Saturday, October 9, 2021

Marching Soldiers and Dancing Hippos

I awoke at 4:30 for the usual middle-of-the-night quick trip to the bathroom and snuggled back under the covers in our cold house ready for more sleep. There was a skirmish in the mind going on between images, those messengers of the dream world, and words, those foot soldiers of the day world. The images like to dance with Wordsworth amongst the daffodils and if I see them cavorting around, I’m assured that more sleep is on the way. But those pesky words demand to be lined up in orderly fashion and strut purposefully from here to there, each step in place. Once they start marching, I know I’m doomed and they’ll march me straight out of bed, the colonel demanding that they be written down and properly filed away. And I have no choice but to obediently answer, “Yes sir!”


But somehow the images sweet-talked the soldiers into waiting and now it’s 7:30 in the morning, a more reasonable hour to set this down. Not that it’s necessarily worthy of posterity, but I’ve learned not to argue with the dream-mind, be it operating by night or day. I wonder whether anyone else is awakened and feels the thoughts invading, either the march-formation organized ones or the random ones running through the obstacle course of basic training and thinks, “Damn! That’s it for any sleep tonight.” Whether anyone else notices the images dancing like the fanciful hippos in Fantasia and thinks, “Thank goodness. More sleep is on its way.”


And so to paraphrase St. George from the ritual St. George and the Dragon play:


Now I am awake.

Alive unto this day. 

Let the dancers have their dance

and the soldiers take their pay.


Happy Saturday to all!


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