The clock winked at me several times last night. If I close my right eye I can see the time fairly well. I don’t know why I even need to know the time. Maybe it’s simple orientation. Where am I, in time?
Restless and confused from one of my adventure-dreams, this time caving in China, I was frustrated at another night of possible hours of awake.
I turned my pillow to the cool side, took deep breaths, and tried to find that happy, quiet place within. It doesn’t always work; On such nights I get up. So last night I found myself captivated by the current National Geographic. All articles in this issue focus on humankind and exploration, from very small in size (bacteria) to very large in scope (space exploration) and was a perfect companion.
I felt such a strong connection to the stories that the pages turned themselves. David Dobbs’ story, Restless Genes gripped me at 3 a.m. He wrote about the possible genetic links to human migration and the attempts to answer questions like; Why do we explore, or move around, even when we have resources where we are? The variant of a gene known as DRD4-7R, or 7R, is the focus of several studies. This variant is tied to curiosity and restlessness.
Could it get any more clear? Here I am in the middle of the night, in a city I just moved to, unable to sleep after caving in China, and reading about a variant of a gene I probably have that explains my predicament.
The author cautions against any one-gene answer to behavior or personality. But his story carried me through a tough night and allowed me to awake-dream of wandering the Mongolian Steppes, surviving the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911, or finally getting back to sleep.
Tonight, when I wake and my clock winks at me, I will know where I am in time, and possibly better understand my restlessness.
What are you hoping to explore?