Sleepless Night

Why does the fog come
With sleep lurking at its edges?

It descends on me,
I never ask for its cloying hands,

Lifting me slowly, unnoticed,
Until I emerge somewhere on a path of wandering,

Not knowing how long or for what reason.
Perhaps I was not strong enough yesterday:

I did not go on marching into my future
Without heed of my exhaustion.

Still, rest mocked me through the night,
There was no respite for waiting.

Sleepless, I read about imagined people whose sorrow
Sifts like silt somewhere through my DNA.

The people might be fictional,
But the history happened.

Why revisit hungry eyes, pleading faces
Filling the void, frozen in fog?

I already relived them before,
Angry at my helplessness in the face of time.

I can do nothing for two hundred years ago
To quell their desperation and my own.

Their hands, their eyes, their words
Sound and look and feel like mine.

Flailing through this mist of many origins, I cry out,
Searching for you, needing you here.

You come, soul sister, Take my hand,
Touch the top of my head as if consoling a disconsolate child,

Showing me how to feel passed the sadness,
And return to myself, steady and grounded.

I fall asleep at dawn, enfolded gratefully in your arms,
The song of light wrapping us in peaceful calm.

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8 thoughts on “Sleepless Night

    1. I had peace for a while, Ali, but unfortunately I can’t get the images out of my head. This just happened last night, I am overtired and I know I’m already worrying about my dissertation… not enough resources to stop the memories that are not mine. The images are very realistic and tragic. I did write someone in this world who might be able to help me figure out why I get these all too vivid memories like flashbacks from the past like I am there, and I’m hoping she’ll have some insight as to how I can stop having them. It only incapacitates me and I don’t think it serves anyone as it is.

      Thanks for your concern though Ali and fortunately I am not alone at the moment. Ailbhe is still here. 🙂

  1. It’s said you should write them down as if they are stories. It might help deflect the way you look at your dreams. It’s also the sign of an extremely active imagination – positive at least 🙂

    1. Thank you Jane for your thoughtful perspective. It’s encouraging and such a relief that you recognize my experience even though I hope this hasn’t happened to you! It can be so lonely as well as sad to get those memories that aren’t mine. And I do have an active imagination, too active really! 🙂

      1. I used to have very vivid dreams about family and incidents I never experienced. None of them were upsetting though. Throughout childhood I had repetitive nightmares too, to the extent that I was afraid to go to sleep. I still remember many of them. The subconscious is a very strange country.

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