Proactive Insomnia

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I know that as I am typing this at 4:30 am that there will be someone else I know, doing something similar.

Someone mentioned my “insomnia problem” the other day. I don’t know that it is a problem to me, although it may be an inconvenience to my husband. If I lived alone then the creeping about thing wouldn’t happen. I would just start my day twice.

I did lie in bed for about an hour, just to give sleep a chance to come back, as it sometimes does. But not today. The thoughts start to swim, and I know that it is pointless. So as is the usual pattern, I get up, come downstairs, make a cup of tea, sometimes a bit of toast… and usually I write. This morning I have finished off one lot of lyrics that weren’t quite flowing properly yesterday, and started another. Sometimes, this is all it takes to make me feel ready for another snooze, so I go back to bed (often as Mike is getting up) and get in another couple of hours.

When I had to get up at 7 to get ready to go to work I would start the day bitter and twisted and would have to make constant adjustments in order to do the job properly, and prevent myself from getting fired.

These days I rarely have to do that. I am happier myself, but I do think I have rendered myself unemployable by “giving in” to the fickle nature of my mind and body. Occasionally I complain that I am broke. It’s true, I don’t earn much these days, but I consider it the greatest luxury and privilege to have this time to think about things I want to think about. (And have the occasional afternoon nap in the chair. This sounds awfully old doesn’t it? But I am overwhelmed with the inability to keep my eyes focussed, open…)

This morning my thoughts have ranged all over the place. The new lyrics were inspired by those ants that drown alone, but cling to each other to make rafts that float over floods until they reach land or vegetation and can roam alone again. I find this also has a connection to my work, always about people clinging to each other, rubbing off on each other, irritating each other because they haven’t had enough sleep… but holding on to each other, because what else can we do but keep our loved ones close when we don’t understand what is happening in the world, when everything seems so cruel?

The Sitting Room are having a trip to Liverpool on Monday to do some recording. I have of course got a cold and can’t reach the higher notes. This concern seems ego-centric and diva-like. I protect my voice, steam my head, self-medicate…

I am also thinking about the workshops I’m doing, allied to the nine women exhibition: I lead them, and find that as always the artist~tutor gains more than gives… the topics and conversations of the participants steer my thoughts, inspire and affect… rubbing off…

I’m considering doing more of these workshops in my own space over the summer, with and for other artists: The nature of text… unwritten and imagined narratives… remembered and manipulated.

(Do let me know if you’d like to join in!)

Meanwhile, in my studio there is The Awkward Chair waiting for me. I have covered it in the soft, cream, brushed cotton fabric. A blank canvas. It waits for me to decide what will affect it. I look forward to the time (mid May?) when I can immerse myself in making my marks on it.

Also, breath baited, we wait for the Arts Council decision that will decide our fate over the next six months, possibly the next couple of years if all goes well…

Everything is connected…

If you’re drowning on your own

Then cling to me

I’ll grab your sleeve, and pull you close

We’ll make a raft

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