New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Really Long Shoes

I have always been envious of horses who can sleep standing up. As I have tried to cram more into my life, I have contemplated for years how useful it would be to acquire the ability to sleep while standing. In addition to the short naps one may take at various times and places while sitting, now, sleep could be had while in the most inauspicious circumstances.

And one can certainly learn to tune out the environment, even in New York City. I recall attending a talk where a well known yoga master was speaking of relaxation and meditation. He was making the point that the conditions for relaxation did not depend on a serene environment - he cited the enormous number of people that sleep on the streets of Calcutta daily, oblivious to the world around them.

Add sleep deprivation and exhaustion to facilitate sleeping in atypical places and positions. I once read about patients complaining to a doctor that they were at wit's end because they constantly felt sleepy. Upon inquiring about their sleep habits, the physician would typically learn that the patient was only getting a few hours per night. The remedy was simple - they were sleep deprived and just needed to sleep more.

I have of late been guilty of getting too little sleep. I find myself falling asleep in places - like sitting up in restaurants, sometimes woken by food being served. Or at my desk in my office, home, or in parks. Or worse - while driving. As a child, I went through a period of occasional sleep walking, good early training for a life of too much to do and not enough time to do it. So, in one way or another, sleep has been one part of my multitasking activities - whether attempting to walk and talk while sleeping or sleep while working, dining or driving.

I have never seen a more convincing and peculiar example of sleeping while standing than our photo subject in today's photo. A feat that many deem impossible seems to have been achieved by just a handful of adaptations - super long shoes to provide a good base and what appears to be a horrific posture evolved over time to become S-shaped, providing a place to rest one's head, much like the flamingo who sleeps standing on one leg. This man was taking catnips while onlookers stared in disbelief. While awake, his posture was not markedly different, seeming always to be poised for the next nap.

I think I am ready now. Inspired by our photo subject, I see that what I thought was impossible may be possible. I only need to undo all the learning and efforts of others to maintain good posture. And I think you have to have a pair of really long shoes :)

9 comments:

renlgs303 said...

Are you sure that wasn't a junkie, doing what junkies do?

Brian Dubé said...

renigs303 - You're messing up my whole story. Ok, lets say he's a junkie. Still may be sleeping. And I only need to add heroin to my preconditions.

Ken Mac said...

i don't know what you're talking about but this is a great shot

Beatrice B. said...

such a freakin freak

www.seitenstrasse.blogspot.com

Steffe said...

Very impressive. And a great candid portrait.

Shane K. said...

Hahahaha this is brilliant! :D

Looks a bit like Tom Waits :P

Thérèse said...

Could we say "percussive"??
Brilliant anyway.
My father did not speak much about his 6 years spent as a prisonner during the war but one of the things he was speaking about was his ability of sleeping with open eyes which we are not able to check with this very guy!!
:-)

Karen said...

I don't sleep enough or well enough so all I can say is I'm jealous. This guy and babies...

Annie said...

Hope he didn't have narcolepsy.
Or he might not have been able to stop himself falling asleep.