Intense Turkish Coffee and Our Primary Nervous Flux

Honoré de Balzac, by Nadar

Honoré de Balzac, by Nadar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I obviously love my daily siesta, but there are people who never even consider resting at midday. My brother Ed is one of them. He’s a CPA, relaxed, well-adjusted, and says he never remembers taking a nap. Another might have been Honore de Balzac, a French novelist and playwright who, according the The Writer’s Almanac, drank twenty to forty cups of “intense Turkish coffee every day” and smoked lots of pipe tobacco. He claimed to have once worked forty-eight straight hours interspersed with only three hours rest, but in the end all the caffeine probably killed him.

Balzac’s essay “The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee” parses his obsession with and dependence on coffee: “Coffee affects the diaphragm and the plexus of the stomach, from which it reaches the brain by barely perceptible radiations that escape complete analysis; that aside, we may surmise that our primary nervous flux conducts an electricity emitted by coffee when we drink it.”


Portrait of Honore de Balzac (Credit: Steve Hammond)

And Balzac was all about his “nervous flux” sparking. He favored drinking coffee before eating to maximize its effect. As the acid eats away at the “stomach, a sack whose velvety interior is lined with tapestries of suckers and papillae,” “everything becomes agitated. Ideas quick-march into motion like battalions of a grand army to its legendary fighting ground, and the battle rages. Memories charge in, bright flags on high; the cavalry of metaphor deploys with a magnificent gallop; the artillery of logic rushes up with clattering wagons and cartridges; on imagination’s orders, sharpshooters sight and fire; forms and shapes and characters rear up; the paper is spread with ink—for the nightly labor begins and ends with torrents of this black water, as a battle opens and concludes with black powder.”

If coffee had this effect on me, writing would be the last thing I’d want to do. I have plenty of agitation of my own. Other than an appreciation for wine and beer, I’m a chicken about stimulants or depressants. About twenty-five years ago, just before daughter Elena was born, I smoked hash with some friends and had the mother of all panic attacks. Ever since, I’ve been phobic about any drug that might make me lose control and freak out. During a bout with bronchitis a few years ago, I took cough syrup with codeine but couldn’t bring myself to use the prescribed inhaler, which might have messed with my temperamental heart rate. In short, my “primary nervous flux” generates too much electricity as it is. I need to power down, not ramp up.


A Powering-Down Aid

Whether my powering-down siestas contribute anything to humanity is doubtful, but nobody can say that coffee didn’t work for Balzac and world literature. He wrote almost one hundred novels, short stories, and plays, and according to Wikipedia, his work influenced Proust, Zola, Dickens, Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, Faulkner, and Kerouac.

en: Portrait of Ewelina Hańska by Holz von Sow...

Portrait of Ewelina Hańska by Holz von Sowgen, 1825, miniature on ivory. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the final year of his life, Balzac married Ewelina Hanski, whom he loved for many years, though she was married. Her husband Waclaw died in 1841, but it wasn’t until 1850 that Balzac was able to marry her. “On 14 March 1850, with Balzac’s health in serious decline, they drove from [Ewelina’s] estate in Wierzchownia (village of Verkhivnia) to a church in Berdyczow (city of Berdychiv, today in Ukraine) and were married. The ten-hour journey to and from the ceremony took a toll on both husband and wife: her feet were too swollen to walk, and he endured severe heart trouble” (Wikipedia). Five months later, Balzac died at fifty-one. “His wife had gone to bed and his mother was the only one with him” (The Writer’s Almanac).

Would a daily hour of oblivion have tempered the great author’s lust for caffeine? Maybe, but his work flashed out of his “nervous flux”; Balzac wouldn’t have been Balzac without coffee. Sumus quod sumus (we are what we are).


Balzac’s Tomb (Photo Credit: Joop van Meer)

“I Don’t Know! Ask the Horse!”

In Savor, Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung tell the Zen story of a horse and rider: “The horse is galloping quickly, and it appears that the rider is urgently heading somewhere important. A bystander along the road calls out, ‘Where are you going?’ and the rider replies, ‘I don’t know! Ask the horse!’”

