Thursday, October 21, 2010

How To Sleep the Aaron Way

If you're wondering why it's been so long between posts, it's because

1. I haven't watched anymore Rahxephon, because the first two episodes were so boring,

2. This is post # 665. Gettin' skeery! Twice in my life I've tried to purchase something, had it ring up as $6.66, and seen a cashier freak out. One gave me a penny discount, the other demanded that I buy something else. A third time the cashier just ran it through with no trouble, and her co-worker started teasing her for loving Satan. I figure I should save post #666 for Halloween.

So anyway, How To Get To Sleep the Aaron Way.

When I'm having trouble drifting off there are a couple of tricks that work for me, but I often forget about them. I hope that by typing them out consciously I'll make my waking self fully mindful of them, placing the tricks at my disposal anytime. Or neutralizing the tricks' effectiveness by dragging them into the daylight. Whichever.

One trick is a childhood favorite: Imagining that I'm being pursued through a forest by faceless heavies, but they'll never find me because I'm hidden in a cave deep within the earth. The threat of the pursuers is an essential part of the comfort here, for some reason. If I'm just underground it's not relaxing, but if I'm underground and thereby beyond the reach of danger, tension flows away. I was reminded of this recently by an Episode of Lost that employs the same basic situation; I guess it's a pretty obvious narrative troupe. Hiding underground. Works for other members of the animal kingdom, so why not us?

The best way I know of lulling myself to sleep during an insomniac mood, though, is to let my inner eye become a screen onto which my subconscious can project an animated film. Somehow when I do this I perceive a flow of images that my conscious mind could never cook up, and it's never the same twice. It's usually as if Paul Klee teamed up with Stan Brakhage, but I never know quite what to expect. Sometimes there's some Fleischer Bros. in there. Sometimes Matthew Thurber. It's a little frustrating to realize that somewhere in my cranium there's a wealth of visual creativity that I can only access as a sleep aid. Maybe I should buy some oils and some Ambien, and see what happens.