Thursday, October 08, 2009

when i can't sleep

i'm thinking of topographies. maps. cosmologies. is it possible to map a life? to create a topography? is that what blogging is? or is becoming? a topography of a life? is it even possible to come close to even a faint outline of a life? can you preserve the topography of a life in cloth? felt? stitches? fibers? are we able to read the map of that life even if the person who created it and left it behind is gone? do the memories and even more so, the meaning remain and can it be read? do they penetrate the fibers and can we access them? can i make a topography of sabin's baby and toddler life using the clothes she wore then? and will it retain its meaning for years to come? these are the things i'm pondering when i can't sleep at 4 a.m.

what do you ponder when you can't sleep?

today's story people story of the day is so appropriate for this post.


Extranjera said...

Seems that a lot of scientists now think that blogging and microblogging are manifestations of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Especially if the blog is about you.

But I like your idea better.

will said...

When I was a boy I freely visited with many people in the neighborhood and my parents had also friendships with a number of people.

When I was in public high school it seemed most everyone had several tight relationships, including close buddies and boy/girl friends. That was the norm.

In college there was plenty of between class gabbing, bull sessions in dorms or libraries and there was lots of large social gatherings - parties, school functions, etc.

After college, and for years afterward, there was a reduction in casual social festivities and in all the neighborhoods we lived, we’ve barely known our neighbors. The ones we did know also had small children or were old and not prone to socializing. When our children did sports and such we talked with other parents but rarely did these develop into personal friendships.

I don’t buy into psycho-babble interpretations of blogging. The world now seems too fast, too impersonal and most people keep some distance between themselves and others. Plus many simply don’t have time for friendships due to hectic commuting and long work days. It would seem blogging is basically an avenue of conversation, perhaps it’s a version of the old backyard fence where neighbors often chatted with each other.

You and I have discussed the blog-follower thing in the past ... I still maintain some frustration over it because there are people willing to make note of my blog but few will leave comments... and that, to me, is very much a one sided conversation and I do enjoy the conversation even if it’s typed words.

And words are easy to do at 4 am.

Unknown said...

What do I think about at 4am? At the moment, it's bathrooms - or rather the lack of one in my house at the moment. I'm also desperately trying NOT to think about my builders final invoice...argh! Need this bathroom to be finished so that I can start some new sewing projects - you've inspired me, yet again. And I like to think that you can map someone's life in stitches. Even if no-one knows in 50 years time what those stitches represent, what a lovely thought that those stitches survived to give others pleasure.

Elizabeth said...

Good morning,

While I was reading your post just now a book came to mind which I already have for over 10 years. It is filled with maps but not the average maps. The book is called world of experiences.

What to do when I can't sleep? First I start pondering about my future and slowly change that in a meditation about how wonderful it is to sleep. Most times it works.

et lille oejeblik - a little moment said...

that is one beautiful blanket. did you make it? from sabin's baby and todler clothes?

i started blogging when i moved from the city to the countryside. clearly it was the fear of not being seen and heard that pushed me. to not get lost, to not interact. because that's how we define ourselves, isn't it? is it narcissism? or just a replacing of the "over the fence" chit chat?

probably both, and maybe down the road also a topography. like the blanket: it's soothing, it looks and feels good, but it's also a collection of carefully picked out memories.

lovely post - thanks you :)

MissBuckle said...

I´d like to think of them as memory bytes that jigg others and yourelf.

Zuzana said...

Beautiful plaid.;) If awake at 4am I often ponder my life and the outcome of it and the dark areas of it become even darker. I hate when I can not sleep.;)

Liz Fulcher, The Fragrant Muse said...

I adore Bill's comment and agree 100%. In the years I spent in Italy visiting my in-laws in their village of 300 people, I saw that one of the most valuable time for the women was on break-making day. They would all gather in the town oven, wait for their loaves to bake and talk. Or hang their laundry together. It was their system of connection and, I'm convinced, psychological health. That doesn't exist in modern society and so we've created blogging.

Liz Fulcher, The Fragrant Muse said...

It's too damn early. That was BREAD-making day.

Suzanne said...

When I can't sleep, I normally think of Ambien, Benadryl, alcohol...maybe I should practice self-examination instead.

Beautiful quilt, by the way. Are those really Sabine's baby clothes?

Suzanne said...

and of course, I mean sabin. I would make a spelling error, wouldn't I?

julochka said...

the quilt in the picture was made by my great grandmother. i'm only just contemplating making one out of the clothes from sabin's baby- and toddlerhood.

beth said...

do you drink hot tea before bed ?
I have decided that helps me sleep...maybe it's just a mind game, but it works !

and yes, I think about similar things and when I's best to just stay home and be content because when the thinking gets heavy, I'm no good to be around and I have to write it all out.... said...

Love the Story People link! And the blanket... it's gorgeous! I usually don't wake up at 4 A.M. unless I'm obsessing about something... and then it's hard to get it out of my mind. So I do a crossword puzzle to make myself think of other things. Not always successful. Other times meditating helps if I can get past the annoying thoughts.

Loredana said...

can i make a topography of sabin's baby and toddler life using the clothes she wore then?

Yes you can and what a great idea!!

When I'm up at 4am which is RARE cause I sleep like a log I'll usually dig my head into my husbands back and ask God to help me back to sleep before I start to believe I hear any weird noises, lol.

Unknown said...

I love the idea of mapping our lives... of course this is what we do with blogging, and journaling in any way. So that we learn to know ourselves better, so that we can remember who we were and who we are. This is the beauty of projects like Soul Food, and your own quilting... and of course, you should pass the beauty of this onto Sabine. I wish I had a quilt from my baby clothes!
PS. Not that I think about this when I'm awake at 4am, which is hapenning rather often lately. I think about how tired I'm going to be the next day! :)

An Open Heart said...

This is a great post....I often wonder what will be left in this world by me....I have no children, so, there will be no name legacy or blood legacy....and the blog, thus far, has been the largest contritbution I have been able to make to prove I was here.....I don't know if that's narcissistic or just me reaching out.....perhaps both on some days and neither on others.

I will be exploring this some really have me thinking.


Char said...

beautiful musings and ponderings...much more sane than my 4:00 a.m. musings.

Unknown said...

There once was a teacher of note
Who listened more than she wrote
To words of great wit as she sat and knit
Words and letters entangled became.

Then one day she spied a sweater
And remembered every letter
Of the words between the stitches she had knit
To the words she gave her name
To who belongs the fame?
To the sweater, or the teacher, or the wit?

(c) Marilynne Smith


Unknown said...

When I can't sleep I get up and blog. (grin)

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I ponder whether I should take another klonopin. And that the Buddha teaches that the "I" is an illusion and so no quilting of any lasting meaning is possible (just to be contradictory :) ).