An Ode to Morpheus Written by Ambreen Ishrat
Another night and Morpheus has yet again to deliver my share of sleep and so I lie on my pillow, gazing at ceiling fan, while rest of world is in deep slumber.
How I wish to have hypnotized myself to sleep as counting sheep never helps, nor does hot milk. The sandman's sand has also turned colourless. Another night it is when sleep deludes my weary eyes and my overactive brain refuses to stop dwindling on scenes of day that has just ended and another one has started silently.
Sleep - boundary between two days - is missing. What's big deal, you must think, for every now and then, a sleepless night is quite a normal thing for everyone. But for some, this is an affliction that happens more often than usual. And what makes me hysterical is feeling that on one such desperate night, you also tend to discover that you have run out of your emergency supply of sleeping pills. So much for my emergency-coping capabilities!
The value of sleep can only be known to an insomniac and bliss that it brings to one who is weary in soul as well. For me, sleep is what always restores my sanity, which can wear off effects of gruesome schedules, worries and complications. It is a happy escape into land of Oz, where I can slip into for a few hours and then come back to familiar worrisome and often irksome daily routine. The problems remain same, but my ability to cope with them certainly increases thrice-fold. Pimples on tired skin reduce, sting of heartaches lessen and deadlines become graspable. Like a magical transformation, overnight my body gets charged with energy. The brain starts brimming with activated and regenerated neurons and I rise as a new person who takes upon irksome hurdles of yesterday with horns and does away with them.
So silent seems world around me that I can hear beating of my own heart. My weary eyes start to roam and scan length and breadth of four corners of room. This is my room, my heaven, my prison and my hell. The walls wear my solitude like trophies and silence curls on my bed and encapsulates me like a shroud, where I lie with my hands resting neatly by my sides. I lift palm of my hand and feel my own breath at back of my hand - to seek reassurance that I am still alive and this isn't silence of grave. And if that is not enough, my mind goes on speculating on and on as to why certain things happened. At night, my mind turns itself into a backyard cluttered with half-conceived and half-aborted ideas and plans that I keep on stumbling upon. All wonderful ideas and resolutions which flit like bats in nook and crannies of my mind fade away on seeing light of day. The mind is also graveyard of memories and remembrances, which are easily resurrected in dead of twelfth hour. As morbidity tries to seize me, I kick my sheet off and get up, wishing no more to wait upon sleep or revel in thoughts of past, analysis of day just gone by and pipe dreams of tomorrow.
The chill gets better of me and for one moment, warmth of my bed tempts me to snuggle back again. But body refuses to lay in monotony anymore. My mind swiftly scans possibility of activities that can help me to kill time or to induce sufficient tiredness, forcing me to lull me back to peaceful sojourn of sleep. A book to read maybe, a long overdue letter that needs to be answered or I can hook on net and explore web. All options are considered and struck off one after another, as my tired body protests. Hence, I decide to just lie low and breathe surrounding silence in and out.
Choosing Our ParentsWritten by Skye Thomas
There's a Native American belief that before we are born, we choose our parents. It actually ties in pretty nicely with reincarnation idea that we prearrange certain circumstances before each life so as to learn different lessons. Either way, our parents teach us so much more than they ever mean to. Through their choices, circumstances, faults, talents and ability to show their love and support, they mold us. If life is a rat race, then our folks determine what we come out of starting blocks with.
The gifts they give us are so much more than biological. Yeah, there's basics of whether or not you go through life as pretty, ugly, or just sort of plain looking. I don't have to tell you that physical looks, athletic abilities, and general health definitely effect how we go through life. Our parents can decide whether or not we're deformed or mentally challenged by deciding to create alcohol syndrome or drug addicted babies. And they genetically predispose us to various future challenges, like breast cancer or heart disease. Other than by taking care of our bodies with proper rest and nutrition while growing up, there isn't a whole lot that they can do about most of physical characteristics they pass along to us.
Most of us are average, that's what average means. So most of us inherit average bodies with average talents and average health. So what does it matter who we choose as our parents? For proof, just look at people who were raised by adopted parents or those who were raised in blended step-families. Their biology isn't really what comes to mind when we look at gifts and challenges they received from their 'folks.'
Our parents - whether biological, adopted, or stepparents - determined what our environment would be while growing up. They chose our financial health, spiritual health, educational health, social health, and mental health. They may have consciously sat down and made decisions and acted on them, or they may have paid no attention whatsoever to how those things would turn out. Many parents are themselves uneducated or unhealthy in some of these areas and don't even know that there were other choices to be made. It's not always intentional, what they chose. Either way, they made choices that determined all of those things for us.
It's really easy if we had blessed childhoods to give thanks to our parents for making wonderful choices on our behalf. If we believe in that theory that we choose our parents before birth, then we can nod and say, "Yep, I certainly did pick some winners! Sure am glad I picked those two as my parents. They supported me in everything I ever wanted to do and paid for my music lessons and never stopped loving me no matter what!"
But what if you were one of those kids whose childhood sucked? Was your dad an alcoholic? Was your mom queen of guilt trips? Was your dad overachiever who pressured you to carry on his legacy? Was your mother a gold digger hopping from one wealthy man to next, never really paying attention to you? Were your folks ignorant and uneducated, not having a clue that you were a bored genius with nobody to talk to? Did they make choices constantly based on themselves instead of their children? Were they artists who got so carried away in creative process that they'd forget you existed at times? Whatever story, you get idea. You may or may not love your folks, but you know that if you had it to do over again you certainly wouldn't have picked those two people to be in charge of your early years. The last thing you want to hear is that you might have chosen that upbringing for yourself.