The horse represents our habit energy, “the relentless force of habit that pulls us along, that we are often unaware of and feel powerless to change. We are always running.” I’ve decided that my life depends on understanding my habit energy—the silly, mindless actions and words that litter each day. I eat too fast, drink too fast, drive too fast. I worry too much, talk too much, eat way too much.

Thich Nhat Hanh says I should talk to my habit energy: “Hello, my habit energy. I know you are there.” Plentiful daily siestas and over twenty year’s worth of contemplative prayer are putting me in touch with my silly horse. Writing about napping and other sane practices helps, too.

Last night, as wife Kathy and I walked our happy black dog Watson around the block, we calmed our habit energy long enough to check out little flowers on a neighbor’s fence.


This morning I prayed in bed from 6:00 – 6:30 and intended to dress and dive into the day—much to do. But oncology-nurse-wife Kathy woke up with a knot in her back, so instead of getting right to work, I did my best to massage away what felt like a concrete ping pong ball beside her shoulder blade. (Masseuses have my respect. Subduing stubborn muscles takes strong hands and forearms.) The delay turned into a blessed twenty minutes. Once the knot was worked out, she leaned against me, and we breathed in, breathed out. The cats relaxed with us.



Today’s work includes trying to find good words for someone who lost a loved one to cancer, visiting a woman with lung cancer, and asking prayers for a six-year-old girl who was in an ATV accident a couple days ago and is still unconscious. “Change and decay in all around I see,” says an old hymn. So it is.

When I pray, rest in the afternoon, and—even in this moment—breathe, I can’t help feeling we’re all in a great lap of grace and mercy. All of us. The world’s evidence is against me. Habit energy tells me to clench up, to struggle and strain. No. For too many years my harried horse has been galloping my body and mind where it pleased. Life project: pat the horse on its big nose and train it to carry me slowly through my lovely, crazy days.

Why Not Be Kind to the Frazzled Barista?


One View from My Prayer Chair

For me, a siesta is about much more than sleeping for an hour in the afternoon. A siesta is just one part of a way of life built on stopping, breathing, reflecting, praying, and waiting. Some people who are in constant motion are able to be healthy, balanced, thoughtful, and peaceful. Not me. If I go more than a day without prayerful meditation, mild anxiety sets in. In a few days my chest is full of static electricity. I’m a mess. So I have a choice: either cultivate peace in myself or be miserable and useless.

A couple years ago, while riding Amtrak from Pittsburgh to Orlando, I discovered vocabulary that describes the mind- and spirit-set that now keeps me something-like sane. It’s worth mentioning the purpose of my train ride wasn’t pleasant. My dad, who has since passed, and step-mother were in a synchronized nosedive of dementia, and my mission was to convince them to leave their beloved condo and move into an assisted living facility. They were dug in and defiant, chaining their door against the social workers my brother and I had commissioned to do something—anything!—to dislodge them. Just thinking about that whole time makes me feel cruddy. In the end, my trip was a failure. (Months passed before my dad and step-mother were in a safe place.)


Thich Nhat Hanh (Photo Credit: Dang Ngo)

But the train ride itself was fine, accompanied as it was by Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lillian Cheung. Not too many pages in, the famous Buddhist monk and the dietician were offering up words and images that had me pausing to digest with every paragraph. The audience for Savor is largely folks who want to lose weight, but the book’s application is universal.

The first word that hooked me sounds as though it could be a name for Siesta’s twin sister: “The Buddha teaches that change requires insight, and insight cannot begin until we stop and focus our attention on what is happening right in front of us. This stopping, or shamatha, allows us to rest the body and the mind. When we have calmed ourselves, we can then go on to look deeply into our current situation.”


(Photo Credit: plentyofants)

Shamatha: from the moment I said it in my head on the Silver Meteor it’s been a mantra. Ironically, the practice of stopping hasn’t slowed down my gluttony much, but it’s helped me to be mindful in other ways. Walking from the car to the house, why not stop, look up at the stars, take in a draught of cool air? Sitting with wife Kathy at the end of a tiring day, why pass along the news story I read about an abused child left for dead or the absurdity du jour from Washington, D.C.? What good will it do her to know that mess? Why not be kind to the frazzled barista? Why drive 70 mph in a 55 mph-zone on I-79 as I think of a steaming, bitter, sweat Americano? Am I really in a hurry? Wouldn’t it be better to glance along the way at the pale gray trees not yet budding and give thanks? Shamatha.


