Miniblog #324: This Visit to Minnesota Has Been an Experience in Fatigue Archaelology
For over a week now I’ve been in Minnesota. My beloved grandpa is in hospice care. I have the closest relationship of all the grandkids. Grandpa has never been anything approaching a perfect man–oh the stories I’ve heard–but I’ve always had an unusual natural resonance with him. Both of us are naturally determined or headstrong, principled or stubborn, convicted or obstinate… It’s the same characteristic. It’s just interpreted differently depending upon the context, I suppose. We’re kindred spirits through the generations, though I hope to be a bit more of a sanctified version. Anyway, I almost feel bad saying this given the circumstances, but in some strange way it has felt like grandpa has given me one last gift. For months I’ve been battling severe psychological and physical fatigue. This has resulted in, and been amplified by, sleepless nights caused by nightmares. Since returning to Minnesota, however, I’ve slept like a rock. 8 to 12 hours of peaceful, uninterrupted sleep every single time. The strange part has been for this first nine days I’ve kept waking up feeling more depleted than when I went to bed. It’s not that I’m sleeping too much nor that I’m waking up in the middle of a REM cycle. I’m resting and can feel my body being renewed, but in the process it seems I am merely uncovering more tiredness. It’s as though my body keeps finding more exhaustion that I didn’t know was there, discovering ever-new layers of weariness beneath the present one. The experience has felt like fatigue archaeology. All the endorphins that have been keeping me going are finally letting go. I’m relaxing. I don’t yet have the sense that I’ve hit bedrock, but I do sense that I’m getting close. It’s wonderful to begin feeling rejuvenated.