Nov 14, 2012

Witching Hour Transference

(Sounds of rattling around, a light turns on)
What are you doing?
I can't sleep.

   Fantastic. Now I am awake. Non-scientific studies have proven that the one sure way to get a song that is stuck in your head is to sing it out loud to a another person. You know, the horrible song that is like a cocklebur on your shoelace - hopelessly entangled in your brain and you have no idea where it came from. Somehow the brain cells that stored the memory of Billy Joel's "Piano Man"burst and the contents have filled your conscience mind. But the memory is looping. Sorry, now you may be playing the chorus "Sing us a song, you're the piano man - Well, we're all in the mood for a melody - And you've got us feelin' alright". This phenomenon has a perfect word used to describe it - EARWORM.    
   My personal witching hour is 2:30 to 3:30 AM CST. Precisely. If I'm going to wake up in the middle of the night ruminating it is during this one hour window. Ruminate is another perfect word by the way. It too sounds inherently evil, psychological and problematic. They don't have to be bad thoughts, just untimely and looping like that song stuck in your head. At times the thoughts are welcome - a creative solution to a problem,inspiration or good memories. And at times they are unwelcome - anxieties, conflict or bad news. In either case they are there and you can't not think about them. Much like the fact that there is no way to get this post out of my mind until I post it. Or at least sing it out loud and successfully transfer the thoughts to a unsuspecting blogosphere.
   As quickly as she woke up, I hear the sounds of slumber - deep breathing and legs twitching. Both sweet, but annoying since I am the one who is now awake. Transference occurred. I look at my clock (OK, my iPhone - clock just sounds more literary) and it is 3:21 AM. My wife sang the lyrics "I can't sleep" and they are looping in my mind.
   The brain is a funny thing. Hugely complex and clearly unexplored. Working in the background while your body is in sleep mode. I would embrace the presence of mind, the clarity of thought, if it wasn't 4:30 in the morning.

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