What Happens When I Can’t Sleep

August 9, 2011 § 3 Comments

I just noticed something strange.

I can’t sleep tonight, even though I’ve got nothing else that needs to be done. I’ve completed my writing “quota” for the day, meaning that I wrote for at least an hour. Not edited, not planned, and not thought about writing, but that I actually wrote for an hour (or more, I forget the length of it). I don’t have the energy to do something like play a game or read my book (currently: The Princess Bride. I’ve never read it before and I’m immensely enjoying it, but I digress), and I certainly don’t have the energy to write another entry about why history is awesome.

Also, my brain is working at about 1/2 power right now. It’s stuck in second gear while I’m trying to go uphill, and the sultry tones of the “Yeah Yeah Yeahs” aren’t helping.

What’s strange about tonight? That my twitter feed is abuzz with the riots in England right now, and it’s particularly heart-wrenching to see Neil Gaiman say that he knows the places that are being burned down in Croydon. At the same time, I didn’t read the paper this weekend and just noticed today about how shitty the stock markets are. I don’t rightly give a damn, because I’m rather certain that the people who make their money in the stock market still have a lot to answer for, but I can’t see anything but hard times for a lot of people up ahead. It fills me with a strange existential fear. Not a particular fear of anything I can put a name to, so I suppose anxiety is the best word to describe it. Just a fear that the world seems to be getting worse and worse, and I feel like I can do less and less.

Oh, little old me in the face of race riots and a collapsing economy? I’ll be alright. There’s no call for writers much these days, anyway.  We only end up doing stupid things like remind people how bad the world is when it’s good, and how good the world is when it’s bad.

So I decided that it’s probably best to actually try and do that. Sure it’s a little vain, but what else do you do when you feel the world slipping away from you? I intend to grab on as hard as I can and ride that sucker all the way down. Apparently poetry is the way to do it. I don’t know? This is only like my 37th post. I’m new to this and don’t know what I’m doing. Maybe T. S. Eliot does, but I am not copying out The Wasteland. Again.

I don’t have a title for this, but I think it’s fitting for 1:46 in the morning. It took awhile to a) find one of mine that I liked enough and wasn’t sad, and b) work up the courage to post. There’s some strange reluctance on my part to post a poem, which I suppose has to do with the fact that they tend to be very personal on an emotional level. Also, I don’t even know if Ieven like this on any level, and I don’t know if I actually want to put this online. I just can’t wait to lose out of a job because my boss can’t take me seriously after reading my poetry. But in the end, reading it made me feel a little better, so I suppose that’s what matters. And besides, how often do I get to make an ass of myself on the internet, with my name attached to it? Rarely. Enjoy this, internet hate machine.

And because music always helps:


Currently Without Title

Dance like the wind in the trees

– at night.

Swaying, breathing, sighing.

Dance as though night has fallen

and no-one will dare to look.

Dance beneath the stars and please

the Old Gods of Joy and Sorrow.

And we who will not dance will watch,

and see nothing of what you do.

And, not understanding, we

shall sigh and turn away,

while you spin amongst the stars

in the light of the heavens.


N.B. – I don’t think this made a whole lot of sense, but these are the legitimate thought processes that I sometimes have and thought that there would be some worth in sharing them. I never intended this blog to be a personal journal and I’m not going to make it one, so I thought strongly about what I wanted to say with this post. I’m still not certain what I wanted to say, and that this was the “right” way to say it, by which I mean open up like this, but I’m going to defend it by saying that a highly-emotional approach is as legitimate a writing experience (for me) as a more studious and distant approach. However, it feels strange to me to open up without reservation like this. This is likely going to be a rare (if perhaps unique) occurrence, so feel lucky! Some parts of writing and living are like sausages, in that we are better off not seeing how they’re done, yet I feel compelled to share what I did tonight. I almost deleted this whole thing several times before posting, filled with strange fear that I’ll somehow offend someone for saying that I feel how I do. It also fills me with a particular dread, and also a queer hope that someone else will feel different because of this post. Overall, however, it flirts with a line that I’m not sure I often want to cross in a public blog. In other words, we’ll now return to our regularly scheduled programme of crappy humour and historical whimsy, my pseudo-armour that keeps away unpleasant things like honesty and the ability to express how we actually feel.

And if you happened to enjoy my crummy poem, know that it’s greatly, greatly appreciated.


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