Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Spirituality of Insomnia

My brain was invaded on October 25 and the intrusive thought won’t let me go. My psychic energy, when I don’t divert it to the required matters at hand, keeps returning to this idea, particularly when I crawl into bed. I kiss my husband, put in my earplugs, slip on my eye mask, scoot the dog into place, switch off the light and my mind switches on.

It’s either my “stuck cingulate” in brain parlance––admittedly I am a bit obsessive. Or it’s the niggling that won’t let me go that I experience as God. Maybe it’s the Holy Spirit––I’m not sure what the difference is and how I’m supposed to know. What I do know is that something within, but bigger than me, is goading me to thoroughly investigate this idea that feels like mine but not mine, as if it’s part of a grander plan.

I don’t mean to be obtuse––I’m trying to decide if and when the time is right to pursue a graduate degree. I’m only considering one program, a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University, a low residency program underpinned in Christian spirituality (the only one in the country) that called to me when it was still in its planning stages.

I’d done the initial research years ago, looked into a couple other programs just for good measure, and set that all aside until some future time when my children were fully educated. My youngest daughter will be heading to college in Florida next fall, and the Seattle Pacific program starts at the end of July with the Glen Workshop in Santa Fe New Mexico, part of the work of Image Journal.

I’ve been looking at flight schedules and tuition costs, downloading application procedures, researching my mind numb. When I’m supposed to be sleeping, I’m composing checklists of responsibilities I’ll need to relinquish and let others assume should I become a student again. I’m tired, and I want to sleep, but it seems that I won’t rest until I’ve made a decision.

My indecisiveness born of my need to make a thoroughly informed decision won’t last long at this rate. Lack of sleep is wearing down my defenses, so that I’m inclined to just say yes now, swallow a Tylenol P.M. and figure out how to make it all work later.

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