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Posted by wmmbb in DOG BLOG -.

Today was hot and humid, and that reflects acclimatizing. I heard the sound of thunder, but was in denial. The weather quickly changed from sunny with clear skies to storm and overcast.

We went out as usual, and eventually got out the gate. The thunder continued intermittently. I checked the sky to see whether in my judgement the storm was building. Dogs down the street were barking. Hannah, I noticed and was pleased to see, unlike Dexter, seemed somewhat hesitant. We kept on going, folly getting the better of sense. I could hear the birds. My sense was that storm was not immediate to our location, which turned out to be correct. We caught a flash of lightning, turned immediately and went home. So we avoided the shower that followed and did not last long.

All of this might be described as hyperarousal. According to one sleep researcher this more typical of humans than it is of dogs, and perhaps modern humans in particular. In “The Huffington Post”, Rubin Naiman, a sleep and dream specialist, observes:

Unlike dogs, humans now expect to sleep though the night and remain wide awake throughout the day in highly consolidated periods. While dogs keep sleep within easy reach, consolidation overly distances us from it. And while dogs modulate their passionate waking lives with regular repose, we have segregated and even bifurcated the states of sleep and waking. As a result, our waking consciousness has devolved into a relentless mental buzz and bustle known as hyperarousal.

Hyperarousal is often mistaken for passion, but it’s not. Genuine passion doesn’t arise at the expense of repose; it’s deeply rooted in it. Characterized by a chronic sense of haste reflected in rapid heart rates, speedy brain waves, elevated cortisol, and runaway thinking, hyperarousal leaves us t’wired — simultaneously tired and wired. Not surprisingly, hyperarousal is a primary factor in the contemporary epidemic of insomnia.

Dogs demonstrate a most effective approach to breaking the momentum of hyperarousal in their ability to readily submit to sleep. Their consistent willingness to come down, to descend even from the very heights of passion, is in essence, an act of humility. Dogs have, in fact, been an archetypal symbol of humility in numerous myths across time and around the globe. Humility is the antidote to hyperarousal.

The term humility is derived from the Latin, humus, meaning earth or ground. When settling in for a stretch of sleep, Isaac would intently spiral downward over a spot on the floor or the ground. In contrast to cats, who prefer to ascend to sleep, dogs literally get down. Beyond all of the psychological and biomedical complexities associated with it, dogs remind us that falling asleep is an act of humility.

As usual I endeavoured to make the most of the photos I took along the way during this week. I might be vigilant about the possibility of meeting snakes along, and while I appreciate the possibility, branch did fall down before us this week. Perhaps it is just as well the dogs had stopped.

The music is by Silent Partner, “Desert Sky”:

Observation and meaning are not necessarily the same. Jelaluddin Rumi, a Persian Sufi (1207-1273) insights might be missed. His poem, “A Garden Beyond Paradise” is recited:

My intention, given recent events, is to be subversive of the apparent dominant narrative and perhaps in a different sense that may well have been Rumi'[s as well. Is it what we see that we think, or what we think that we see?



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