5.22.18 (for 5.28.18)
S1E9 - Beds: How Do We Spend ⅓ of Our Life Asleep?
To begin with, beds are great and can be soft or hard, flat or lumpy, and people find all kinds of strange things comfortable. I mean, water beds? (Actually, the few nights I’ve spent on one were entertaining and cozy enough.) I try to quiet my mind and settle into a drifting state when getting sleepy, which usually works. Sometimes I wake up super early and can’t do it again, though. How do you fall asleep at night, and what about if you wake up and want to fall back asleep?
And what about cats? ½-⅔ of their days are spent sleeping. Cats are crazy and sleep everywhere - I mean, my cat Drogo has bed #s 1, 2, and 3 on the couch cushions, plus our bed, another new spot on the arm of the couch, and now today he is laying on a chair in the kitchen that I have never seen him on before. It seems he explores slightly more each year in our small door-less apartment (not counting front door, closet, and bathroom). He’s a real living being finding variation in the monotony of day-to-day confines. He is more spatially confined than I am, and really cute.
Something people are often divided on is a desire to be in the outdoors while sleeping. Wilderness, camping, tents, hiking, swimming; there’s something about bacon and eggs after waking up and stepping outside - it’s just not the same in a house. As hard as the ground may be beneath a thin sleeping mat, it works just fine as a bed. I found myself as a young person realizing I like a firm mattress because I decided to start sleeping on the floor one day. Then I got a futon, and now my bed is a super firm IKEA bed with wondrous storage underneath.
The following is a stream of thoughts, as concise as possible. With this podcast I never try to exhaust a topic, rather I always hope to change and learn from these ramblings and actual conversations with other humans. Returning to the ground, aside from camping there are lots of people who find the ground to be their bed. Homelessness is something I will make no claim to understand, but I see people every day in stages of waking and sleeping as I am driving and walking around the Bay Area. They carry their lives around with them and have to somehow find moments of mental rest for sleep. There are still gypsy-type wanderers and people who find a way to live in a forest without owning the land, but with housing and social protections the way they are in the U.S., which is my only point of reference, homeless encampments are prevalent and lack a lot of basic necessities. To compare humans and wild animals, the signs at the zoo are true - animals who live in the wild have a lower life expectancy, and it’s quite drastic. The wilderness of humans seems to be the cities, the concrete jungle. When I visit family and see my grandfather at age 92, my grandma at 89, they may not feel like their 20-years-ago selves, but they amaze me with clarity, independence, and calmness. Once in a while I do see a white-bearded homeless person, but we don’t see many elderly people on the streets, and it’s not because someone thought they finally deserved help. Living outside of a house, and sleeping daily outside of a bed, that is a life of extremes and difficulty beyond my comprehension. I often find myself thinking I couldn’t take a daily grind 40-hour workweek in one job, and the freelance always-driving-somewhere-and-trying-to-save-for-a-someday-house is tiring but flexible. I’ve known one person who spoke of being homeless after not being able to afford a living situation, but years later he is growing older with a home. Luck is there for some of us and not for everyone. Studio apartment, mansion, cardboard on a sidewalk, we’re human and we sleep. And hopefully those of us with a home appreciate it and the bed it contains.