23 March 2008
Still Wanting Peace Six Years Later
It's normal to wake up in the middle of the night for no particular reason, fret about something stupid, then go back to sleep, I tell myself at precisely 1 a.m.
Lots of people do it. It was even the central theme of a recent Sunday's Hagar the Horrible comic strip. Only, the punch line was that his house was surrounded, so maybe he did have something to worry about after all.
I don't know what wakes me up. We don't have any barking dogs or police sirens. And that's kind of nice. When I lived in the city, it was a constant orchestra of car alarms, sirens and screeching of tires. In one place I lived in when I was a bachelorette, the neighbor's place two doors down always had cars coming and going, day and night. A police helicopter and its spotlight would regularly circle the place. I always had this feeling I had to stay low, if you know what I mean. But out here I only feel the need to stay low when the neighbor does target practice on the weekends.
So in the wee wee hours, I finally said the heck with it. I'm wide awake. It's two o'clock in the morning. I've been lying here for an hour. I'm going to get up.
This is usually a signal for the cats to rush the kitchen and insist on a nice dish of milk. But the hour must have caught them off-guard. They were almost too stunned to meow. They got over it.
I figure it's a part of being human, this waking up in the middle of the night. It could be a survival mechanism to wake up occasionally to see if you're still alive or something.
Yep, still here, but did I turn the space heater off at work?
They say lots of folks are sleep deprived. And then they say people who sleep fewer hours, live longer. So whatever "they say," there is an equal and opposite "they say." If not to nullify it, then to simply smudge up what the first "they say" was hoping to convey.
In other words, if you wait long enough, everything bad becomes good again.
Who are "they" anyway? Scientists, pollsters, anyone with a Ph.D.
Numbers can be manipulated to say anything, as most of us know. But still we use them like we're determining the odds in life, like we're gambling.
It certainly feels like a gamble whenever I drive down the road lately. I mean I know it's difficult for SUVs to stay in their lane, especially when SUVs take up the whole lane, but I sure wish they'd give it try, especially on those blind curves.
It's now three o'clock in the morning and I'm reading yesterday's news. And here's a tip: if you want to go back to sleep, don't read yesterday's news.
People are growing tired of the Sept. 11 tributes, one article said. I can see that. To pay tribute to a tragic event over and over devalues it -- both the tribute and the tragedy.
And the death and destruction of this "war" and the potential that our leaders will start other "wars" are not sleepy-time subjects either.
Haven't we evened the score yet? Isn't it time we sit down and discuss peace? Isn't it time I go back to bed?
Thomas Jefferson once said, "I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be."