January 22

I make deals with myself when I can’t sleep.

The problem isn’t that I can’t fall asleep; I have no trouble with that at all, for some reason. If I’m in bed and it’s anywhere after 11pm, it’s really only a matter of time before my eyes start closing no matter how much I’m trying to stay awake. No, the problem is that I wake up very, very early. I think it’s a stress thing; if I fall asleep thinking anything along the lines of “I have a lot of work to do tomorrow,” then I’m almost certainly guaranteed to wake up around 5am. That’s when the deal-making comes in.

I make deals with myself like you can’t get up until 5:30, so you might as well fall back asleep until then, or if I count backwards from 100 to 1 in threes, then I’ll go back to sleep. They almost definitely don’t work, but I find that doing that distracts me from realizing just how early in the morning it is and feeling as if I’m stuck in some kind of early morning insomniac hell. (I woke up today at 4:34, promised myself that I wouldn’t get up until 5:30, and then realized at 5:30 or so that I actually wanted to stay in bed until 6.)

The long, the short, the difficult minutes
of night

where even in darkness
there is no horizon without a tree

Michael Ondaatje.

It is the hour we move small
in the last possibilities of light

now the sky opens its blue vault.

– Michael Ondaatje.

January 21

While the idea of being a true online citizen of the 21st century — so plugged into the modern world that I’m constantly online or receiving information from one source or another, switching between devices to maximize my experience effortlessly — is an attractive one and something that I like to pretend that I live up to, the reality of the situation is quite different for a simple reason: I don’t understand technology. I’m useless when my Kindle decides to cough up a virtual lung and offer the Kindle version of the blue screen of death, and I’m equally helpless when my iPhone decides that holding a charge is for losers.

When those things happen, I go online and Google things, hoping to find the answers. It’s something that makes me feel old, to be honest; in the back of my head, there’s this odd belief that younger people would just instinctively know what to do in these situations, and that by resorting to Google, I’m writing some pre-emptive death warrant for any pretense of being “with it.” Of course, just by writing “with it,” even with some sense of irony, I’m likely doing far more damage to myself. Growing old is no fun, although it beats the alternatives.

Did we not remember the curse of this place?
How Sundays drank our blood as we watched
dry paint or the dust on the television screen.
How people died bursting out of a quiet life,
or from being written into a small world’s stories.
Who can see such things and live to tell?
How we hunted all night for noise and love,
striking out across the ploughed and frozen earth,
lurching from rut to rut until at the edge
we smashed our way out through a hedge, to fall
eight feet to the road. Of course, we felt nothing.
Was it not ourselves who frightened us most?

Lavinia Greenlaw.

Night was and they swayed into it:
a pair of scissors, of sails
turning only into themselves
more other than become.

Lavinia Greenlaw.