(Though I guess everybody east of here who gets it already had it.)
Happy Belated Daylight Saving Hour!
For the special occasion, a prose poem this week I think.
The Weight of Sleep
by W.S. Merwin
At the very mention of it there is one kind of person who laughs or looks away. You know at once where he is- in his life, in the story of the species, in the adventure of the planet. For the weight of sleep cannot be measured. By definition, some might say, though has it ever been defined? At least it cannot be measured by any scale known to the perspectives of waking. Presumably it might be measured one day if machines were contrived that resembled us so closely that they slept. And required sleep. But there again, can we tell how they would differ from us? How their sleep would differ from ours? There again one reaches for definitions and touches darkness. And yet the weight of sleep is one of the only things that we know. We have been aware of it since we knew anything, since the first moment after conception. It grew with us, it grows along with us, it draws us on. Its relation to the gravity of the planet is is merely one of analogy. The weight of sleep draws us back inexorably toward a unity that is entirely ours but that we cannot possess, that resembles the sky itself as much as it does the centers of the heavenly bodies. When did it begin? With life itself? Long before? Or a little time after, when consciousness, the whole of consciousness, scarcely begun, suddenly became aware of itself like a caught breath, and was seized with panic and longing and the knowledge of travail? Yes, it was then that the weight of sleep came to it, the black angel full of promises. With different forms for each life. Different dances. For the planet itself it was simpler. To the whole of the globe's first life as it became conscious of itself, everything seemed to have stopped in the terrible light. Everything stood in the grip of the single command: Weariness. Forever and ever. Then came the black angel. For the planet his shape can be pictured as that of a driving wheel of a locomotive. The rim is darkness; he is always present. The spokes are darkness. They divide the light, though they disappear as they turn. They meet at the center. The hub is darkness. Across one side is a segment of solid black. There is the weight of sleep, properly speaking: its throne. There the wheel's mass preserves its motion. There its stillness dreams of falling. There what it is dreams of what it is.