Shamatha to her twin sister Siesta: “You sleep, dear. I’ll watch for traffic.”

Right now I’m actually sipping one of those Starbucks coffees and getting ready to head to the church. Breathe in, breathe out. The sky’s cloudless. Ten years ago I wouldn’t have stopped to notice. Today Siesta and Shamatha are my wise twin sisters, taking my hand and teaching me to be gentle and patient.

Stay tuned for more good words from Savor.

I Was Napping When Napping Wasn’t Cool

I’m fighting off a little resentment here. In 1981 Barbara Mandrell sang, “I was country when country wasn’t cool.” After noodling on Google for half an hour this morning, I want to sing, “I was napping when napping wasn’t cool.” One website I visited,, promises to give [me] all the factoids about napping [I] could ever want” in a “beautiful infographic.” The graphics are slick, but I’m grumpy from the start because the only difference between a fact and a factoid is the latter sounds cooler. Some might argue that a factoid is a wee-little fact, but please. To borrow from Dr. Seuss, “a fact is a fact, no matter how small.” The present movement to replace switch with switch out rubs me the same way, a factoid that proves that I’m about as interesting as comatose bison.


Photo Credit: Doug Clemens

Moving on. Drawing from multiple sources, gives some solid information on napping, which you can look up if reading this blog isn’t tedious enough for you. The resentment I mentioned comes from somebody who—identifying the somebody is difficult because the sources aren’t linked directly to the facts—presumes to label naps of various denominations. Here’s a quick run down, with my praise and complaints in parentheses:

“The Nano-Nap: 10-20 seconds,” as when you “nod off on someone’s shoulder on the train.” (First, if the nodder and noddee are strangers, yuck. Second, I’m not in favor of calling 10-20 seconds of oblivion a nap. This is like adding a two-meter race to track meets.)


Photo Credit: BradKellyPhoto

“The Micro-Nap: two-five minutes”; “surprisingly effective at shedding sleepiness.” (The first time I encountered the term micro-nap was in reading about Swainson’s—or the olive-backed—thrush, which takes hundreds of 2-5 second naps per day while in flight. More on naps in the animal kingdom some other day. A 2-5 minute nap for humans? Breather or rest fits better, if you ask me.)


Photo Credit: Kiran Pilly

“The Mini-Nap: 5-twenty minutes”; “increases alertness, stamina, motor learning, and motor performance.” (The term fits. As mini suggests, 5-20 minutes of sleep is at the low end of the spectrum; not a full nap. Like a kiddie soft-serve ice cream cone, two scrawny bites for an adult.)


Photo Credit: Photofreaks

“The Original Power-Nap: 20 minutes –“; “improves muscle memory and clears the brain of useless built-up information.” (I was under the impression that a power-nap was 20 minutes long, 30 minutes max. Anything longer constitutes a conventional nap, but that’s just my amateur opinion.)


Photo Credit: Kranzelic

The Lazy Man’s Nap: 60-90 minutes”; “includes slow-wave plus REM sleep; good for improving perceptual processing; also when the system is flooded with human growth hormone, great for repairing bones and muscles.” (Since this is my preferred napping range, I resent the label. With all the benefits listed, this sounds like The Smart Person’s Nap—why be exclusive?)


Photo Credit: Justin Rahme

These napping terms are arbitrary and, in the case of Lazy Man’s Lap, judgmental. Lazy is to nap is the same as crazy is to therapy—not helpful! Still, is behind the cause of midday oblivion, and for that I’m grateful.

Napping is so cool now that a University of Texas at Austin website,, devotes a full tips page to the subject. Why should a college student nap? “Increased alertness and focus,” “higher energy levels throughout the day,” “increased motor performance (such as reaction time) and reduced mistakes and accidents,” and “decreased moodiness.” Churchill and Thatcher, Reagan and Clinton, and millions devoted to taking siestas have known of such benefits long before scientists got tenure publishing the proof.

What makes novel, however, is a Healthy Horn Nap Map that lets students know where to crash and how to do so safely. The Alumni Center has “comfy, leather furniture,” and the Turtle Pond has grass and “shady spots.” Campus-wide you can find sixteen sleep-friendly spots, but do practice security: “keep your eyes on your stuff” and wrap “your arms around your backpack.” Copy that.

