“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted,” Albert Einstein
This stunning creature is an albino zebra. It relates to nothing, I just like it.
Not writing about squirrels has freed up some time around here- you may have noticed I am not blogging as much after removing that subject from my list. So it has been brought to my attention of late that many creative people take naps as part of their daily routine. Naps have always made me mean, resentful and disoriented when I wake up BUT I am encountering nappers all over the place lately.
You all know I had my old friend Lisa here for a few days that turned out to be over a week because of cancelled airlines every day. Well, Lisa takes a chunk of time to 'lie down' in the afternoon- she disappears, I try to keep the dogs from barking, and pretty soon she reappears refreshed and, OK- to borrow a squirrel phrase, 'bushy-tailed' and rarin' to go on to the next thing. I envied her that ability.
Recently I read about the 'Coffee Nap'- you drink a big cup of coffee, you lie down and take 20 minutes or so before the coffee kicks in (or you have to pee!) and you wake up on a coffee high ready to take on the rest of the day. Who can't spare 20 minutes here and there?
Then today, the magic THIRD event happened- an article about Dali's naps in my Open Culture email: Dali used a method of timing his naps that ensured his sleep would not last long. He outlined it thus:
1. Sleep sitting upright (Dali recommends a Spanish-style bony armchair)
2. Hold a key in your hand, between your fingers (for the bohemian, use a skeleton key)
3. Relax and fall asleep (but not for too long…)
4. As you fall asleep, you’ll drop the key. Clang bang clang!
5. Wake up inspired!
Dali called it, fittingly, “Slumber with a key,” and to “accomplish this micro nap,” writes The Art of Manliness, he “placed an upside-down plate on the floor directly below the key.” As soon as he fell asleep, “the key would slip through his fingers, clang the plate, and awaken him from his nascent slumber.” He claimed to have learned this trick from Capuchin monks and recommended it to anyone who worked with ideas, claiming that the micro nap “revivified” the “physical and psychic being.”
The article goes on: "We might be inclined to dismiss his nap technique as a surrealist practical joke. Yet The Art of Manliness goes on to explain the creative potential in the kind of nap I used to take in history class—dozing off, then jerking awake just before my head hit the desk:
The experience of this transitional state between wakefulness and sleep is called hypnagogia. You’re floating at the very threshold of consciousness; your mind is sliding into slumber, but still has threads of awareness dangling in the world…. While you’re in this state, you may see visions and hallucinations (often of shapes, patterns, and symbolic imagery), hear noises (including your own name or imagined speech), and feel almost physical sensations…. The experience can essentially be described as “dreaming while awake.”
The thing is that I do my own 'dreaming while awake' when I am on the studio- I go into almost a trance and don't remember consciously what the hell I've been doing when it's time to go. But in this state of HYPNAGOGIA (gotta use that word three times today so I don't lose it!) I get lots done- or somebody gets lots done, maybe a doppleganger, maybe The Muse I've been waiting for, lives in a crawlspace under the studio and pops up whenever I open the door and get spacey. I'm leaving this nap info posted in the studio so perhaps they will work faster and do more. So I'm going to let my pal Bob do the talking to the Muse under the floor-