Thursday, February 19, 2009


I woke up really early this morning and lay in bed, my eyes half-closed. I have the intention to get up and meditate, but it's really only an intention today. I watch the sunlight struggle through the hedge that rises outside the window and let the blue in the room rest lightly. I doze and wake and look at the clock and doze some more.

I'm grateful for sleep and for the ease with which I do rest.

Here's a poem from John Updike. I love the ending.

Tossing and Turning

The spirit has infinite facets, but the body
confiningly few sides.
There is the left,
the right, the back, the belly, and tempting
in-betweens, northeasts and northwests,
that tip the heart and soon pinch circulation
in one or another arm.
Yet we turn each time
with fresh hope, believing that sleep
will visit us here, descending like an angel
down the angle our flesh's sextant sets,
tilted toward that unreachable star
hung in the night between our eyebrows, whence
dreams and good luck flow.
your ankles. Unclench your philosophy.
This bed was invented by others; know we go
to sleep less to rest than to participate
in the twists of another world.
This churning is our journey.
It ends,
can only end, around a corner
we do not know
we are turning.


  1. Brilliant poem.

    Ever since I had babies, I can only find comfort on my left side - old habit from being pregnant. And probably why the right side of my face looks so good.

    I'm glad you were able to rest.

  2. I envy you your ability to sleep. I've had insomnia for a year or so and never seem able to sleep more than two or three hours at a time (although I'm optimistic that as soon as they thyroid hormone I'm on is adjusted to the right level, that may be remedied).

    I LOVE the new look! The colors are very peaceful.

  3. You always put up something that makes me think or feel. I really felt this one.
    Thank You
    I love your new look so much

  4. I'm glad for your pleasant sleep ...
    What a cool poem! I can't quite discern if it's about a good night's sleep or a poor one - I do love his observation that the bed is obviously made by someone else - that's why it's so uncomfortable!

  5. Sleep well, tonight.
    p.s. I love the blog's new look!

  6. So wierd--I've never heard that poem before and heard it on NPR last night and then read it in your blog--I didn't even realize Updike was a poet in addition to being an author..

    Sleep is actually one of my favorite parts of everyday--nothing I have to initiate or do, can just be...

  7. Michelle, I got the poem yesterday off of Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac, which was probably read aloud, too, on NPR. Updike was incredibly prolific: essays, poetry, childrens' books, novels, criticism, etc. A really amazing writer.

  8. hello, kindred spirit. i really enjoy your blog and wanted to say hello. i wrote a long tribute blog to John Updike when he died- he's been one of the most important authors in my life, since i was a teenager. i'm also a writer and poet.



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