All this napping awareness is good, but only two years ago, Ray Lahood, unenlightened head of the Federal Aviation Administration said, “We’re not going to pay [air traffic] controllers to nap.” They were so tired that they were orchestrating near-misses, but never mind. Naps are bad! Period! Harrumph!


Photo Credit: Bicycle Transportation Alliance

Fortunately, in 2013 science so confirms the wisdom of napping that the tough-guy response to incorporating rest into company time sounds ignorant. But nappers aren’t generally the type to say, “Told you so.”

Weak Beer Out of a Wine Glass

I’m sitting in the breakfast nook, looking out as day turns dusk and watching micro-bubbles rise to the top of my Labatt 52, which hardly qualifies as beer.


Wife Kathy is in the dining room, making new pillow covers for her econo-redecorated study she now calls the lounge.


Son Micah downs a bottle of Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness, which looks like pureed spinach. It tastes good, though, and he deserves it after power washing his grandmother’s basement.


Dog Watson is flopped by Kathy. Cats Baby and Shadow are hiding somewhere. On the radio, Sheryl Crow sings, “If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad.”


Why are you taking my picture?

In another song, from the year I got my driver’s license, Lionel Richie said he was easy, “easy like a Sunday morning.” Sunday mornings aren’t easy for me; they’re the 100-yard dash of my week; Sunday afternoons lately have been consumed by a nap that—as Will Ferrell said in a George W. Bush spoof—deserves a commemorative plaque. Today’s edition came in two volumes: 2:15-3:30 and 3:45-5:20. Wacky? Or sane as it gets? The latter, I’m pretty sure. After a morning of trying to say something authentic and useful to a bunch a wonderful Lutherans, baptizing a cool kid, and putting too many peanut butter cookies and fudgy no-bakes into my diabetic body (at the kid’s reception), the sanest thing to do was sit propped up in bed eating a lunch of whole wheat pasta with homemade marinara sauce, skimming Parade Magazine, and falling asleep.

It’s 7:59 right now, and I might still be asleep if Kathy hadn’t sat on the bed beside me at 5:20 and asked, “You know what time it is?” I’d been out for two hours and fifty minutes, but I bet I’ll still go to bed at 11:00 without any problem. While I snored, Kathy, who naps only when staggering with fatigue, tamed and contained a winter’s worth of compost. I do a lot of cooking and hope an avocado tree someday springs out of the mix.


Doesn’t look like much compost. Don’t be fooled.

Just now Kathy and Micah headed out on a quick errand. She left the radio on and Stevie Nicks is singing a hard-driving song with words I’m not catching—all I’m getting is “stand back” and “it’s all right, it’s all right.”

It is all right. Easy like a Sunday evening. I love my family. Leftover soup—chicken vegetable in a cardamom and lime broth—awaits when I’m hungry. Truth be told, a couple more beers are in my future. I’m more refreshed than any person deserves to be, thanks to that ridiculous nap. I breathe in, breathe out. Everything around me is common, nothing remarkable, but it all seems crazy good—weak beer out of a wine glass.

Profiles in Napping: Winston Churchill: Part I

English: Sir Winston Churchill.

English: Sir Winston Churchill. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Winston Churchill was probably slow of body. His favorite cigars were Cubans, Romeo y Julieta and La Aroma de Cuba, so reports Cigar Aficionado. He kept 3000 – 4000 on hand in carefully labeled boxes and smoked up in two days the equivalent of his valet’s weekly salary.  The Prime Minister’s alcohol consumption also must have held him to a sluggish pace. Science writer Chris Woodford reports that Churchill’s drinking started in 1899 when he was sent by the Morning Post to cover the Boer War. Out on the front his stash included “36 bottles of wine, 18 bottles of ten-year old scotch, and 6 bottles of vintage brandy (a drink he believed was essential to a stable diet). Clearly Churchill had better access to alcohol than most people on the South African front: his stores were also said to contain ‘many bottles of whisky, claret, and port.’” Churchill’s consumption continued briskly until retirement, when he apparently set out to finish off his liver: “One visitor from the period noted: ‘There is always some alcohol in his blood, and it reaches its peak late in the evening after he has had two or three scotches, several glasses of champagne, at least two brandies, and a highball … but his family never sees him the worst for drink.’”  Multiple sources attest that Churchill held his liquor exceptionally well.

