Naps

05/14/11

The inscription on the photo might a bit oxymoron-ic since naps are typically a short period of sleep during the daytime. But hey, if the time is there and it’s free, why not?

 Naps in English, Siesta in Spanish, “hundaray” in my dialect, no matter how you say it, its is beneficial any day. Just take it from a NASA study which reveals that naps have been found to be just as good as a night’s sleep for memory tasks;  it is also said to improve a person’s efficacy in alertness, response time and other cognitive skills. The Washington Post reported once about a study of 23,000 subjects who took regular midday naps and these sentient beings were found to be 30% less likely to die of heart disease.

 Sadly, cost-less as it is; naps are very rare and hard to get in busy countries. A friend of mine told me once that the best mother’s day gift she could ever have is a long nap on that Sunday which is designated for women like her; this from a stay-at-home mom. What then can be said of working moms? working Dads? working workers? Elusive as it may seem, I believe we ought to do it as much as we can, if we are able. In my personal experience, I have found naps to be invigorating; it also increases my productivity and strength with chores and activities, it lightens my mood and it’s very good for the skin, take it from Paulina Porizkova, who credits naps and sleep as one of her beauty secrets. 

 The picture shown above is the site I fall a-nap to, it’s both symbolic and conducive because when we nap, we usually just hang our hats, keep calm and carry on – napping…

Let Me In” by Mike Francis

I was listening to Mike Francis’ “Let Me In” some days ago and that indelible tune and voice brought me back to high school and college in an instant. It was just very recently that I found out that Mike Francis had passed away in 2009 by reason of lung cancer and as I dwelt into the song, it was only natural that melancholy would follow.

His voice and songs to me signify the moments in my life when I still had dreams, when I still dreamt; and having the time with friends that I would keep perhaps through the rest of my life. Those memories are now suspended in youthful buoyancy, in a place where there were no worries, just smiles, echoing laughter, a sense of belonging-ness and not a care for whatsoever which seemed to last and last.

I remember dancing to “Let Me In,” “Friends” and “Survivor” in this joint we had in our tiny little island-town and everyone in the whole club would dance in unison almost like a choreographed wave to this 3 to 4-step swaying movements that we all knew and at that moment, did anything else matter? I remember us talking over the smooth beats set to the loud acoustic systems, asking each other if so and so walked in yet?  I liked it that we did that; to me it exhibited our dedication to socialize at all costs. I also liked it that girls danced with girls and even boys with boys in groups and no one thought anything of it. Fun to us was defined in innocent ways; not really attached to mating, hooking up or any sort of these unnecessary dramas that beset the youth of today.

During those times, we could just be lounging around in a common hangout place for all the friends and a song by Mike Francis would be the music on the background. Our FM stations also knew when to play his tunes – which was all throughout the day; week in and week out.  The music did not seem to get old because it had that laid back, relaxing sound to it and it was not a surprise to me that much of Francis’ music fostered the Chill-Out and Lounge mixes of late.

As I deviate back to Mike Francis and the song however, I recognize that with all the people that connect me to this song having grown up, living their own lives and our youth concluded, I get a well-defined pang of sadness. Even though the time, the music and the people still continue in the 80’s – dancing, laughing, talking over the songs and swaying uniformly in my mind, the slight tightness in my chest reminds me that I am not there anymore.  And with the musician gone, I feel that my moments with his music now remain in another time and place which I love and cherish but cannot go to anymore.

 

Grazie per la musica e ricordi. Ciao Francesco…

Afterword:

When I first met Señor Husband, I was excited to share Mike Francis with him but it was taken with a cold reception at the time. Not too long ago though, he heard a Chill-Out/Lounge mix titled I love Youand told me this was his new song for me. When I first heard it, I was certain I knew the voice and with more research, he found it was one of Mike Francis’ last recordings and that’s when I discovered he died only a few years back.  At this moment, Husband cannot get enough of Mike Francis’ tunes and I liked it that Mike’s music had come full circle in my life.