Thursday, 11 March 2010

Just out of fingertip reach

Sleep, dreams, rainbows and even a story idea

When sleep becomes elusive, and it often does these days, I try all the standard things. I sip camomile tea. I take lavender baths. I ‘try not to get wound up about it’ but that’s easier to say than to do. Going to sleep is such an intangible experience and you know that if you have to analyse it then you’re one of those unfortunate people who, like me, suffer from insomnia. I’ve tried counting, not sheep, but alphabetical lists of anything from flowers and food to people and places. If I don’t reach r then I don’t even know that it’s worked... until the next morning. If I’m still struggling with s, t and u then I’m heading for another of those nights. However tired I am, and however much I need it, sleep is just out of fingertip reach.

Dreams can have that same elusive quality. Sometimes I’m more than happy to let a bad one drift from my consciousness but every now and then a dream leaves a tingle of expectation and I don’t know why. I want to curl my fingers around its edges and pull it closer but I can’t quite get to it. I know that soon it will fade and disappear but for the moment it’s a tantalising fingertip’s reach away, like a rainbow.

Now I know that rainbows are different. They’re scientific and I kind of understand the facts about refraction of light, but why does each colour bend so perfectly differently from the next? Why do I still get a thrill when I see one and why do I still believe that if I run fast enough across the fields I’ll be able to reach out and touch each perfectly blended hue?

I have a story idea that keeps appearing on the edges of my thoughts. Just like a rainbow it drifts out of reach whenever I try to get too close. I tease myself that if only I could write it down it would be the best story ever told, the most perfect story ever written. I almost know what it is. I can almost think about it, especially in the middle of one of those sleepless nights. It’s what drives my pencil on and maybe one day I’ll be able to close my fingers around it and capture it on this screen but for now, like sleep, dreams and rainbows, it’s just a fingertip’s reach away.


  1. I don't have trouble falling asleep. As a matter of fact, I have trouble staying awake long enough to read a chapter in a new book when I go to bed. Maybe I'm sleep deprived!

    I do wish I could remember dreams. Whenever I read about a published writer who, when asked how they got the idea for their story, say "Oh. It came to me in a dream!" I feel hopeful that maybe, just maybe, it could happen to me.


    Isn't it odd that no matter how many times one sees a rainbow, the next time always bring a smile and joy?

  2. Love rainbows! They're pure magic - I don't care what the science is behind them.

    Sleep is elusive here too - but it's more time for me than insomnia :)

  3. I always have problems sleeping, but I do have a very active dream life and some of my story ideas come from my dreams - and that strange 'almost asleep' period.

    Great post!

  4. Marisa, you're so lucky to be able to fall asleep just like that. They say that if you have a notebook by the bed and train yourself to write things down as soon as you open your eyes you may be able to at least touch the edges of a dream. And yes, rainbows always make me smile.

    I agree with you Jemi that the science doesn't matter. I even have a crystal at my landing window and get a thrill each time I see the tiny rainbows dancing on the wall.

    Gosh, Talli, how exciting that you manage to grab hold of your dreams.

  5. Me again Rosalind - I've got an award for you over at my blog :)

  6. Hello! I've arrived at your blog by way of Jemi's. It's nice to meet you!

    I often wake from a dream certain its inspiration will translate into a fantastic story...only to realize in the light of day that it was tragically bizarre. Or that I've forgotten it. :D

    I hope you get some good sleep soon!

  7. Thank you so much, Jemi, and your Blogging Buddy News blog is a good read so please people go off to visit

    Hi Nicole. Thanks for the follow. It's weird how a remembered idea from a dream can seem so dynamic when we first wake and then we realise that it's unusable... or is it. Maybe there are stories in even the weirdest of dreams.

  8. Wonderful Blog - Wonderful award. For me all award programmes are irresistible. I usually end up in tears as people thank producers, directors and even their parents for having them. I had tissues in hand as I read about the lady of 83 receiving her certificate. I think we all deserve rewards - a gold star - for being who we are and what we are. Well done Ros, a hug and a huge gold star for a well deserved Blog Award.

    "Now where are those tissues................................"
    Rifka M.


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