Sleepless Rambling

Time for a bit of stream-of-consciousness, since I’ve spent another night as an insomniac, and what better occasion for letting the nonsense boil over?

The cat and the dog are dancing a jig in the basement corridor, or so the baker said. But what does the baker know of cats, or dogs, or basement halls? We haven’t got a basement hall! The roof is too steep and the attic collapsed and now all we think about is having enough room to breathe.

There is nothing to be said for a melancholy heart. It’s a thing that’s only to be felt; no use reasoning or explaining it away. People talk too much and their heads get big; that’s why they’re not very attractive, you see. Their heads are overlarge and out of proportion with their humble human bodies. How can I say this? you say. I say what I say because I have nothing else to do but make up fragments of nonsense and chill the air as I shoot the breeze.

The night is young–oh, the night is late, and I’ve not slept through any of it. The desire to live is too great–why miss a wink? Or a blink? Wynken and Blynken and Nod one night sailed off in a wooden shoe. But they’ve stopped making the shoes of wood, and sailing off in a tennis shoe doesn’t have the same charm about it.

I wandered into a fairy tale one day and never came back. That’s why, if you ask, I’m halfway mad. My sense is not intact, not fully anyhow, because I live in an upside-down kingdom where princes are poor and paupers are rich and girls swoon over bookish lads, holed up in castle phrontisteries, and marry only when they’re old enough to tell the difference between wisdom and common sense. The frogs are handsome, too.

But enough about that. Time for something more substantial. Do the vegetarians eat for free? I don’t suggest it. It’s not the way to live; trust me, I tried the thing and wound up dead.

The angels are sending messages which I don’t receive. How can I, when the air is so thick and the doubt is so loud? I can’t understand mysterious things, because their nature is to baffle the mind and leave the tongue tied up in a speechless interim of poetic pause. There was a book by Rilke–he spoke to angels, heard their song, and burst into jubilee. But only the poets can do that. It’s harmful to try if you’re not well-versed in verses, you see.

The only people worth knowing are the people who come alive when they see the truth. Does that seem clear? No, well nothing ever is, you know. It’s always an uphill battle, or a downward slide–either one will do. The ghost of ambiguity is never far from hand. He’s friendly if you give him the time of day, but if you curse at him and wave your sword, you’ll never be a happy man; he’ll haunt you all your life.

What about the children? They see the truth more clearly than the rest of us. We should strive to be like them (though we cannot make them just like us). That’s why Jesus said: be like children if you wish to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. There’s so much to be said for childlike trust. The simple people are the wisest of all. How I wish I were a simple soul! How I wish I could go to sleep.

The people on the bus will be curious to know what’s in my book. I will say: it’s a secret spell, designed to make the world fall in love with life. Impossible! they’ll say. I’ll sigh and reply: Impossible, no; but improbable, yes.

There was once a man who fell in love. He didn’t even know his own name anymore because his heart overran his head and there was nothing left to think about; there were only things to be felt, and why should he bother with names?

The trouble with love is that it’s complete. You don’t need anything else besides. But that spells trouble for a man who likes to count his things. The hoarders won’t have an easy time with love.

If I told you I loved you, would you make a fuss of it? There should be no fussing around; that’s why I’m afraid to say the thing. It would only make the wind blow harder, and you don’t even have a jacket on.

The people are right, and the people are wrong; it’s so hard to make up one’s mind when the world is always spinning on its axis–how can the needle ever point straight, how can the mind ever fall still?

Are you still reading, dear friend? Well, let me thank you for that; how kind of you to spend the night. Will you take a cup of tea? I don’t keep coffee in the house, and your face is so delicate and sweet, chamomile would be just right.

Oh, my, here goes the day again. Put on a happy face and approach the world with ease. But when does the merry-go-round slow to a stop? I’m tired of going round. For once, I’d like to stop and see the light of day. Climb a mountain with me, perhaps? We’ll pack light–just a sandwich or two. The rest will come to us on the wind.

You don’t believe me, I see. That’s all right. The light will dawn in time and you’ll look more beautiful than ever before. The snow won’t hold a candle to you. Your face will beam with all the silence of a proper goodbye.