Saturday, March 12, 2005


Spent another night tackling the blocking pillows. How frustrating to have to work for sleep! An oxymoron if ever. Part of it is knowing that the next day is our St. Patrick’s Day celebration, and I wanted to have a full rest behind me. Alas if wants were satisified we’d all be our own faeries. Especially where sleeping is concerned, the most Zen-like of activities. One must die to yourself to sleep, die to your thoughts, die even to thoughts of sleep.

Sleep is always much more difficult when I’ve not read much or exercised much. We watched a movie and most movies stimulate without satisfying. Books satisfy me, I rest in the print, like when reading William Trevor’s shy stories of Hibernia, sucking at the teat of Irish nationalism, familiarizing myself again with the touchstonic figures of rurality replete with anachronistic tinctures like ‘meanness’ for ‘stingy’, to whit:

‘That was my turn,’ Lairdman protested, just a little late.
She wouldn’t care for such meanness, Boland though. She’d notice when it began to impinge on her, which in time it would: these things never mattered at first.

Trevor writes in “Third Party” of the dull provincialism of '40s rural Ireland. And perhaps there is something to the dullness of the provincial American life, rife with trivialities, that requires some level of physical activity and mental activity to sufficiently tire mind and body in order to sleep. The level of discourse on IMUS or O’Reilly is surely higher than what I’d find in my ancestral pub in Ireland, no? Would we not be talking of racehorses, of gambling, of the local politicians? Perhaps I go too far in ascribing banality to strictly American life in a television age. There’s a longing awakened when I read Trevor for something more, for classical music, for Shakespeare, even while I know that these things shouldn’t be used as means to an end – i.e. a good sleep - and even while knowing that these things are as dirt before the real mission in life.

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