Welcome to the sixth issue in Season Two of The Cure for Sleep: Stories From (& Beyond) the Book. This month’s theme over on Substack concerns longing: subscribers were invited to respond to the following prompt: Tell me about the longing in your life: what do you yearn for? Are you trying to attain it, or are you engaged instead in trying to move on, let go? And if you did get what you longed for: how was that for you?
Any stories received on this theme will be curated below. Click on each name to go direct to that reader’s contribution.
Bearing witness to all mother’s memories in my preschool years left me with an unbearable longing to be seen and heard in turn. I placed a mirror on the floor each day and sang into it until my throat went croaky, imagining it a portal to both God and my father, the two men I yearned for. They lived together, I believed, in a realm I might reach only by song.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. The Lord’s Prayer, found in another of my nursery books: learned by heart as the only form of words I could find for what I lacked and wanted.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses. Singing to Father so many months without ever an answering sign that I began to forget my love had ever been anchored to a real man. It became instead a dream state, the heavy water in which I was suspended – longing without end, so that I began clinging to objects for more reliable contact. And the fact of his absence, which had come before I had words to show Mother how it hurt? This lived from now on as an ache in my stomach that refused any foods I had once shared with him. In these and other obscure ways, all my unhappiness either sublimated or suppressed.Shadrick, Tanya. The Cure for Sleep (pp. 40-41). Orion. Kindle Edition.