11/09/2011 06:59 pm ET Updated Jan 09, 2012

The Wee Small Hours

I am borrowing the title of a 1955 song composed by David Mann and Bob Hilliard and plaintively sung by Sinatra in his album of the same name, in which he mourns a lost love. Presumably he couldn't sleep either.

Insomniacs do what they can to get through the night.

Tonight Turner Classic movies showed "The Razors' Edge," a 1946 film based on the novel by Somerset Maugham. The story is about this gorgeous guy, played by Tyrone Power, who, in search of the higher meaning of life, leaves selfish Gene Tierney and goes to India.

Well, he discovers (rather than a definitive answer) meaning in the journey itself.

Scientists have convinced us that sleeps' purpose is to provide rest and renewal. So, when this respite eludes us, how does one pass the wide-awake hours twixt midnight and dawn?

If a book or film is exciting enough, that will keep you up. A snack can satisfy or set your tummy in turmoil. When seasons change, I sometimes clean closets, tiring without being relaxing.

At least living alone doesn't disturb the sleep of anyone else, though my cat Muffie was miffed when I turned on the computer in the room where she had no problem sleeping.

Wayne Dyer, the self-help guru, says that sleeplessness is a signal to your conscious mind from the subconscious not to slumber valuable time away. When the telephone is quiet and the house is free of daily distractions, it seems that inspiration can lurk in the solitude and silence.

Well, I'm waiting!

Maybe sleeplessness is part of a master plan -- a state that alerts the conscious mind to something significant going on. Of course, we have no way of knowing exactly what that something is and there is no point in guessing. It's best to simply let it be.

So doing anything distracting enough to allow the uncertainty may be just the right activity. Sort of comparable to watching a thrilling play and having the action suspended by intermission before the third act finale.

So much of life seems to be filled with filler stuff, a way to kill time between what we consider important events. Suppose that every event were of equal importance to the whole of life -- that there was no "down time."

I would like to digress a moment to explore the connection between apparent opposites of high and low levels of existence and everything in between.

Ira, my significant other for almost 30 years, was always absorbed in some hobby or other, from growing roses to astronomy. So when the home computer was launched in the '80s he was first in line to buy. His conviction was that, at the end of earthly life, he with the most toys wins.

As he moved into each innovation he passed his old toys on to me, with instructions. When I became frustrated and called for help, he explained that there were two ways to solve a computer problem. Mostly he resolved the situation the quick and dirty and elegant way -- whatever tricks it took to get me back in business.

So I'm wondering...

What if these two apparent opposites were available to solve all of life's frustrations, dilemmas and problems? Okay -- but is there a way to minimize the impatience plus the emotional and physical toll it takes on the body and mind while the elegant solution is resolving behind the scenes?

Yes! Because elegant solutions are always divinity driven, a shift in focus is required.

Do you recall the feeling of first falling in love? Everywhere you looked you saw brighter colors, heard sweeter sounds, tasted enhanced flavors. Above all there was this tingly, warm-fuzzy sensation in the heart --

Signaling the Presence of the Beloved.
Only the Divine can provide elegant solutions.

Our role is to maintain -- as much as is humanly possible -- the warmth that comes with safety and trust that...

"God's in his heaven, all's right with the world."
-- Robert Browning

Then elegance is free to work its magic!

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