3/9/12

The Maze

Whereas sleep may be an exit from the hours, a temporary forgoing of our ability to respond, while unconscious we are alarmless until something breaks the seal. By earliest definition, in the first edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica from 1771, sleep is the body "perfectly at rest, [where] external objects move the organs of sense as usual, without exciting the usual sensations." Here the body forgoes of the silent suspicions of the terror, such as of the many openings in any home: those we recognize and center around (windows, doors, and vents); those we in certain times attend to, incompletely (entrances for insects, rodents, wet); as well as those we imagine perhaps somewhere, those we never know (dream holes, fantasies like Santa's entrance, power connected via wires and other air); through these holes come the outer air; the sound and light each night drunken into the prone body, feeding. As well, the house around you goes unwatched. We assume by default that nothing shifts under our absence, inside our body, still right there--no shift of drawer or door, nothing unforeseen rising up or breaking in among the night. We relinquish all control to sleep, slow pulsed and breathing, off but open, taking in.

-Blake Butler, Nothing