I rediscovered a long-forgotten joy last night, and it greeted me like an old friend. An intuitive companion- one of those magical people who are as funny and supportive since day one, even though paths may not have crossed for a while. I have had trouble sleeping for some time now, and resorted to sensory distractions to help me nod off. I thought I had tried everything, to no avail. Films, writing, youtube, counting sheep ad nauseam. Yet the answer was staring me in the face the entire time, or rather murmuring gently in to my ears. I am an idiot. I blame lack of sleep.
I spend a great deal of my waking hours listening to music,be it in record, CD or live form, and I had a eureka moment: IPod! Headphones! Those twin tools I associate with running, and painful knees. No more, thought I. I found the radio setting and spun the dial like a roulette wheel (quietly, as the rest of the house were soundly asleep). Here would be my salvation. I settled down. The dial came to rest. The song? Radiohead’s Climbing up the Walls. Was this a joke? I spun again, to hear a dulcet toned lady say ‘ of course, it is impossible truly picture what forever really is, because our brains’, I spun again, enraged. Ever really thought about what forever actually is? It is scary, and 2am amplifies the scare factor exponentially. What was next, thought I? The Prodigy? Drum n Bass? An interview with Brian Blessed on a military runway?
Thankfully not. Fate was kind, and lady luck’s elfin thumb came to rest on Classic FM. Within seconds my body relaxed, and my Mind’s Eye took over. It was a piano piece by Ravel, and was beautiful. I found my brain self walking at sunset through rolling hills, with swifts darting above. I was swimming underwater and lost in the weightlessness of a meandering river. I wanted it to go on forever, but it finished. I do not know who the presenter was, but her voice was a husky sussuration in my ears (I woke up a little then, as my mind’s eye played havoc with that voice). I felt supremely thankful, and moved. I pictured her, and other nocturnal warriors like her, playing sentry duty to myself and my sleepless friends. It was a comfort, such a comfort, that somebody else was awake. Talking. Laughing.
I did not sleep for a while afterwards, but I rested, lulled by such hauntingly bneautiful music. Classic FM is at its most lovely at night, after all the popular, good old faithful tracks are left to cool down, and the dignified, mysterious composers come to life. I stirred now and again, and felt like a stone skimmed over a mill-pond, soaring and spinning through the air, then touching down on to cool water, only to be spun upwards again. In the pitch blackness I felt anything but flat on my back, and all of the thrashing, turning tension in my body had ebbed away. It was a small joy, but a wonderful one. I feel thankful, and amazed, that every night I could do this. I will. I shall. Tonight.