I've been finding it hard to sleep. The inability to climb into bed, close my eyes, and drift off into the land of shadows and creativity has been a huge frustration. You see, I am a lucid dreamer. For me, every night is an adventure, and so I await my dreams with the same anxious excitement as those who wait for the latest installment of a television show. But the world is not without its mysteries, and even on these occasions when it's very hard to find a silver lining, I've come to discover that one must stop and listen, wholeheartedly, to what the universe is trying to say. However, because we don't quite speak the same language as whatever ancient divinity stretches out from here into eternity, a few things are simply bound to get lost in translation.
A few nights ago, while I lay on the couch and stared at my computer screen — aimlessly — browsing through Etsy stores, hitting reload on Facebook every two minutes, and checking on Skype to see if anyone was around to chat, I heard the most curious little song bird. It was three in the morning and I couldn't begin to imagine what crazy bird might actually be up at that hour chirping away its musical, but seemingly random little melody.
Abandoning my computer, and following an instinct and craving for the outside world, I stepped onto the balcony and looked around. There was the glow of the pool below, an eerie blue-green that captured an iridescent quality when the breeze brushed across the water's surface. On the other side there was just the deep and impenetrable darkness of the hill side. The shadows of the hill swell were darker and harsher than the night sky at its horizon.
The bird continued its song, but I wasn't able to see it. Of course, the first thing that came to mind was a nightingale — but it almost seemed like the obvious choice might be incorrect. I actually came back in and did a quick google search for "Nightingale Sound" and the first result was a recording of something very similar to what I was hearing.
Content that I had just learned something new, I decided I would try to go to sleep again. My world was a vibrant blue, that sort of depth-less blue that belongs to the afternoon sky just as the sun begins to roll down into the west. And much to my surprise and delight, sleep found me in a matter of minutes, leaving me with a few precious hours of rest and dreams before I had to wake up for the day.
I figured that would be the end of my short affair with the nightingale, so again, imagine my surprise when last night — at around the same time, three in the morning, I get woken by that same high-pitched chirp and call. I woke up without the slowness that comes with sleep. I was alert, as if I had just closed and opened my eyes. Granted I had just fallen asleep a few hours ago, but hey — three hours of sleep isn't very much.
The stillness of my bedroom at that hour was such a strange juxtaposition to the vividness of my nightingale's song. Without lifting my head from the pillow, I followed the line that forms where the walls meet with the ceiling all the way around the room and I felt — whole, safe, and happy. The world flashed that same sky blue that I feel when I am calm, a sentiment that I can honestly say I haven't been able to enjoy in a long time. But it was brief, like a dream. Then the bedroom was plunged back into its normal darkness. It wasn't dark though — not pitch black, but rather a comforting and deep gray. It's the color that the world takes when it slows down, when it feels like it's rotating with a leisurely pace.
I haven't been sleeping well because there's a lot on my mind right now. There's the upcoming move, the looming decision to get serious about buying a home, the uncertainty of how my future time will be divided, and of course, the overwhelming weight of our decision to try and become parents. It's fear and joy all mixed up inside of me, flowing through my veins like some potent stimulant — akin to coffee, maybe.
It's anxiety and excitement — hope and dread.
I am jittery.
But there I was, three in the morning and awake in the most profound stillness that I have felt in quite some time. My nightingale was still singing outside — so bright, so audible, and so attuned to me. There I was, lying besides my best friend and the person whom I've picked to be the father of my children someday, and I realized how much I am still fighting with myself. I am still scared to take the plunge and give my all to my craft. I am still not writing everything I want to write. This whole blog post is a second draft of the original I came up with as I laid in bed last night, listening to the nightingale, and tracing the shadows of the shutters across the ceiling.
I was too scared to get up and writer.
There's this urge in me. It's primal, but not predatory. It's soft and easy, but utterly unavoidable. It won't go away no matter how much worry I try to bury it under. I still narrate the story of my life inside my head. I still feel words pumping through my veins, thick as blood. But I had to be reminded that it's not all doom and gloom, and it's certainly not do or die — although it often feels that way. There are precious moments of stillness, when the world is asleep except for the tiniest but brightest soul, a little song bird that's chirping away in the dark of night.
It sings without the need to be heard.
I don't need to be heard, but I do need to sing — er, I mean write.
I know it's easy to just chalk everything up to nature. It's easy enough to simply believe that the nightingale is there, regardless of my consciousness. But I choose to believe something different. I don't want to believe in coincidence. The world is too magnificent for that. That little bird — it's a part of me that came to remind me of something important. It's was the echo of my own happiness, and a needed reminder of its constant presence in my life.