Sleeping on it . . .

It’s a commonplace, isn’t it, to sleep on a problem, hoping to awaken with a solution. As we went to bed last night, I was wrestling, somewhere in my subconscious, with a poetic problem that I thought I’d resolved. My dreaming mind thought otherwise.

A better resolution than I’d even considered woke up with me this morning, and I’ve incorporated it now into the poem that had been too cryptic for any reasonable accessibility. Perhaps it’s got a new universality, or perhaps I’m still deluding myself. But whatever it is, it’s better.

That’s lovely, to think that we’re somehow processing, as our dreaming brains compile, resolve, cut through and edit, so that we might wake with a better story revealed to ourselves. And okay, this poem might very well be one of those that live only for the poet, or with luck for the poet and their love. But again, it’s better for having slept on it than all the previous hand-wringing and conscious processing of the day before.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a poem to process. It could be an emotional entanglement, a betrayal, an interpersonal situation, that we need to process apart from our intellectual mind’s capacity. And yet I often feel so reluctant to let such a problem go, to let sleep arrive, and to allow my subconscious to do the understanding for me.

Happily for my working day today, especially since a new challenge is upon us, thanks to the monthly visual stimulus at, I can approach things with a clear, unfettered mind, open to ideas that might swirl in from somewhere, and embrace the creativity without fretting.

Thank you, deep inner dreamer, for that joy.

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