What’s insomnia got to do with anything? Well, it does have something to do with my unprecedentedly long silence on this blog. Apologies if it looks like I’m wandering off-piste, but it is relevant because chronic insomnia has had me in its grip for the last couple of weeks and I’ve found it very difficult to find the energy to do more than I absolutely have to. I’ve had insomnia for years on and off, dating back to when I had children when I lost the ability to just drop off to sleep without effort, but it’s been much worse recently.

However, I think I may finally have found something useful. A friend recommended a book by a psychologist, Guy Meadows – ‘The Sleep Book’.sleep-book-physical

The approach described in this book rests upon the simple assumption that there is no point in fighting insomnia, as it’s a battle you are bound to lose. (And I can affirm this from my own experience of lying awake at nights unable to sleep). The therapy recommended in this book is, essentially, mindfulness. This is a very fashionable therapy about which I have, frankly, felt somewhat sceptical, perhaps because it is so fashionable. However, my inability to sleep had become such a critical problem that I was prepared to give anything a go. So I’ve done the exercises assiduously for the past two or three weeks, and I do believe it’s paying off. I’ve had a couple of better nights; although they have not been unbroken and I’ve lain awake for periods, I’ve not felt the usual sense of panic, the racing heartbeat etc, and I think I may be coming to terms with it.

From the point of view of this blog and any creative work, I’ve simply been too tired and demoralised recently. However, if I get a bit more good sleep perhaps I’ll find my way out of the labyrinth and will be able to concentrate more on the things that make life worthwhile. I’ve been doing quite a lot of knitting as it doesn’t require much effort, and the systematic element of following a pattern is, to me at least, very soothing.

And finally, to end, a bit of welcome art news. The National Portrait Gallery in London will be staging an exhibition in 2015 of John Singer Sargent’s portraits – from 12th February to 25th May. I love his paintings and I’m looking forward to the exhibition very much. Hope I can get to see it more than once; there are 70 portraits in it which will be too much for one viewing I think.

More soon, I hope. I’ve been doing a bit of drawing in recent days and will share that with you. Before I go, I’ve noticed there have been a lot of visitors to the blog recently. Sorry there’s been nothing new for you to read. In my new capacity (I hope) as a well-rested and alert person, I intend to write more regularly.


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