SIX WEEKS: LEARNING THAT NOTHING IS EVERYTHING (part six)
We were without lights tonight, didn’t have water either. Both vanished 15 minutes after the very beginning of the storm. Today was an extremely calm day. This evening, it all feels ‘extremely right’ – this no electricity, no water, the energy offered by the storm: Everything feels perfectly placed.
At 9:00pm we were already snuggled into our sleeping bags. Kenia had already been sleeping for about an hour with her stuffed dog, Loopy, faithfully propped under her head, and a stuffed nose and sore throat disturbing her breath, but fortunately not her rest. Havana had already proudly read a chapter of her book (she has been longingly, yet resistingly wanting to read like her big sister for more than a year now); finally succumbing to a single fly that was whirling around the words and tormenting her, she turned off her little, purple reading light and closed her eyes. I had already done my bedtime yoga routine, read a few pages of my book, Andrea had finished writing his notes – paper and pen by his side – hoping to put his heavy thoughts to rest for a few hours…
and then we all slept… a constant rain falling in large drops outside.
Not sure how long I had slept, but way too soon, I found myself wide awake – eyes open and fully alert in the middle of the night – alone with my simple thoughts and the scrutinizing eye of the storm.
Awoken by the spectacular show that was taken place on the other side of sliding, glass doors and the floor-to-ceiling windows – a performance of lights more entertaining than the fire crakers dancing over the Manhattan skyline on the 4th of July and Disney’s closing firework display put together – Seconds, minutes, hours: throughout the entire night I laid.
Havana kicked as the storm pounded outside the glass doors. Just behind the entire strip of mountains, shots of lightening lit up the sky. Bursts of thunder woke up the quiet of the night. The shots, the bursts, and also…
the neighing of the horses, the snorking of a very pregnant pig that I call Thelma (or perhaps it was the other scrawny looking one, that I obviously call Louise), dogs barking, chickens clucking… peacocks probably doing what peacocks ‘do‘.
The clouds are hanging low, their greyness replacing the usual blackness of this lamp-less, green ‘village’. The sky is alive tonight breaking through the usual silence of the place I call ‘Simply Magic‘; its liveliness potent enough to take the animals and I away from our dreams.
Here I am, 1:00am accepting that I am unable to sleep with lots of thoughts of nothingness and everything in my mind. Here I am, as perfectly placed as the setting that I am in, totally immersed by sounds, scenes and sensations of the perfect storm.
A short while later the downpour seemingly comes to an end, leaving behind single shots of lightening… short, yet violent bursts of thunder. Along with this, there is Kenia’s stuffed nose, Havana’s kicking, Andrea’s random thoughts, the neighing and snorking, the clucking and barking… and the sound of peacocks…
I wonder for a moment: what is it that they do?
My mind wanders from thought to thought – pleasant thoughts about me being here, the nothingness that I am experiencing, the tranqui that I am feeling more and more as the days go by – as I watch outside and all around me: No stars tonight, the moon hiding behind a clutter of thick clouds, the darkened effect of the mountains unusually possessing the view against a magnificently, illuminated sky.
Another half an hour gone of sleep and Finca Tunduqueral is calm once again.
My stomach rumbles and I resist the urge to get a way-too-early, morning snack.
I hear a dog barking in the distance.
I wonder who it is: Rex or Slacco, or is it the scruffy, white poodle that I can never remember the name of?
Then he too stops. He, along with all the other animals, that have apparently gone to sleep.
Kenia wakes up for a moment. She rubs her eyes and nose. I hand her my reading light to go to the bathroom before she re-adjusts her sleeping bag and falls quickly back into her sweet dreams.
Total silence in a now darkening sky. The fly that flickered around Havana’s light has decided to come out to play. Now, it is hanging, whirling and flickering around mine. That is when, I re-adjust my sleeping bag, my pillow, my apple, red blanket… try to get some sleep…
I take one last look out the window: the breaking up of clouds, the disappearing of a mountain range, the reappearance of the moon, a lonely star in the middle of all this darkness and silence…
perfectly placed peace after the storm…
and, before I turn off my light… one last neigh from Princessa, Kenia’s favorite horse, telling me goodnight.
One hour later and still very much awake…
My eyes are closed. I feel relaxed. Yesterday was a calm day. The storm, now swept away by a cool breeze, remains a beautiful memory – a miraculous gift from Nature. The night has returned to its normal, pitch black and I believe for just a moment that it is finally asleep…
No more kicking, no more heavy breathing, no more random thoughts, no more neighing or snorkng, barking or clucking, no more peacocks making their peacock-like sounds… even that darn fly has finally decided to curl his wings down to rest.
It is 3:00am. My alarm clock is set for 5. I cannot possibly sleep:
Strange sounds, un-city like sounds that unnerve me in an unexplainable way…eery sounds of too much darkness, nothingness…
A mind that is once again thinking too much about everything from where to live to what to wear tomorrow at a ‘way-too-early’ time of the morning.
The creaking of wood.
Pitter-pattering on the rooftop.
Animals sounds directly outside the front door.
The rattling of a glass plate next to the kitchen sink.
I long for sleep as these haunting sounds seem to be lasting forever.
I long for the sounds I grew up with, sounds that still fill up those rare, sleepless nights back home…
fast moving cars and groups of fighting cats,
noisy garbage trucks with their opening and closing, starting and stopping,
church bells chiming at obscene hours,
a cacophony made up of random house alarms and a variety of sirens speeding by…
sounds that are loud and intrusive and could be even scarier, but that are for this reason capable of drowning out the night and the way-too-clear thoughts (and doubts) about Life that are hanging around deep in my head.
My eyes are shut closed.
I attempt not to think…
‘Don’t think‘ as all the books I read tell me, count your breath instead…
as I obsessively continue to wonder if I will ever be able to fall asleep!
Another 40 minutes pass me by. They feel like days.
I look up towards the ceiling: my eyes are incredibly heavy, my thoughts finally too wiped out to think…
In the total silence and right before the break of dawn, I fall asleep. Somewhere between the counting and the wondering, the doubting and the dozing, I cover my thoughts by a blanket made up of a zillion stars that shine right outside my window in this place that many the naive may criticizingly refer to as simply ‘Nowhere’s land’ and that I still see as ‘Simply Magic‘…
this mystical paradise that isn’t always soft on the eyes, that consistently tests your mind, that is situated right in the middle of all this mind boggling, sleep stealing Nothingness.
SWEET DREAMS TO YOU ALL!