I woke up far too early this morning, came downstairs to read and fell asleep on the couch. At some point I thought I heard movement upstairs, and so I thought someone would be coming downstairs. I tried to stir myself and couldn't. I lay there on the couch, trying to wave my arm or call out, but nothing happened. And then it happened again, in the same sequence. I thought I heard something, tried to move...
This happened a total of four times, back to back, with varying details: it was my husband, it was my daughter, a television was turned on, coffee was brewed. But in all of them I was completely unable to move. And no one would help me.
I opened my eyes. Finally. I was actually able to open my eyes. I heard water running upstairs, then a door opening. My daughter came down the stairs. I don't think I have ever been so happy to sit up. I knew right away that I had been trapped in a moment of sleep paralysis. It has occurred only a few times in my life, thank goodness. Not my favorite experience.
If you haven't ever experienced it, it feels like your own personal "Groundhog Day" compressed into an extremely short time (which may feel interminable.) Of course I did a quick search and learned that it has something to do with a disruption of REM sleep, when your muscles are normally in a state of atonia. This temporary paralysis is useful in keeping us from actually getting up and acting out the happenings of our dreams.
I know you are waiting for the tie-in here--is it Columbia that is in a state of sleep paralysis? Might it be the older villages, or the school system? Is it a call for more meaningful participation in community affairs? Or a description of how the County views constituents?
It's true that I generally use a small example from which to jump into a larger topic, "to see the world in a grain of sand." Today, though, I have to admit I not straying very far from my own navel. I had a vivid reminder of what a blessing it is to be able to wake up, to move, and to speak. And now I want to challenge myself to do something more with that ability. Less virtual, more actual.
I don't really want to. I love my self-made cocoon, or rather, I have become extremely comfortable within its confines. But something rather serendipitous made me wince this morning. Do you know what sleep paralysis is commonly called? "Old Hag Syndrome."
A fortune-cookie message from Wikipedia? Perhaps. But one I needed to hear.
***News Flash***Update***New Info Released***
This post from Ian Kennedy reveals the shocking truth that I may be suffering from Shifting Sands Syndrome!
Many thanks to Ian for taking on the mantle of the HoCo Dookie Awards once more, with a loving tip of the hat to the wit, brilliance, and self-effacing humor of our beloved WordBones, Dennis Lane.