Thursday, August 13, 2015

Night, sleep & the source of good & evil

Not everything has an explanation

I do not wish any day to end. I wonder why.

I can remember myself and I can recall my mother talking about it and laughing about it that I used to beg her to read me one more story or to answer one more question before I had to go to sleep at night. They are good memories, and make me smile, but I wonder today why I was that way. Was it just my nature? Was I born a "night owl?" Or, was there something about night and darkness and sleep that I feared? Is it a wish for the day to go on and on, or for the night never to arrive?

There are a few stories I could tell about fearing the night and sleep, but they are not why, to this day, I absolutely hate going to bed until I drop. Many people say the morning is the best part of the day. I do not disagree, but since I have discovered that I can see in the dark and most others cannot, I suppose it gives me an advantage in darkness which I appreciate while others cannot.

At some point in my journey between being a child and becoming an adult, the night has become a place in which I feel safe and secure. There is little difference to me between daylight and darkness, and night has become dominant. I actually have run wide open though dense woodlands on moonless nights and never had a misstep. That is inexplicable, is it not?

Gullies, fallen logs, loose soil, boulders, low-hanging branches do not slow me down .... you tell me. It is partially sensing, partially seeing, but mostly primitive, animal, intuitive instinct providing built-in radar of sorts. I cannot explain it. It simply is. It has come in handy a few times, but mostly it has been an odd phenomenon simply to enjoy and to laugh about.

To be honest, I like to think it is a million-year-old genetic memory which developed from necessity and which has resurfaced a number of millennia later to create a natural-born hunter descendant like me. We all carry ancient genes .... which, to me, explains things like survival of the fittest and good and evil.

I have no idea how many people ever encounter by accident or while on a search of self-discovery what unusual traits or talents they might possess. I began searching at an early age. Another characteristic which I have mentioned in past posts in addition to this "night vision" perception is that I have an uncanny (so it would seem) ability to hit just about whatever I shoot at with a handgun.

It is like the pistol becomes an extension of my arm and hand. (I should have lived in the times of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday ....) But, conversely, with a shotgun, I am a lousy shot, pure and simple, which is illogical because of the "scattergun" aspect of the shotgun.

Whatever, it is fun, I think, to look within the usual and see not only where you might be below average, but where you might have a skill or an ability which breaches the boundaries of the ordinary. It is more than fun; it is fascinating, even if you are such as me and discover that your particular talent came one hundred years or thereabouts too late for real purpose .... or whatever.
I still think we homo sapiens sapiens might be more different from one another than we are the same, and the game is to learn how to get along with our differences rather than attempt in socialistic fashion to treat everyone as a cloned lemming.

All right .... you have heard the story. Tell me, why do I not want the day to end? Why do I fight going to sleep at night? It might have been fear of the dark when I was a small child, but, most certainly, that is not the reason still today when the night has become my friend. So, why?
Not too many care about these words, these thoughts, these concepts. The point is that I do care. Let us leave it there .... but, believe me, I would have preferred to be good with a guitar than with a handgun .... hmmm .... on second thought, it might be a bit premature to make a definitive pronouncement in that regard .... after all, the future is not ours to see ....

I was asked about the "Bolin boys," Tommy at the left and Johnnie at the right, after my last post, so I will offer an introduction to Tommy and his time with Deep Purple by including this 1975 rendition the song "Burn" with this post. Tommy and Johnnie were from Sioux City, Iowa. Tommy is the magician with the rhythm guitar in the video. David Coverdale is the front man, Glenn Hughes is on bass and backup vocals. Jon Lord and Ian Paice are in their almost-always roles on the keyboards and the drums, respectively. It is a strange mixture, in a way, like a ghost of a ghost of a ghost of a phantom. I will leave it to the historians of rock 'n' roll to decipher that sentence -- if any historians actually exist other than in my imagination; most opinion purveyors are merely inept critics, like myself. "Burn," incidentally is one of my favorite rock anthems -- no matter which of the six or seven or whatever incarnations of Deep Purple is performing it. I am chair dancing to it right now. It is too bad neither the video nor the audio is of good quality. Tommy died of a drug overdose in 1976 at the age of twenty-five. Johnnie, today, is the drummer with Black Oak Arkansas, the band which opened for Deep Purple last week in Sioux City. Johnnie came back home to perform and, I suppose, to visit the grave of Tommy. Neat, hah? Rock history and personal memories meet and meld. By the way, if you are into great guitarists and their guitars, you can obtain one based on Tommy's favorite from Dean Guitars in Tampa, Florida. Since this post is not about the Bolins or Deep Purple, I will leave it at that for now .... but, this sure was an easy way to provide an illustration and a song to accompany my words !! Sliding sideways for a moment, love the hair, guys .... and, I really, really do feel sorry for kids growing up with today's mostly junk music and teeny-bop and/or trash performers. This sure is a discombobulated post, is it not ?? If not, what is it ??


