nothing to brag about, really

Researchers tell us sleep deprivation can negatively effect concentration, creativity, short and long-term memory, problem-solving skills, and judgment.

But despite these well-established facts, NFL coaches brag about how little they sleep…

Bill Belichick claims he never sleeps during the season.  Oakland Raiders’ coach Jon Gruden once wrote a book titled Do You Love Football?!: Winning With Heart, Passion, and Not Much Sleep.

At his previous coaching job, he was known as “Jon 3:11” because that’s when he rose in the morning.  Such schedules are typical around the league—not only for head coaches, but also their staff.  Rob Ryan averaged two and half hours of shuteye as defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills.  Would these coaches encourage their players to cut their sleep during the season?

When I see a smart coach make a bonehead move, I want to tell him: get some sleep!  Maybe we should beg our coaches to sleep more, instead of booing their confounding decisions.

Yes, in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to make mistakes of judgment.  But if the coach and all his assistants are sleep-deprived, such mistakes are guaranteed.

I must admit their endurance and dedication are impressive…

However…

…I don’t see sleep deprivation as a sign of strength.  Well, I do and I don’t…

There’s a part of me that believes rest is for the weak.  But there’s another part that’s willing to take an honest look in the mirror and say: you’re hurting yourself because of a false belief.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
the truth of the dream: poetry ebook

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positively positive

A recent dream shows the potential value of taking a break…

In the dream…

I’m sitting on the step of a large pyramid—similar to a Mayan pyramid with its wide high steps.

I spot a group of workers about a hundred feet below me.  They’re preparing to bury some prickly pear cacti in a pit.

I hurry down to stop them.  I know those cacti pieces can be cooked and served in various dishes.

When I reach the prickly pear, I notice some chunks of Saguaro cacti in an adjacent pit…

I halt this second burial as well as the first.  Then I pick up one of the Saguaro “shards” and break it open to expose the white pith beneath the green skin.

I see this dream as very positive…

Often it’s wise to take a break—but I often forget that wisdom.

This dream shows me remembering, and being doubly wise by elevating myself—

—and not on some shaky ladder, but on a solid pyramid.

Since that pyramid is in my dream, it’s a part of me.  Hard for me to believe, but dreams don’t lie.  Apparently, I’ve found a secure structure within myself to rest upon.

Often a positive will be followed by a negative.  But not in this dream: because I elevate, I’m able to see a problem.  And having seen, I then act without hesitation.

I’m still not sure what those cacti symbolize…I think I know…

…which in my experience means: if I delve deeper into the dream, I’ll discover how wrong I was.

But I probably won’t delve deeper.  I won’t, because I don’t see a problem in this scenario…

If I had seen the burial and failed to act, that would be a problem.  Then I might delve.

As is, I think I’d serve myself better by going into some other dreams of recent issue, that like most dreams, presented confounding problems.

I wish you a healthy happy holiday break.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
the truth of the dream: poetry ebook

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student teachers

In the folktale The One-Two Man*, a boy uncovers his father’s bones by digging beneath an oak tree…

He then goes into a deep sleep for three days.  During that time…

…the spirit of his father taught him all the things the father would have taught the boy if he were still alive—

—how to trail deer, how to find bear, how to know what sort of weather is coming, how to know where you are in the forest, how to sleep in the snow, as well as the names of certain rocks and trees.

Then he taught the boy what it meant to be a warrior and what a warrior did and what he thought and how he walked.  The father taught the boy these things for three days and the boy listened well.

A good story for our times, I think…

In the past, we could rely on outside sources for guidance.  However, these days, such folk are often absent from our lives.  But even if they’re present, they may not be able to help us much.  Their guiding myth may not work for us.  Or else, they have no guiding myth.  No “tribal wisdom” to pass on.  They may even be short on practical knowledge.

Our institutions often aren’t able to fill this gap.  A bad situation for society in general.  However…

…the tale of The One-Two Man says the individual can find his own way.  The story tells us: you can find what you need to know within yourself.

Okay, but how?  How can we uncover that knowledge?

I think there are a number of ways.  But I can honestly say: the way that worked for the boy in the story has also worked for me.  In the past and in the present.  And that is: listening to the wisdom of the dream world.

(* This story was found in More Than True: the wisdom of fairy tales by Robert Bly.  The italicized passage is a direct quote from the book.)

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
The Truth of the Dream: poetry ebook

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