Once again I am being dug in the ribs at ungodly hours, with comments like, “Tell them to go away or phone you when you’re awake.”
Over the years it has become a regular occurrence that, in periods of intense inner activity, I talk in my sleep. Nothing unusual there, one might say. Thousands of people do so. But I tend to hold long and involved conversations. Sometimes in English, often in French, and occasionally in languages yet to be identified.
I’ve wondered if, as these periods generally coincide with exceptionally busy times in my inner life, it is simply that there are insufficient hours in the day, and work shifts gear and carries on through the night.
The odd thing is that I never remember these conversations, though I am at that curious half waking state and am aware of them as they happen. I remember usually only the essence of them. Sometimes little more than a ‘feel’ of them. Yet I almost always remember my dreams as a rule. Habitually my morning meditations after these vocal nights take on an extraordinary depth.
Last night was particularly vivid, to the point where my partner woke me several times. I even woke myself at one point as it seemed crucial to remember what I was being told.
It’s odd. As if it is only in sleep, away from the hassles and concerns of daily life, that I can address deeper issues with the attention they need.
Surely this is a reflection on the lifestyle we lead, where we can listen to the radio or attentively watch soaps or documentaries... but never have time to listen to that small inner voice. Even those of us who make time for a daily meditation or moment of quiet reflection may find the chatter of the surface mind difficult to switch off. Sometimes the best we can manage is to turn the volume down.
Yet how necessary is this unique scintilla of time where we put aside the worries and problems of the daily grind and give ourselves the time and space to just Be…to feel ourselves part of the stream and drift with its currents for a while, resting in the waters of life.
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