Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Space Between

Every once in a while, as I lie in bed trying to sleep, I drift off to that special place in between wakefulness and dreaming. Often when I haplessly mosey into this murky territory, my thoughts turn into a string of ludicrous non-sequiturs that would do Lewis Carroll proud. Now and then, however, rather than going cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, I think all but my logical side shuts down. There have been a few times when, as I linger in somnolent limbo, I am struck by what I regard as profound insights. Usually, it’s when I’m pondering something to do with philosophy, and then as I lapse into semi-sleep, I find that my logical brain carries on without me, almost automatically, and it sees connections or makes inferences that are rather astonishing. In many ways, I feel like I’m just listening to my brain as it computes things and spits out the results. I’m very much an observer, or so it seems. Unfortunately, because I’m delicately balanced on the precipice of sleep whenever this occurs, the insights are typically lost. Even if I were to try to wake myself enough to grab a pen and paper and jot down the brilliance with which I’ve just been inspired, to do so would almost certainly cause me to lose hold of the ingenious thoughts. By the time I scrambled to the surface, reverse-plunged my head back into the warm air of full-blooded consciousness, and gulped the air of lucidity back into my mental lungs, I’d find the deep thoughts I was trying so desperately to preserve had long since slipped through my fingertips and sunk back into the deepest recesses of my mind, never again to be recovered. What a crapper.

Last night, I had no such brilliant thoughts, but I was entertained by my semi-conscious thought processes. Not quite a riddle, not quite a deep thought, I came up with this little gem:

“Round” turns five words into six.

There’s something hauntingly beautiful about it, don’t you think? I was also treated to a half-dream in which I was driving around in a parking garage in Seattle. At some point, some guy tried to get into my car when I was going kind of slow. It was kind of creepy, and I thought I should circle around and crush him by pinning him between the hood of my car and the wall. But then I was disturbed, thinking that if I pinned him hard and punched the gas just a little bit, to make sure the pressure killed him, his insides would probably start shooting out of his mouth and all over the windshield. Pretty silly, eh? LOL!


  1. Your education far exceeds mine. And my brain does not think as deep as yours. Woah! I don't get the gem, maybe Chad will.

  2. I don't know what to say. I was following along and agreeing with you, but then you got to the parking lot stuff. I suppose men have more violent dreams than women do. That's interesting. I enjoy your writing style. It's always a pleasure to read.

    I think I'm afraid to go to sleep and find out how I wake up tomorrow.

  3. Ben, your writing is quite amazing. Just your vocabulary exceeds mine. I used to go to sleep with a math problem on my mind and when I was not quite awake, I'd have it figured out! I'd be so excited, but everything you said about waking up and losing it was too true. But at least it gave me hope :)
    As for the violent dream... is it a "man thing" or are you disturbed by something? Someone else I know has quite some violent dreams and I worry sometimes...

  4. Maybe I figured it out!? Hm... not sure. I'll send you an email when I can. Hehehe, you make me think...