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Thoughts While Sleeping -- Number One

David Cowles

Jan 10, 2023

"Not all thoughts come while shaving..."

Some creep in at night just as consciousness hovers between wake and sleep. For example...

  • Birthdays: Only five stand out in my mind: my 12th, mostly because it coincided with a major change in my physical circumstances (new school, new friends, etc.); my 30th and my 40th because they were predictably traumatic; and my 50th, only because it’s the last time I can tell you where I was on that date. And now my 75th.

  • Age: Speaking of birthdays, yes, it’s true, I recently turned 75. I was initially reluctant to share that info with you; I’m afraid you’ll think less of me (and my ideas) now that you know how old I am. Come to think of it, this has been a concern all my life. More than most kids, I tried desperately to grow up fast. Then I tried to recapture the adolescence I had squandered. In business, I needed age to confer gravitas; now I need to shed those years again.

Like Penelope (Odyssey), I progressively weave and unweave the fabric of time, hoping to dodge fate (i.e., the ‘suitors’).  

  • Awareness: Speaking of age, how old was I when I was first aware of the sun? That first, non-thetic sensation of Sun’s brilliance or warmth - was it in utero, or on the ride home from the maternity ward? 

By age three, certainly, I would have been aware that I was aware of the sun – first as a concept, later as a word. I believe I was 10 when I first experienced myself being aware that I was aware that I was aware of the sun, which means that right now I am aware that I was aware that I was aware that I was aware of the sun. Does this go on ad infinitum? At what point does it (or did it) cease to be meaningful?

  • Time: Speaking of awareness, is it a seemingly endless progression of Russian dolls, each embedded in another, each embedding another? Or is it more like a series of freight cars, headed-up by an engine (Creation and/or Big Bang), trailing a caboose (Apocalypse and/or Deep Freeze). Is time awareness, awareness time?

  • Light: Speaking of time, at age 10, when I was first aware that I was aware that I was aware of the sun; it hung in the sky like a beach ball. Next time I checked (age 25), it was a basketball. Then progressively, a volleyball, a softball, a baseball, a ping pong ball, and now I regret to say, a pinball. 

When I first saw the sun, it was as if I stood on Earth; then Mars…now Pluto. Time is a rocket ship, headed into deep space, accelerating as the sun’s gravitational attraction weakens. 

  • Dark: Speaking of light, the first soft rays of sunset are beguilingly beautiful. The bright blue sky is tinged with various shades of orange and even green. Clouds reflect, earth inflames. I am grateful to have been alive, however briefly, and I cling to the last drop of light, poised on the horizon like a pinball, a drop on the rim of total darkness. And speaking of the dark…

Thoughts While Sleeping-Aletheia Today Magazine

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