The baby does not want

The baby does not want to sleep in the afternoon. We’re not sure why this is, but as a Rabbi said to us yesterday, “There’s so much to do and learn, why sleep?” And, well, why do we sleep if there’s so much to do? If you watch a child trying to fall asleep, it can look fairly violent — lots of squrming, crying, rubbing of the eyes and nose, and physical disjuncture generally. It’s like a train-wreck in a crib.
Adults with insomnia go through the same thing. Andre Breton, the great author of fiction and theory (and the father) of Surrealism, wrote “I have always been amazed at the way an ordinary observer lends so much more credence and attaches so much more importance to waking events than to those occurring in dreams.”
This is a very difficult passage to accept but it’s possible, perhaps even probable, that we live to sleep, that our waking moments are precursors to our dreamlives, that our daily activities are only preparations for sleep, which is what living truly is. If falling asleep is difficult and fitful, perhaps it’s because sleep is so arresting that it is dangerous for us. I don’t know if babies can tell us whether or not Breton is right.

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