This post originally appeared on a previous personal blog. I’m republishing it here with the original post date.
hypnagogic /ˌhɪp nəˈgɒdʒɪk/ adjective
1. of or relating to drowsiness
2. inducing drowsiness
3. relating to the images or hallucinations sometimes perceived during a near-sleep state
(late 19th century from the French hypnagogique)
I’ve been sick this week. Whatever bug has been going around took up residence in my chest and has been lodged there since Sunday. It even caused me to miss a couple days of work. Today (Wednesday) is my normal day off, though, and feeling a little better than I did on Tuesday, I went for a morning walk. The weather was warm and beautiful. There’s a particular route I usually take when I go for a walk, kind of a lopsided figure-eight that takes me through two street markets and a park. This morning I adjusted my route so that I could visit a long, narrow park that follows the course of a river. It’s situated strangely and is almost always deserted. I found a bench and sat down, and after scribbling a few ideas in a notebook, I just sat quietly for a while. I usually have a hard time clearing my mind, but sometimes I get lucky. This morning was lucky. After a while I became intensely aware of the warm sunlight filtering in through the bare trees. So soothing a presence. I bathed in it, drank it, and remembered cool autumn afternoons in Massachusetts and Ohio, napping on hillsides among dry, fallen leaves, taking up the sun-harvesting where the leaves had left off. And when I left the park this morning, I shuffled out with the kind of fuzzy-headed sleepiness in which you feel something friendly and warm permeating you, soaking right down into your bones. I was vibrating with that sunlight. My hair and fingernails humming to the frequency of something bigger than me. Put me in the dark and I would have glowed from the inside out, flesh translucent against the collected rays of sunlight.
I’m still sick, but I do feel better.