PhilipH said...

Why you fight against going to sleep is a question I'm not qualified to answer BUT going back to your pleading for 'just one more story' when you were younger has expanded as you grew. Maybe you're wanting something more before you drift into sleep.

Or could it be that your view of death is just one long, never-ending sleep - and you fear that.

I remember thinking that there are just children and grown-ups. Never thought I would be anything other than a child. Maybe I was a dim kid. Or perhaps I was just happy being a carefree boy and wanted to hang on to that state. Soon realised my thoughts were wrong as soon as I started at primary school.

Dream On ... a great song featured in one of your earlier posts. Today, Deep Purple: Burn. Sorry Fram, not for me. But thanks anyway.

Kaya said...

Fram, your question at the end of post puzzled me? I wish I could answer it but I can only guess, guess...

Perhaps, it's related to your childhood when you didn't want that your mom would stop reading to you. You didn't want your imaginative world to end suddenly. You wanted more of it.

You said that you feel more safe at night. Maybe, because in the morning you start your thinking, you plan, you try to squeeze many things into your day, you try to achieve something and then night comes and it says in its own way, enough for today... And kindly gives you peace of mind. Or the expectations, hopes and dreams come with night for the next day.

Interesting post and very complicated. I have to think about what you wrote.

ANITA said...

Yes me too think its very compicated !

We are all different!

Mother always told me..people that suffer from not sleep..really should do a hard days work..and not be able to think so much

I think its more complicated then that

But I sleep good:))))




Fram Actual said...

I think, perhaps, there have been different reasons at different times in my life, Philip. My instinct tells me that although I value and enjoy dreams, I look at night and sleep as wasted, useless time. Actually, I have the same regard for eating. I often have said that I wish a person could take a pill or two and skip meals, which are another period of wasted time to my way of thinking. Some food might taste good, but it is not worth the time lost each day to attend to it.

You probably are correct when you write that I might "view death [as] just one long, never-ending sleep ...." It might be that is my fear -- an eternal, dreamless sleep where the mind ceases to learn and the body ceases to experience and endless time is a complete loss. The thought actually angers me.

The summer of my eleventh year must have been perfect in many ways, because I recall thinking that eleven was the absolute ideal age in the life of a boy and wishing that I could stay that age forever. It was a real rush of joy, of elation, of thankfulness when the thought and the wish came to me. It has stayed with me in the sense that I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when this "rapture" of sorts came over me. Whenever I go back to the town in which I lived the first eighteen years of my life, I go to this exact spot and stay there for a few minutes trying to recapture that long-ago moment. And, I think I was right .... I never have had another year or found another age as grand as that one. So, I think you also might have been correct in your boyhood analysis, Philip.

Deep Purple is a heavy metal or hard rock band. (Some day, someone should write a definitive dictionary of rock 'n' roll terminology.) Most of the band's music is "pounding" and "full speed ahead" stuff, but it also has ballads and wanders in and out of classical moods now and then. Jon Lord, for instance, was classically trained and loves to emulate Johann Sebastian Bach. Ritchie Blackmore dabbles with medieval instruments and songs. It really is a multi-layered band, which is one of the reasons members frequently come and go and come back again. In any case, to each, his or her own in terms of music.

Thank you, for coming by to visit me and for your comment, Philip. I enjoy reading your observations.

Fram Actual said...

As I mentioned to Philip, I think there have been different elements involved during different periods in my life, Kaya. I think your suggestion that I did not want the imaginary imagery of the stories to be over is accurate; I wanted these visions to continue on and on as long as I could remain awake. I think during early childhood, fear also was among the ingredients. I said a child's prayer before the lights went out each night and, actually, it did more to frighten me than it did to comfort me.

Now, as an adult, it seems illogical to me to go to bed, to sleep, if I am not tired. Whenever it is possible, I prefer to sleep when I need to and eat when I need to, and not to follow an artificial, manmade routine.

