning job on our big mesquite last spring, they effectively removed a lot of the shade.

That wasn't so much of an issue during the summer months, when the mesquite leaves -- more like needles, really -- were thicker and the angle of the sun was different. But now, with the leaves more sparse and the sun shooting through our front bay window, I feel "turned on" somehow, even if I wear a sleep mask.