Zach Beauvais

dark forest obscured in texture and stripped of colour

Pandemic Notes: layers, sleep, and it’s not yours to change.

Written by Zach Beauvais

Jun 9, 2020

A week of sleepless nights. I thought for sure I’d be asleep straight away. But, closing ones eyes often opens up the mind and heart. Sometimes, they can be distracted by fun and games – light-hearted telly, breathing exercises.

But, draw back, look at what’s going on, and the medicinal application of comfort and numbing agents of Frasier, aircon, the Great British Bake Off is only affecting the innermost layer; wrapping the core in a soporific poultice.

But, it doesn’t cage reason. It doesn’t change rising tension, months of isolation (after years of pretty bad mental-health situations of hermitage. It doesn’t address chronic physical pain, (though that’s closest to the comfort wrap).

I realised, though, that it also burdens reason. Your thinking mind shrugs it down like a stifling blanket. It’s not do be lulled right now. It’s distracting from analysis, strategy, creativity, and grieving that needs doing. Sometimes, the problem is about balancing such things: allotting space in your life for planning and making, for inspiration and exercise.
So, draw back, note the things you can do better next time, etc. That’s an activity, it’s something you could do, something you can control. You’d make Epictetus proud.

But, our minds matter, and the world matters, and the layers of evil, stress, and fear also matter. The world isn’t mine to change, but a small part of it is my home. I’ll tend my mind and garden, as best I can. But sometimes, the besiegers win battles, and trying to sleep through the storm isn’t an easy undertaking. And, sometimes, it’s not your fault that you can’t sleep. Sometimes, you’re in for some misery, and there isn’t a nice pick-me up, “give yourself some me-time” fixes. That’s the hard truth – and the comfort –cold it well might be. You know your burden tomorrow, and maybe some more. You also know better what is beyond you, and you can with a clear conscience shrug off the burden of guilt or personal victim hood.

Peace be with you.

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