Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


I wrote the following in 2007, shortly after we moved to Iron Mountain, MI, following the grandchildren…


The men at the next table at the Moose Jackson coffee shop are discussing sleep patterns. “I slept only three hours last night,” one of them says. “If I sleep too much at night, I can’t sleep after work,” he continues. I do not understand what that means. It sounds like a very strange pattern to try to sleep.

I don’t have time to think about it, though. I have to concentrate on what my granddaughter is saying over her hot chocolate. Concentration is difficult for me this morning because I had trouble sleeping last night. I kept thinking about taking Brigid to the coffee shop, and how much fun it would be.

I do not see her as much now that she is in school. I usually go to the coffee shop alone, but she is out of school today, so we are here together. She used to keep us awake at night because babies and little kids do that to parents and grandparents. Now she is not a baby, but she still keeps me awake, anticipating being with her, worrying about her, praying for her.

It is hard to sleep if you are looking forward to something, either with joy or with dread. It is hard to sleep if you are angry or in pain or worried or guilty or excited. Good sleep requires a clear conscience or a dead one.

The purpose of sleep is regeneration. Dreaming is part of that. It’s part of the rhythm of the body and the brain. Perhaps death, which we often liken to sleep, is just part of the rhythm, part of the regeneration.

Or not. Speculation about what comes after death is useless. It’s not worth losing sleep over. But getting excited about seeing someone you love, that’s worth the loss of sleep.


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