I suppose, Kaya, in a way I am looking for one easy answer to a question which has multiple answers -- or, perhaps, has no satisfactory answer at all, as I imply in the title.

I suppose many people fear the night because their sense of sight is sharply reduced. Having had what I consider a significant advantage in any number of ways during my formative years -- that advantage being growing up in a small town rather than in a large city -- my sight is more attuned to darkness than that of most any city dweller. Add to that factor the conditions I described in the post regarding running through woodlands in absolute darkness, and you have the primary reason I feel very safe at night. It essentially falls under the category of survival skills -- both natural and learned, and I have been a practitioner of knowing how to live off the land and how to disappear into it since I was a boy.

I have been known to say that if I enter a town composed of more than four square blocks, I probably will get lost trying to leave it; but drop me into four hundred square miles of wilderness and I will walk out a few days later no worse for wear and, probably, three or four pounds heavier than I was when I went in there. That is sort of a joke, but really not much of an exaggeration. Darkness falls into the same category. In some circumstances, it is easier for me to survive in darkness than in daylight.

So, I thank you, Kaya, for your appearance here and for your comment. It always is a pleasure talking with you.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, very complicated, it would seem, Anita. In essence, I am writing about two things: Night and sleep. They obviously are intertwined, although each is in a realm onto itself and both are worthy of lengthy discussions.

I cannot recall who it was, but some civilization or another considered sleep to be a portal to death .... or some such. Was it the Old Greeks? I will have to search my memory core a bit deeper. Anyway .... sleep, to them, was like a "no man's land" between life and death. I think there probably is some truth in that viewpoint. I believe I nearly passed through that portal once upon a time. I will write about this experience some day .... maybe ....

Essentially, your mother was right, but physical work and mental work each have their own mannerisms in respect to sleep.

So, I assume life is returning to normal for you now that your holiday has ended.

Thank you, Anita, for coming to see me and for leaving a comment. I am glad when you take the time for a visit.

ANITA said...

I think you can find it.."Dreams as a little death" in Balders dreams in the Eddic poems.Also Buddishm has something relevant to it..Catholism too..

Could be interesting to hear what other think about this..


Fram Actual said...

I backtracked among my memory banks today and it turned out that what was lurking in the back of my mind yesterday did come from the Old Greeks, Anita -- how death and sleep and darkness and night are all intertwined -- a family of sorts -- and how, in effect, sleep and death are brothers.

For whatever reason, it seems few people think about things like that anymore or, at least, do not discuss them. I suppose it is because between television and computers and cell phones and electronic games and bar-hopping/clubbing and fantasy films/books, not much time is actually left for thinking about the more abstract and esoteric. Life is focused around fun and games for many, if not most, these days, and leisure time revolves around entertainment.

Thank you, for your return to my post and for your suggestions, Anita. I think I will review the areas you mentioned and see what I might discover.

See you later ....

Smareis said...

Olá Fram!

Então, acho que nasci coruja da noite, nunca gostei de dormir cedo, quando eu era criança sempre inventada que iria brincar de alguma coisa só pra prolongar minha ida pra cama cedo. Minha mãe não importava muito quanto o horário, se eu pedisse era contaria história à noite toda, eram histórias lindas de contos de fadas, castelos, tudo que criança adora ouvir... Diferente da minha mãe meu pai era muito rigoroso a horários e exigia que a gente fosse dormir no horário que ele determinava, (muito cedo) e acordar no horário que ele também determinava (muito cedo também), por isso as historia que ele contava a noite, era só de terror e suspense, deixava qualquer criança assustada, mais eu nem ligava, ainda questionava em relação às histórias dele... Eu às vezes acordava a noite e ficava criando historinha na mente como se estivesse lendo um livro... Nunca tive medo do escuro da noite. Quando eu ia para o sitio nas férias, era difícil a noite, pois lá todos dormiam muito cedo e acordava mais cedo ainda. Cada pessoa tem seu horário marcado de dormir. Uns dormem cedo, outros dormem tarde. O organismo se adapta com tempo. Eu nunca vou dormir se eu não estiver com bastante sono, seja qual hora for se for quase de manhã e eu estiver sem sono, em vez de dormir vejo o sol nascer... (sorrindo)... Um lindo espetáculo... Acredito realmente que a manhã é a melhor parte do dia, não discordo, todos dizem isso, principalmente o nascer do sol, mais o dia todo em si sempre tem grande espetáculos de ser visto. O por do sol, por exemplo, é divino principalmente quando vai sumindo atrás de montanhas. Tem pessoas que acha assustador quando o dia vai embora... Se sente inseguro, desprotegido. Eu, no entanto gosto muito da noite principalmente quando a lua esta bem brilhante e o céu repleto de estrelas. Esse é um dos cenários divino, um espetáculo que me fascina.
Acredito também como você disse que todos nós carregamos genes antigos... Acho que isso explica a forma de cada pessoa agir. Assim como você disse que é bom em atirar com revolver, e péssimo com espingarda. Cada um com sua habilidade. Fatos que às vezes é bem curioso.
Então Fram, eu gostei de passar aqui pra ler sua postagem. Demorei um pouquinho mais cheguei. Sobre minha postagem no blog, creio que no domingo devo escrever algo pra postar.
Gostei muito do vídeo, a música é boa. Concordo com você, as músicas de hoje é um lixo mesmo. A maioria só tem refrão, letra e melodia nem existe. Aqui no Brasil o fank estragou a música brasileira.
Ótimo final de semana Fram!
Até mais Fram...

