Musicians, like all other living things, know that sometimes you have to rest, rejuvenate, maybe sleep. It is part of the circadian rhythm in humans. It is the annual cycle in nature. Most religions recognize this with a sabbath once a week during which time people rest their bodies from the day to day toil and rejuvenate their spirits with rituals.
Annually, animals hibernate (or go to Florida for a vacation...but I digress), trees shed their leaves and some creatures shed feathers or antlers. Daily, leaves shut down their photosynthesis factories as the sun dips below the horizon, and people duck under the covers (or into sleeping bags...but I digress...again) and sleep. When we don't obey this natural law we inevitably pay a price.
Denied our sleep, REM sleep and dreams the fragile human mind suffers. Cognition begins to get fuzzy, immune systems get weak and tempers flare when the mind is denied its rest. The body, too, breaks down when not allowed to recover. Put too much stress on your muscles or give them inadequate rest time for recovery and they will ache and weaken.
It wasn't long ago that the local TV stations went off the air late in the evening. Stores closed, traffic dwindled to a trickle and only a few factories continued to function. Society as a whole rested, spent time with family and got ready for another day. Today we have hundreds of 24/7 channels, and everything from coffee shops to international business offices going around the clock. As a society we no longer honor the natural cycles. When night falls here the sun is rising with our business partners in Asia. Must do business. Must make more so we can...can what? Even machines break down if their maintenance schedule isn't honored. So, each evening, kayaks are pulled onto beaches and a place to rest is arranged.
Sometimes these rest cycles are mysterious and follow seemingly illogical schedules. Sometimes, like this past week, I just didn't feel like paddling in spite of some decent weather. This week I spent more time on long walks with Ansel, and I wrote more. Even though I did little that was strenuous, I continued to enjoy deep restful sleep. I suppose it could be laziness, ennui or even mild depression, except that I feel fine and on my game. Maybe it was just my body telling me to take five.