Six to ten 8 -10 inch cigars a day, gallons of drink, and a portly body: slow of body certainly, but quick-witted. Two of his best-known exchanges with Lady Nancy Astor are wicked—if they’re true:

Astor: “If you were my husband, Winston, I should flavour your coffee with poison.”

Churchill: “If I were your husband, madam, I should drink it.”

And . . .

Astor: “You, Mr. Churchill, are drunk.”

Churchill: “And you, Lady Astor, are ugly. But I shall be sober in the morning.”

Churchill 2, Astor 0. If you could have taken getting stung with repartee and didn’t mind constantly being tempted to binge drink, Churchill would have been a lively companion—except for a couple of hours in the afternoon, when he would have been unavailable.

Churchill was a steadfast napper. He undressed, put on pajamas, and got between the sheets, not for twenty or sixty minutes, but for an hour and a half to two hours. He insisted that this habit helped him “get two days in one—well, at least one and a half, I’m sure.” World War II was obviously taxing, and, writes Joseph Cardieri, the siesta enabled Churchill “to carry out—until the wee hours of the morning—the business of defeating the Axis powers.” The alcohol’s numbing effect must have been therapeutic without extinguishing all of the Prime Minister’s brain cells, for he knew in the 1940’s what science would prove today. “Nature had not intended mankind to work from 8 in the morning until midnight,” Churchill wrote in The Gathering Storm, the first in his six-volume memoir The Second World War, “without the refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts 20 minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces.”

Stay tuned for Part II of Churchill’s profile and learn about his Black Dog and love of pink silk.

Napping Pods for $12,985: A Commentary


Ovei-pod (Photo Credit: Sean Fry)

Leave it to capitalism to profit from a simple afternoon nap. I’ve stumbled upon an array of Google photographs of napping pods. Imagine a comfortable dentist’s chair with some portion of an eggshell providing shelter and privacy. The good news about the advent of the napping pod is the progress it demonstrates; the business world is slowly figuring out that employees work better if they’re not tired. I don’t think for a moment that businesses generally place a high priority on comfort, but the science is clear: if you let people sleep for twenty minutes in the afternoon, not only are they more productive, but you can also squeeze an additional hour’s work out of them at the end of the day. Still, whatever’s behind the napping pod, I’m grateful at least for the imagery: a siesta is sleek, profitable, smart, and hip. If people peek through my office door and see me curled up on my old daycare mats, maybe they’ll think their savvy pastor is taking his lead from techies at Google and financial wizards at Kodiak Capital Group. Both companies, along with AOL Huffington Post Media Group, Cisco, and plenty of others, are setting up napping areas for employees.


A Lutheran Pastor’s Napping Gear


Googlenappod (Photo Credit: Joe Loong)

Google especially isn’t messing around. says, “Google’s Mountain View campus has received quite a bit of attention for its “Energy Pods”—futuristic-looking white capsules that rent for $795 a month or sell for $12,985 where nappers can recline out of other people’s sight and set timers to wake themselves up with vibrations and lights.” AOL Huffington’s “NapQuest” rooms also have Energy Pods. The article quotes napping authority Bill Anthony of Boston University, who thinks napping’s growing acceptance is related to improving economic conditions. If companies have to compete for the brightest and best, a workout room and glossy napping eggs might sweeten the pot.

But, seriously, $12,985 apiece? They’re made by MetroNaps, which spells them EnergyPods. (Is English heading in the direction of ancient Hebrew? The spaces between words are disappearing.) The company website’s homepage doesn’t quote the price, but they want you to know a lot of thought and science went into the design:

  • “The contour of the EnergyPod takes pressure off the cardiac system with the elevation of the feet and relaxes the muscles of the lower back with a slight bend in the knees.”
  • “The EnergyPod’s sphere provides semi-privacy without overly enclosing. Rotate the privacy visor for additional seclusion.”
  • “Specially devised rhythms play to facilitate relaxation and eliminate surrounding distractions.”
  • “Wakes gently but effectively as the EnergyPod executes a programmed combination of lights and vibration.”

