Trying to sleep in a world of complications

January 15, 2021
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By Delilah McMasters

Mansfield Record

Exhaustion has set in. I’m lying in the dark, eyes closed, rubbing the velour blanket between my thumb and forefinger in circles. Breathe in deep, release it slow, counting: 1, 2, 3. Images and phrases keep crowding into my head, I can feel the skin around my eyes tighten, my jaw beginning to clench. Another deep breath and I’m dreaming, but I’m awake.

It’s dusk and the field has been freshly plowed. The remaining plants were bare and spindly, weeds poking up between them and sprouting between the rows. Now it’s all overturned and decaying under fertilizer. It looks dissolute. Bare. It’s quiet and the field seems to end in darkness.

I roll over on my side, my top knee bent, my bottom leg stretched out, slowly moving the side of my foot back and forth on the softness of the sheets. Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth.

Politics and negativity seem to creep in. It’s “us” against “them.” The last four years have been a steady steamroll of discontent, instigation and disappointment. There is too much religion, politics and discrimination, and not enough compassion and common sense.

I throw my arm over my face, pressing the crook of my arm into my eyes to keep them closed.

It’s early in the morning, I can see my breath, I’ve cut across the field, crunching the icy stubborn stubble of weeds, leaving foot prints in the frost. It’s gray and dreary. The fence needs to be fixed. Everything is stark and dead looking.

I curl up into the fetal position, my hand on the back of my neck, my fingers twirling the hair softly.

All of these horrific events are going to take years to get over. Proactive actions need to be taken to improve communication and innovative brain storming to help educate ignorance. We can’t hide any longer, short of becoming a recluse, in the middle of nowhere, we have to remember bad things and good things happen. For every devastating storm, there is a month of beautiful weather.

The hair around my finger is smooth, soft, completely curled and I still twirl it. My neck is beginning to relax, even as my fingers are starting to cramp.

Once again I’m at the edge of the field. I can feel the dirt under my feet, it’s soft, cool, still holding moisture from the winter. The rows are tilled, ready for seed, and I take off running in the dip of the row towards the mended fence. The sun is slowly setting, the trees budding, the air filling my lungs, all the way to the end of my toes, feels green and bright.

I’m completely sprawled across the bed, a pillow against my side, the smell of fabric softener surrounding me as my head sinks deeper into the pillow and I feel myself drifting.

My soul aches for all the tragedies families are experiencing. Negativity and ignorance are contagious, avoid it. Mend those fences, it’s a new season, look for the positive. It’s time to cultivate each community for a better American dream.

Finally I sleep.

Complicated, yet simple. Sleep.

Delilah McMasters is a local resident and the mother of six. Reach her at

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Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.

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