I haven’t been sleeping well. I have a brain with a broken switch. It seems that nothing short of pharmaceutical assistance will work to quiet my busy mind. And even then, it’s unreliable. If I go to bed at 10, I am wide awake at 1. If I try an earlier bedtime, say 8, I wake up at 11. My fitbit tells the tale … Here’s an example, and this was on a day I could sleep in.


Poor sleep is the maker of crazy dreams and of odd obsessive thinking during the day. Last night my dreams had me on a trail of wooden steps, in the company of an unlikely partner. A dreamscape in waves and layers of black, grey and silvery white. My memory, beyond those small details, evaporated into the night air when I awoke at 11:30. I don’t find sound sleep after that. Those two hours seem to hit the switch in my brain and there are only dreamless, restless intervals that follow.

I greet the day in a stupor. I move slowly from bed to couch to shower to car. I arrive at work fueled by coffee and thoughts of an afternoon nap that will never happen.

And then begin the consuming, random thoughts. Today it was patina that had my full attention.

Yes, patina.

I was struck by the colors that were emerging on the copper drinking fountain in one of the buildings I entered. I examined it from every angle. I marvelled at how the colors layered themselves without textural difference. How soft it all was. How it was like this beautiful, playful dance..

How it was like art.

And how art is like life.


It is interesting to note that human blood is red because the molecule that carries oxygen in our blood is iron, which produces a red color. Shellfish, such as crabs, have greenish-blue blood because the metal atom that carries oxygen in their bodies is copper.


Chemical reactions happen when molecules move and collide with each other. The molecules are too small to see with the naked eye, but we know that chemical reactions happen thanks to a variety of signs, such as a change in color. Heat causes molecules to move faster, whether those molecules are bouncing around in the air or a liquid. Higher temperatures cause more reactions to happen at the surface of the copper.

Air contains more than just the oxygen that we breathe. It contains carbon dioxide, which we breathe out … “

I didn’t write any of that last bit.

I wish I had.

Heat, collisions, what we breathe out …

It looks and sounds and feels like attraction.

Art imitating life.

Life imitating art.

And it just deepened my love for all things patina ♡




4 Comments on “Patina

  1. Beautiful, and I also understand your issues with sleep. One of our twin girls was born with sleep disorders… severe insomnia, DSPS, and non-24, all wrapped up into a tiny 4-lb body. She’s now 23, with a college degree (with honors!) and a full time job, but her sleep issues impact literally every single day of her life. Non-24 is the hardest. I’ve watched her grow and struggle and succeed for 23 years with these issues. Thank you for posting and sharing, I love that even though you’re exhausted, you’re still able to find beauty in simple things!

    • Thank you ! You’ve given names to those lost intervals. And your other child ? A more normal sleep pattern ? I think my sleepiness has me seeing things I might otherwise miss. In that regard, I’m at peace with my wonky body clock. I’ve learned there is always a trade …

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