48 essays by Elizabeth Shé

Essay #16: rest

In Love on June 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Rest.
Why is that so hard to do?

Last week I crashed. I said yes to too many projects, and became stressed to the point of intense headaches and sleeplessness.

It’s almost midnight when I notice a sign in the window on Martin Way: Abrupt Edge.
Metaphorical, but true. I didn’t know I’d fallen over it until I found myself inarticulate, weeping and cursing all noisome creatures.

When you’re so far over the edge it’s only a memory, the thing you need most is the thing you can’t have: rest.

A neighbor decides to pressure wash her house, then throw a party.
An air show flies overhead. My irritation is an indication of dis-ease. Usually I run up the hill to see better. I love jets.

Lying in a dark room wearing earplugs, I eventually crawl up and out of the hole.
Tomorrow I audition for a well-respected theatre company. I’ve been preparing for months, memorizing text just for them. But I almost wrecked it, exhausted by too many emergencies and urgencies.

Some folks use illness to rest. Big corporations give sick days as incentives.
But I don’t want to be sick. I want to be my true self, happy to play, able to work. And that means resting when I need to. Not pushing through.

Resting is a radical act of self-love.
Rest your eyes, rest your body, rest your mind, rest your soul.

Rest.
Before you are arrested.

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