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 . . . Lie awake, cupping my hand over one eye, checking . . . .

Dear Kim:

A few days ago, I wrote that I had trouble with my sleep under the best of circumstances. I thought I would return to that theme.

I am wondering how you are with sleep. If you have any issues around sleep.

(Kim: I rarely have trouble sleeping. Maybe once every ten years! But I like to get up early, though sometimes I force myself to sleep a little longer because I know that I haven't had enough sleep to get through the day. I do like to take a nap too.

When I was a kid my friend had a record that hypomatized you so that you could easily fall asleep. It used to help me, but now I don't need it.

I don't like to sleep alone (when Linda goes away, or when I do).)

I love taking naps in the afternoon or very early evening, in the beautiful space of twilight. But that is where my ease with sleep ends.

When I was a child, I had a fear of going blind during the night. After an attack by a dog when I was seven in which I almost lost my eye, I used to lie awake at night, cupping my hand over one eye, then the other, checking if I could still see with the exposed eye.

(Kim: I'm wondering here what the difference is between what we'd say to our shrink and what we put forth as art. Then I started to wonder if we are doing conversation as art or presenting our conversation as a found object, like Duchamp's Urinal.)

Over time, I have developed a fear of the dark and of the night. I am not sure whether or not there is a connection to my earlier childhood experience.

I don't always like to go out at night .Even when there is something I really want to do. To try to drive, read street signs, hunt for parking, feeling myself clutch as I hurry down the street to enter one location or another. It might be different if I went out at night with other people but I often prefer the freedom and flexibility to go by myself.

I still feel those things but more often than not, I override them and go anyway. I do not want to succumb to my fears.

(Kim: It seems that there are two levels of conquering fear. One is the level you describe, where one maintains the fear, but resists its hold on them. The higher lever for me would be to dispose of the fear completely. I believe that is doable.)

The fear translates differently when I am at home. I resist sleep until it is usually late, later than would be best for me. Thankfully, not always, but sometimes, I have a fear of never waking up, of dying in my sleep.

Later,

Joan

Monday, Feb 27, 2006

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