While I was Sleeping (It Off)…

I’ve only twice thus far in my happy, healthy life been under anesthesia, at least when I was old enough to remember it. The first was during college, when I had my third molars removed, an act that I consider was more about wisdom on my part than on the molars’, despite their being commonly named “wisdom teeth”. It was good preventive medicine in my case, being the only invasive procedure I’ve ever had to have a dentist do and as a bonus, keeping me from getting them infected or impacted or, quelle horreur!, having them come in by shoving my naturally straight other teeth askew. I must have had a terrific anesthesiologist, because I don’t remember any particular suffering during or after the event, other than an unpleasant reaction to the first and only pain pill I took upon waking, and I was well enough after a day of devoted ice-packing by my mom to venture out to the mall the next day with the family, and dine comfortably on crisp green salad and toast.

The second time was when I underwent that happy coming-of-age ritual, the half-century tune-up of my chassis when I was given what felt like a really delightful extra night’s sleep so as to while away the time during which I had my colonoscopy. I, unlike other people, have no interest whatsoever in watching myself on TV in the process of receiving medical attention of any sort. Despite that potential glamor and entertainment of that approach, I felt myself cheerily fortunate in having a splendid nap instead, not to mention getting the desired clean bill of health in the bargain.

Though I’ve had limited personal experience with going under anesthetic, I certainly know plenty of people who’ve had all sorts of adventures with it, both good and bad. And I am all the more pleased, on knowing some of the tales of hallucinatory glory, that I have nothing to show for my own such trips but a gleaming set of straight choppers in my healthy jaws and an equally pristine stretch of plumbing in my abdominal regions. And I plan to have no further need of being anesthetized any time again soon, pretty please. Though I truly appreciate good medicine, I appreciate even more not needing any.Digital illustration + text: Psychedelia

How Clouds were Invented

Clouds have long inspired a lot of fantasy, and though I’ve enjoyed many a day of lying around imagining what I saw in the clouds–creatures and inventions of all sorts–I’m quite certain I’m far from alone in entertaining myself with this pastime. A frequent identification of clouds by a great many of us aficionados, too, is the spotting of sheep among them. Whitish, puffy and fluffy, sometimes seen in herd-like groups and sometimes seeming to wander aimlessly, clouds and sheep both inspire a bit of dreamy invention in me.

Contemplating the possible relationships between them is just as delightful to me as noticing their simple visual resemblance. My current dream is that once-upon-a-time, there was a gentle old wizard meditating in a meadow, and he found that despite his lovely surroundings and his peaceable and contemplative nature he couldn’t quite get to the point of having the restful nap he so desired. Couldn’t, that is, until he conjured some of the nearby sheep to float around him like sweet woolly zeppelins, whereupon he closed his eyes in quiet ecstasy and drifted off himself into ethereal sleep.digital illustrationSilly, I know (and potentially having some logistical issues attached), but I find the image somewhat comfy myself. Since it’s nearing 3 a.m. as I write this, I do believe it’s a fine time to test whether simply savoring the image might not get me appropriately sleepy. I’ll get back to you on that. Eventually. Though I might be just a little woolly-headed on my return.

Animal Crossings

I know not what the relevance

Of tortoises and elephants

And tapirs, panthers, malamutes

And goats in my dreams constitutes—

I only know that when I sleep,

This is the zoo I tend to keep,

And if it lends to such pursuits,

It may include a thousand sheep.