Sleep Deprivation

By Jon Hillenbrand In Photography, Stories


Today while discussing the irony of second-hand wedding decorations, my friend laughed and said that I was one of the most cynical people she knew. I’m not sure if her comment bothered me because I like to stay in the middle, the ever-moderate, or if it bothered me because I’m hoping to wear my shimmering cape of magical wonder I feel on the inside. The casual clothes, the irresponsibility in my grocery choices, these are all decisions, in part, meant to convey my child-like wonder and approach toward the world. Don’t get me wrong, I strive to be professional and efficient at work, but not at the expense of the childlike wonder thing.

I’ve met a lot of terminally ill people who were some of the coolest people I’ve known. I’ve seen blinding sunlight swimming inside the dew of morning grass. Stars as bright as white paint on an ink black night circled my cottage apartment when I lived down South. But I never felt the insignificance that other people talk about when seeing the wonders of the world. My place in the universe doesn’t seem small and pointless compared to the vastness of space. My friendships with ill people have not made me glad to be alive and healthy. Well, they have, but not overwhelmingly so. The result of seeing wondrous things or hearing the clarity of bright rich sound has made me want to share those aural and visceral experiences with the world, but they come and go with ease. I’ve almost died a few times on the highway but in recent years the near collisions barely phase me. Am I sleepwalking through life?

Today I stumbled through my day on 3 hours of sleep. A nap really. That’s how I dealt with it mentally. But it’s funny how the events of the day have washed over past me like the wind from an interstate superhighway; there, gone and replaced anew. My memories of today are an easily removed whitewash of real experiences. Maybe that’s why I am blogging about it. Digital preservation trumps organic preservation sometimes.

I sometimes worry that I’m not taking life seriously enough. My memories of some things aren’t as crystal sharp as I would sometimes want them to be. Other memories haunt me like bad photos that you just can’t bring yourself to throw away. I’m not sure what it all means and maybe this blog post is more about personal observation than lesson. But as a sleepwalker unconsciously letting the world happen around me while I exist on another plane, these things happen.

What do you think?