Friday, August 18, 2006

Insomnia

Four a.m.

Apparently Peter Beattie wrote his autobiography during bouts of insomnia. Myself, I can't think at this hour of the morning. It also strikes me as unreasonable to expect that not only am I awake, but that then I should do something 'productive' with my time. Not that writing an autobiography would be productive, in my case. I'd rather think of sleepless time as an unexpected bonus, a bit of free time to unashamedly lie in bed, drink cups of tea and read novels.


Our bush house is just one room, with a loft bedroom, so accommodating a person with insomnia is tricky. Too many lights on or thrashing around trying to get to sleep or listening to weird night radio is disturbing to slumbrous parties. There is a shed outside that we've converted to a study, but I'd rather sit in here in the gloom by the glowering embers of last night's fire. I put an eye mask on Lovergirl to shield her from the glare of my computer screen, so she looks like some 1950s beauty doing an overnight treatment of Pond's Ladies Rejuvenating Creme.

The koalas are mating at the moment. Mating koalas sound like wild pigs, hrornk-hrornk- hroooornk all through the night. The cows also seem to be unduly communicative. And now - it is taking me a long time to type in the dark - the first uncertain peeps of the morning chorus are starting up. Do you know the morning chorus is always in exactly the same order? Up here it's first what sounds like a fairly small bird, calling 'peep-peep' in an uncertain tone, as if it merely wants to check who else is awake. Then silence for a while. Then the raucous kookaburra has a long laugh, which startles everyone and then they are all off in a noisy cacaphony.

Yesterday I said to Lovergirl, 'Isn't it interesting how people are really fascinated by blogs? They are a whole new form of communicating that have just burst onto the scene.'

She said, 'I'm not fascinated by blogs.'

'Oh!' (taken aback; I waste far too much time reading blogs and deliberately keep my sidebar list of regulars as short as possible). 'I think they have the potential for getting a deeper understanding of people, taking time to read entries rather than just exchanging emails, and discovering points of view you would never have considered,' (that sounds more articulate than what I actually said, but you get the idea). When I was a child I had three penfriends, two in Australia and one in Japan. I still write friends letters on paper occasionally, although I haven't since I started blogging, I don't think. I've never been a fan of the rambling phone call, and it took me ages to get a mobile - Lovergirl is often immensely frustrated by me forgetting to take it, or turn it on, or it's run out of battery...

Lovergirl's theory is perhaps that people aren't so taken with reading and communicating through blogs as they are by writing about themselves, and thinking other people might read it. A kind of egotistical journalling.

Initially I started this to keep a record of the pregnancy thing. That got way too tedious fairly quickly - how many ways can you write 'Inseminated, nothing happened'? - and at the same time I started the Brisbane job, which has led to me feeling fairly cut off from the North Coast - I'm a weekender here now - so for me it is about wanting to connect with people. I miss my Melbourne friends and don't want to lose touch, but as time away from Melbourne goes on that becomes harder, we've all got lives.

It's only a perception of connection, of course. I think Lovergirl's right, some people just aren't fascinated by blogs. How can that be? But there are lots of staggeringly clever, interesting, politically aware bloggers to distract me from all the things I should be doing. And they are always reassuringly there, when I am stuck in a hotel room in the far reaches of Townsville or Grafton with only 143 pay TV channels for company.

And isn't it exciting when someone actually comments?

3 comments:

Robin said...

What I thought my blog would be and what it became (and is becoming?) are different things. I still feel like I can't guess whether people will comment or not.

Susoz said...

Interesting, I had a lot of penpals as a teenager. And I don't use a mobile phone either. I suspect this is the sign of an introvert who nevertheless wishes to communicate with other people.

Mikhela said...

an introvert who wishes to communicate...ah you have put your finger on the nub of my torment...