As I mentioned in last Sunday's post, our dog is having his annual bout with seasonal allergies. But this year's attack seems significantly worse than in previous years: he's having a lot of trouble sleeping -- which unfortunately means we're having trouble sleeping.
We give him benadryl at bedtime, but each day the dose seems less effective, and each day he begins the relentless scratching a little earlier -- which also means he gets restless and begins walking around and bumping into furniture with the cone of shame -- and trust me, it's impossible to sleep through that.
But he can't bear to be apart from us. So if we put him out in the hall, he scratches repeatedly at the door (in addition to thumping on the floor and bumping into things). If we put him in another room in another part of the house, he barks until we let him out.
So we've arrived at a sort of solution: when he wakes and begins to scratch (which happened at the ungodly hour of 3 a.m. this morning) we give him another dose of benadryl and whichever of us is most awake takes him back to the guestroom and reads until they fall asleep (and his meds kick in).
I only mention all of this because the end result is we're really not getting enough sleep. And sleep deprivation has a way of mounting up -- which means that by yesterday I was just... well... useless. There were things I wanted to do. There were things I needed to do. But I didn't have the energy to tackle any of them; I didn't even have the energy to take a nap. And the part of me that's always driving me to DO! DO! DO! has begun feeling increasingly worthless and anxious.
I do understand that this will pass -- if nothing else, I'm leaving in a week or so to serve as artist-in-residence at my daughter's camp again, and I tend to sleep very well there. But in the meantime I'm finding I have an extraordinary level of sympathy for people who struggle with depleted energy levels: it's very difficult to stay upbeat and positive when you are feeling exhausted and helpless.
Which must be why this painting came out the way it did. I painted it three days ago, and I call it Acqua Alta, the phrase the Venetians use for those times when the tides are so high that they fill the walkways and piazzas, and people have to wear boots and walk on specially installed platforms. It seems to me to reflect the fact that I know there's some spirit in there, but I'm just feeling overwhelmed, trapped, awash, overcome...
BUT. Today promises to be a fun day, with visits from our daughter and some other dear friends. I feel certain that my soul will take heart and rise to the occasion, however weary the body may be...