Sleep as Trust

I offer the poem below that I have stumbled across recently, not as one who finds sleep easy but one who doesn’t.  That means, given the poem’s content, I struggled to wrestle with the starkness of some of the comments. 

I think the point is true to all poetry, that we do not get lost in specific detail but we catch the wave, the ebb and flow, feeling the rhythm and beat of the poetry.  That way we insomniacs will not lose any more unneccessary sleep.

 

“I don’t like the man who doesn’t sleep, says God.

Sleep is the friend of man.

Sleep is the friend of God.

Sleep is perhaps the most beautiful thing I have created, and I myself rested on the seventh day.

He whose heart is pure, sleeps, and he who sleeps has a pure heart.

That is the great secret of being as indefatigable as a child, of having that strength in legs that a child has.

 

Those new legs, those new souls,

And to begin afresh every morning, ever new,

Like young hope, fresh hope.

But they tell me that there are men

Who work well and sleep badly.

Who don’t sleep.  What a lack of confidence in me.

I pity them.  I have it against them.  A little, they don’t trust me.

 

Like the child who innocently lies in her mothers arms, thus they do not lie

Innocently in the arms of my Providence.

They have the courage to work.  They haven’t enough virtue to be idle.

To stretch out.  To rest.  To sleep.

Poor people, they don’t know what is good.

They look after their business very well during the day.

But they haven’t enough confidence in me to let me look after it during the night.

As if I wasn’t capable of looking after it during one night.

He who doesn’t sleep is unfaithful to hope.

And it is the greatest infidelity.”

 

Charles Peguy in Basic Verities, p.209-11

boatA painting by Hannah Dunnet entitled ‘Trust in God’

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