Podtime Sleeping Pod (Photo Credit:

I suppose the EnergyPod is the Mercedes Benz of corporate napping. For $2,112.00 plus shipping and handling will send you a “shippable, stackable, sleeping sanctuary” manufactured by Podtime Sleeping Pods. “Never again,” the website promises, “will you think to yourself ‘Curses! If only I had a comfortable, stylish and secure sleeping compartment right now’. Because that’s precisely what the Podtime Sleeping Pod is. A practically indestructible polycarbonate tube, with heavy-duty frosted doors, a luxurious fitted mattress and outstanding air circulation; meaning you can relax in comfort and privacy.” The white (of course) pod looks like it would work great, but it’s a little too private. Innovative employees could meet for alternate forms of horizontal refreshment in the Podtime Sleeping Pod.

Also available from are pup tents that look like a slice of watermelon, sheep in a pasture, a turquois book entitled The Natural World, and a man and woman on their knees, leaning into each other for a kiss–$600 to $800, which is as high as I’d go as an employer providing private napping spots. Employees can bring their own pillows, mats, and blankets.


G-1 Glass Pool Table (Photo Credit:

Lingering on this playful website is much better for the spirit than obsessing over my usual worries. The black and white Retro Invader Couch for $8,722 looks slick and comfortable as a steel floor. The G-1 Glass Pool Table would be fun, but not for $61,846. Best of all is the Hoverwing Flying Hovercraft: “It’s a boat, it’s a plane.” More specifically, it’s “a floating speed-machine, made from a super strong fibreglass/PVC composite, that can carry 4 people over pretty much any terrain you can think of. Then they added wings. The increased elevation means that you can glide for long distances and achieve clearance heights of up to 6 feet, making even choppy seas and small inclines a breeze. Eat your heart out James Bond.”


The Victory Chimes (Photo Credit: Brad Smith)

$237,870, with free shipping in the UK. Is this for real? I must be boring. If I had $237,870, I’d be debt free. My splurge would be a great bottle of Pinot Noir and a few days on the Victory Chimes, a three-masted schooner sailing out of Rockland, Maine. The sailing is calm, and napping in the cabin to the gentle rocking of waves is unbelievable.

Rest in Peace, Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher

Godspeed, Lady Thatcher (Photo Credit: Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Margaret Thatcher, who passed yesterday, claimed in her prime to function well on four hours sleep per night. Maybe so, but in her late fifties, she discovered the power of napping. According to a 2009 report, Cynthia “Crawfie” Crawford, Thatcher’s former personal assistant, says she helped her boss through Britain’s Falkland Islands War by teaching “her to catnap for 20 minutes—we called that a zizz.” From April 2nd through June 15th of 1982, the Prime Minister “never changed into her bedclothes. She sat fully dressed, huddled round a two-bar electric fire, nervously listening to the radio for news of the conflict, nursing a glass of whisky while husband Denis slept in the spare room.” Crawfie, who preferred gin and tonics but deferred to her boss’s insistence that “whiskey was much better for energy,” also mentions that in addition to a few zizzies during the night and one in the afternoon, “Thatcher relied on vitamin B 12 injections to maintain her energy levels throughout the day.”

In 2011, Great Britain’s second-most-noteworthy napper (Winston Churchill was first) even had a gene named after her. “Scientists at Germany’s Ludwig Maximalians University of Munich . . . found that one gene, called ABCC9, influences sleep duration and could explain why certain people seem able to operate on limited amounts of shut eye” ( They called ABCC9 the Thatcher gene. In a study of 4000 subjects, the Munich researchers “discovered that people who had two copies of one common variant of ABCC9 slept for ‘significantly shorter’ periods than people with two copies of another version.” For good measure, the team fussed with the ABCC9 gene in fruit flies and had them sleeping less than before.

I’m glad there’s a gene that explains why some lucky sorts don’t need much sleep, but I’m more glad to know that the energy valley I enter around 2:00 p.m. has nothing to do with laziness. It’s my Thatcher gene telling me to take a zizz. Crawfie reports that when the Falklands War ended, Lady Thatcher “kept to the habit [of afternoon zizzies] for ever afterwards.” May her final nap be peaceful and healing.