Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Unfinished business

    I woke up this morning about 2:30 or so, took a melatonin after going to the bathroom, but didn't go back to sleep again, so after an hour of calm wakefulness I took another melatonin.  Still no sleep, so I read my book for awhile, but it's a kind of tense story (a Gamache murder mystery) and though I yawned a bit, sleep did not come.

    What kept going through my mind was the preparation I'd done yesterday for emergency evacuation.  I got a box packed and stowed in the car (which I will now park in the driveway, just in case), and a few things were placed in another box which I will stow on the front porch.  But it needs to be finished as does my go-bag, the one I keep in the bedroom to grab and go if I have little time or warning of a tsunami.  With a little luck I'll make progress on both of those today, which may help me sleep tonight.

    But my sleeplessness, I think, is connected to my "J"personality, the piece of me that likes to have things completed, finished, behind me, not ready to pop back into my consciousness at the inconvenient time of the middle of the night.  Last night I ruminated at length about my preparations, what I still needed to do, what my family's response would be if I were in danger or missing, what to do about the cats if I have no time to take them with me, if my supplies would be accessible in the moment of reckoning.

    I need to get to the point where I can say to myself, "I've done the best I could.  The rest is in the hands of the universe.  Please help me cope" and go back to sleep secure enough to let go of the possible outcomes.

    I think that's a common theme in much of my wakeful hours.  I have mostly come to terms with Mike's life; it is in his hands and I don't need to worry, even though I do.  I can't help it, I'm his mother!  I can't do anything about my sibs' lives either, so mostly I can let go of that.  It's the things I feel I should be able to do something about  that keep me awake.  Sometimes I'll even get up and write out my concerns, make notes about possible next steps, and relieve the tension of non-completion in that way.  It works pretty well for me.

    But this morning at 4, it felt like a good time to get up and start the day, though the cats were surprised and a bit logy.  I decided I'd write about this topic for awhile and get it behind me.

    I was also, I think, affected by watching the Llewyn Davis movie.  A talented musician hobbled by his inability to think farther ahead than the moment, Davis soiled everything he touched, it appeared.  He was a personable guy and a good folksinger, but his frustration with his nonsuccess erupted into fits of temper and irretrievable insults to people who didn't deserve them.  He seemed to think that his method of living in the moment was better than the method of those who looked to the future, who took precautions, who were conventional in their lives---and successful where he wasn't.  I pitied and disliked the guy, but I loved his singing.  I thought "loser" most of the time I was watching and almost turned it off, but I paid $2.50 for the movie and didn't want to waste it.  It's been called the movie of the year, which I might dispute, but it was a Coen movie and they are always worth watching.

    But Llewyn Davis was an unfinished man.  He could never get anything really finished or done right.  It wasn't bad luck, it was his own nondoing.  In another era, he might have been taking ritalin or other ADHD drug; at least he hadn't turned to alcohol or pot or other drugs, if the movie portrayed him accurately.  He did smoke incessantly, but he was unable to find a niche and scorn was heaped upon him by family and others.  I got the feeling, at the end, that he would probably commit suicide and jump off the same bridge his duo partner did.

    I researched the story a bit and found vague parallels to the life of Dave Van Ronk, a singer I never got much acquainted with.  Llewyn Davis is a composite character and it's a fictional story, though based on some real characters and some real events. 

   Well, I feel better now.  Maybe it's time for a nap!

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