What to Leave on Your Pillow

by Soul Places | Diane Ludeking

My Wondrous Carnelian Stone
Copyright Diane Ludeking 2012


I left something vital on my pillow upon waking one morning.

At breakfast I thought I had left my brains behind, sitting like a large carnelian stone in the depression created by its weight.  At lunch I thought I had left my sanity behind, pooling and dripping off my contoured pillow to the pillow-top mattress.  Later I thought I had left my logic behind, hungover and dozing beneath heavy quilts.

All day long I had a nagging notion that something slipped from me in my dreams and waited on my 500 thread count pillow case for me to scoop it back up.

Like a faithful dog awaits the return of its person, this thing I left behind sat and stared at the bedroom door while the sunlight tiptoed across the wall.

Whatever I left behind that morning hung heavy and wet like a towel turban about to fall free from my showered mane.  Would this feeling last for just this day?  Would it seep back into my skull upon my next slumber?  Did I want it back?

By nightfall, I knew what I had unwittingly left upon my pillow.  What I left behind made way for the most mindful, calm and pleasant day amidst my largest storm in recent years.  I wanted to know what was missing so that I could recreate the ease of this day again and again.  I wanted to pick up this missing thing from my sage colored pillow case and set it upon a shelf to collect dust.  What I left on my pillow would become a reminder of the way I wanted to be in the world.

What I left on my pillow that morning was fear.

It was vital that I left it there.

In order to know what a courageous life might feel like.