Maybe you too have symbolic or metaphoric afflictions. For two weeks, my neck felt like glass was breaking in there. Pain in the neck? It mounted. First took it to masseuse, then to chiropractor. But something was not right SPIRITUALLY. I was putting off balancing the checkbook and paying bills, getting it all set up but couldn't start. I let people down, put off calls, in order to score big on "Jewels" on my droid. Procrastination left things unread and unwritten and I drifted into dangerous territory, dangerous for me, anyway: bed at 3 a.m.; wake at 10 a.m. with the daylight one-third gone already. Abusing caffeine. Knew where this led if I didn't save myself: staying up till 4 a.m., then till 7 a.m., then 3 p.m., and jogging the streets for exercise at 11:30 p.m. saying to a passerby, "I just got up."
Meanwhile summer 2011 arrived. I decided to pitch my two-man nylon tent out back and sleep in it to restore the circadian rhythm I share with the rest of humanity as a first step toward simplifying life and liking myself again. My literal sanity bubble. Furnished it with bag, pad, pillow and sheet, and after nightfall on a 96-degree day, crawled in by flashlight. Dew soaked the grass. Fireflies whirled from eye level to the treetops, misted over by humidity. The tent has room only to lie down and stargaze through the top. Saw the Big Dipper. Nothing to listen to but thoughts (left the cellphone in the house) and unexpectedly I felt gratitude. Dew collected on the tent, ran down into the tent seams, and sometimes dripped on me. Wiped it down with a pillowcase.
Sleeping outside on the warm earth under stars, with insects rattling and night birds chortling, is like sleeping next to God. Sometime in the night the temperature dipped into the 60s, and pulling the soft sleeping bag over me gladdened me like nothing else. The sun rose at 5:28 a.m. and woke me. I was thrilled. It's been several weeks since I've been thrilled. In the house I made strawberry scones (3 minutes from start to oven) and coffee. Ate them. Brought laptop out on the porch and enjoyed the cool hours. That was this morning. It was great, but not a quick fix. Since then I have fought to stay on some sort of disciplined schedule, not playing until the work is finished. I plan to win this one, if not today, then soon.