The Old Fisherman
—Không Lộ (d. 1119)
The river flows a thousand miles under an endless sky.
Wisps of smoke float over a village ringed with mulberry trees.
An old fisherman sleeps on the bank. No one disturbs him.
When he awakens at dusk, his boat is ghostly with frost.
[Cut & paste]
So you will probably get away about on time this afternoon? Dogs are mellow still but I’m a little bored. Sleepy all day until an hour ago but have finally woke up a bit. Each night for the last three I have slept a little more normally. [When abnormal, sleep takes the form of shallow half-hour flashes with golden light around the edges.]
. . . I was a teenager working in a paint store & got caught huffing Nitrous Oxide. (We actually did this.) Must be feeling guilty about the mild euphorias of opioid pain medications.
. . . in the visual field, especially at the edges & in low light. Partly the effects of opioids & partly the result of interrupted REM sleep for several nights running. When I do sleep mostly through the night I wake with a feeling of restored clarity. It is remarkable how much awareness changes as the senses distort somatic patterns.
Mostly watched how-to videos on YouTube over night. Clearly avoidant behavior. I don’t have bad dreams, don’t dream much at all unless watching people assemble electronics, do woodworking projects, perform chemical experiments, make elaborate clocks from brass stock, create an electron microscope, or build custom guitars can be said to be a kind of dreaming. Perhaps it can.
It appears that fall is here. The nights have become chilly & the days cool & breezy. The maple trees continue to change color, with reds & yellows predominating. The days have been clear & sunny & gloriously autumnal, with that particular smell in the air–or of the air–which I cannot really characterize. The life of the woods & garden is most intense this time of year, the colors heightened, the sounds (blue jays) sharpened.
I like to sleep & I sleep well in this weather, the breeze making its low noise in the branches, but I fear to dream, for most of my dreams are set in that other world–the world in which I was not ill–so that I wake always back into the reality of my illness.