Fram Actual said...

Yes, we both are night owls -- night people -- Smareis.

I am not sure if this preference for morning or for night is something learned or if it evolves from some natural element within us. I suppose, like many things, it is partially some of both, but I am inclined to "feel" this element has more to do with our genetic composition than with practiced habits.

It was fascinating to learn about your childhood experiences with your mother and your father in relation to bedtime tales, and to hear about your vacation experiences. It was especially nice of you to write about them here in context and comparison with some of my own childhood experiences.

One difference between us was that there was no father present in my life, so the only person I had to "battle with" over bedtime was my mother, and the only stories I heard were traditional fairy and folk tales.

I also was fortunate when school was not in session that I generally was able to sleep as late as I wanted, which meant I saw few summer sunrises as a boy. I often say, in fact, that my soundest, deepest sleep comes just after sunrise in the morning. I think this is instinctual, from ancient genes, which sense a certain danger has been lifted with the arrival of the sun. You might not be aware, but the most successful times for hunters -- for predators -- is just before sunrise and at dusk in the evening.

It is interesting that you have never been afraid of the night, of the darkness. My night vision came naturally, but I had to overcome a fear of darkness when I was a boy. Like any fear -- whether of darkness or of heights or of water or of whatever -- it took time and practice to conquer it. As a boy, I used to go into woodlands after dark and just sit there a long while to overcome fear of .... actually, of both.

As a side note, I once had a Great Horned Owl strike my head while coming back from a winter hunt in darkness walking through a wooded area. My parka hood was fur trimmed, so I assume that had something to do with the misguided attack. This owl either had grandiose ambitions or needed glasses. And, some day, I might tell you a story about a tiger in the absolute darkness of a moonless night, but I do not mention in my blog the segment of my life during which that event took place.

I think most people prefer sunrises to sunsets simply because daylight follows the dawn and darkness -- with all its uncertainties and superstitions -- follows the sunsets. No matter for me, I guess I still prefer sunsets.

I absolutely, positively, undeniably love walking under a full moon over snow-covered land or, even more so, on a frozen lake. There is nothing to match the sound of contracting, moving ice or "gulping" black water beneath the ice on a lake in mid-winter, and the sight of snow and ice glittering in the moonlight. Once upon a time, I lived by a lake on which I would run for a couple of miles over its ice most nights during the wintertime before I went to bed. I have mentioned this in other posts. It was exquisitely wonderful -- indescribable, really.

So, Smareis, I will look forward to reading your next post and I thank you for coming to visit me and for writing a comment sharing some of your own personal experiences about the night and about sleep. Your presence here always makes me happy .... see you later .... and, thank you, too, for your smile ....

Boris Estebitan said...

Yo tambien espero que ningun dia termine, y los que vemos en la oscuridad vemos mas alla, saludos.

Fram Actual said...

To have a sense of sight at night seems other-worldly in a way, Boris. I believe part of it is a "sixth sense," as well as an actual physical sense. Beyond that, life forms possess energy and energy creates light which, I think, might be more visible to some than to others.

I hope you listened to the song and heard Tommy Bolin on guitar. He is quite well known among rock enthusiasts, and would have been among the greatest if he had not died so young -- in his mid-twenties. By the way, I like the Rata Blanca version of "Burn" very much, too. I assume you have heard them perform.

Thank you, Boris. I am glad you came to visit me at my blog and took the time to leave a comment for me.

Something special ....