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Night Voices and Visions

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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Bird Migration

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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