Monday, September 2, 2013

On Dreams

Originally: On Sleep & Dreams
Sleep is something we need - we actually would die without it - but it's something that we can't always have right when we want it. A good night sleep is what lets us feels refreshed, makes us feel alive again and it is where we are truly safe, free from the struggle of the daily grind. In some ways, it is the only way escape from life and the only place were everything we know is safe from change:

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?” - Ernest Hemingway 

As the world relative to you stop spinning when your eyelids close for the night; That is to say that you are sun that spots shining for a few hours each night when you are asleep. Intertwined with the characteristics mentioned above is the dream - one of the few things in this world that gives us real hope while also not being a tangible item we can buy at the store or on Amazon. They come and go as they please, sometimes impossible to figure out (or remember) but they are something that make you wake up in good mood and are only aided by that second cup of coffee. Above all, though,  dreams are were you life's biggest problems are solved:

"Sleep is the best mediation." - the Dalai Lama

When you sleep, you relax and you wake with the previous days problems wiped from your mind. Even if they come back later, there are moments each day were you have no worries and can just rest. Nothing - not any drug, not any liquor and not any food - is as powerful a force as sleep. So enjoy it, and don't ever - not even the night before that big final - skip it or get so much sleep that your groggy for hours after you wake up. Thus, it's essentially to get that perfect amount of sleep so you can get the most out of time you are awake, because in the end, that's what really matters:

"Those who have compared our life to a dream were right... we were sleeping wake, and waking sleep." - Michael de Montaigne 

Characteristics covered: Long sentences, lots of punctuation and quotations


Montaigne uses long sentences, lots of punctuation and vivid imagery in his writing. Those are the characteristics I aimed to emulate.

“Those who have compared our life to a dream were right... we were sleeping wake, and waking sleep." - Michael de Montaigne

A few nights back, I had the most vivid, peculiar dream set in – of all places – a church. I’m not – emphasis on the not– a religious person in any sense of the word. I haven’t been to church since I was very young and it’s not an experience I particularly remember enjoying then, when perhaps the music and sing-song should have kept me coming back.
I was alone in this church in this dream. There were no parishioners, no priests – just an empty chapel with a wandering, whimsical son sitting in the first pew. Right before waking up, a long-haired, bearded fellow put his hand on my shoulder, not saying a word, but calming me more than I had in days, staring right into my eyes and beyond.
I woke up feeling more relaxed, relived and refreshed than I had it days. I had only slept a little more than six hours and had gotten myself behind on some class reading, immediately make me feel tense and antsy. As I went to shower I quote came to mind:

I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?” - Ernest Hemingway

Amen to that, I thought as I stepped into the shower, hoping that a good cleanse could recreate some of the previous night’s magic, even though I knew it to be a highly improbable occurrence. 


  1. I feel like for all your talk about the value of a good night's sleep, you may have been a bit sleep-deprived upon writing this. I like your ideas about sleep and dreams and I would love to see the idea of the importance of dreams explored, but there's a lack of concrete metaphor or personal reflection that I think would really have furthered your emulation of Montaigne's style. Also, it never hurts to edit even superficially for word choice and spelling, so that really good phrases like "Above all, though, dreams are were you life's biggest problems are solved" don't lose their weight and power due to bad grammar. I really like your quotes, though, especially the final one by Montaigne that (correct me if I'm wrong) seems to have inspired the idea of this piece.

    1. I was very, very, very sleep deprived when I wrote this. Definitely should have edited and combed through this before posting.
      As for the quote, it was indeed that one that made me want to write about sleep in the first place. Well, that and my inability to actually fall asleep without waking up once or twice.

  2. I was sold on the topic of your essay after reading only its first line, especially considering I'm typing this comment at almost 3 a.m. The second sentence didn't seem to jive with the first, though, as in the opening line you suggest you can never get sleep right when you want it and later refer to it as something you can only get at night. It's a superficial detail but one that caught my eye long enough to distract me from your message.
    I quite enjoy your use of quotations, though your transitions in and out of them could use some work. I feel as if I'm reading three small vignettes rather than one essay.
    Your final sentence was reminiscent of Montaigne. If you were looking to do a revision of this piece, I'd suggest taking that sentence and building the essay around it, as it encapsulates the message I think you're going for.
    Like Jules noted, a spelling and grammar check before hitting "publish" might not be a bad idea. I caught several spelling and grammar mistakes, two of which really negated otherwise good sentences.

  3. Digging the voice of the rewrite. Chris. Still some distracting mistakes.

    Bigger question: are you directly addressing the elephant in the room (or, church). You had a religious dream and then transition out of that without much real consideration.

    Why might you be particularly looking for peace? How could this essay be more about sanctuary?

    Good improvement.


  4. Yes with families living so far apart,or siblings arguing about whats best for Mom and Dad it becomes difficult to decide what is best.

    family mediation & Cost family mediation