Our minds at night continue the path we have walked during the day. Our sense may be that the mind sleeps as our body does, refreshing and renewing itself. Alas this isn't quite the way it works. When first settling into rest what follows may be Reflections on this Day, often accompanied by an accounting and judgments about what went well and what did not. It's a review written by the mind sometimes focused on particulars, other times offering a more general take away. How we move on to letting go the thoughts to allow sleep the room it needs depends much on our emotional attachment to such evaluations. Sleep comes and sleep goes. At times awakening occurs several hours later maybe for some physical sensation that interferes or perhaps the ending of a dream. Whatever causes the shift back to conscious sensing the return to sleep may take a pause, stirring the Midnight Voice to alertness and then it's off and running. This is the voice that targets our most vulnerable parts, telling us you can't or you're not or how are you going to... Perhaps it's the emergence of some longing unfulfilled. Whatever direction it takes consumes the space that sleep requires. We may be left struggling with unfulfilled efforts where we pretend to be asleep. Or at some point the Midnight Voice fades to permit sleep to take its rightful place. The mind continues it's night journey awake or asleep, begging not to be controlled. It resists our efforts to direct or censor. When we return to wakefulness and if we are not propelled immediately into the day When we are allowed to linger in a liminal space, we may be treated to an Early Morning Retrospective. This is the mind's slow walk among the shadows and embers of our past lives. Unfolding itself scene by scene, moving from one episode to the next, we may choose to stop and hang out with one or another. Sometimes I wonder if this Early Morning Retrospective happens only when you've reached a certain age, having accumulated enough material to shift the balance between time past and anticipated future time. Dear reader, can it be that I have now revealed more about my age than I intended...
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Night Voices and Visions
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Yesterday in the rain while walking through Union Square park a huge flock of pigeons startled me as they all lifted up in flight circling round and round the statue that overlooks the center of the park. The birds broke into smaller formations, swirling this way and that. Some crossed each other's path, weaving back and forth as if riding air currents until slowly, gradually, they all landed on the ground in the center of the park. It was really quite a display and I wondered Was there a purpose to their flight? Or was it just for fun? Were they following a leader? Or rehearsing for a show? Should I have applauded? Or is it that since these New York City pigeons do not migrate, their DNA still nudges them to touch into their migratory skills now and then and show off to those of us who think we know all there is to know about pigeons in the park.
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