- Charlotte Brontë
|“Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles” - Vincent van Gogh, Oil on canvas, 1888|
Oy. Was my mind ruffled last night. I tossed and turned and had no more than a few hours of sleep added together last night.
I can't blame it on the bed, as poor Vincent could obviously have done. It's been said that many of Van Gogh's 'issues' stemmed from the fact that he suffered from severe insomnia for so long. Well, by the looks of his bedroom, it's easy to see the reason for his lack of sleep. My back hurts just looking at that bed.
No, I have a perfectly lovely bed.
My mind was just...ruffled. I think that's such a pretty way to describe the undulating thoughts and images that sometimes float incessantly through our minds at night. Charlotte Brontë is brilliant.
Unfortunately, the result of that ruffling is not so pretty.
I don't require a lot of sleep. Usually, if I can get in five hours or so, I'm golden. Occasionally, I'll get seven or so hours, and that sometimes makes me as groggy as no sleep. What's up with that?
I do need some sleep regularly, though. All wake and no sleep makes Jo a very cranky lady.
When we were growing up, My Twin and I attended many, many slumber parties (again, what's up with that euphemism? No slumber party I ever attended had the slightest little thing related to slumber as part of it). It didn't take long for my very wise mother to learn to send Jo directly to bed upon her return home from one of these parties. Normally a very compliant, easy child, Sleepless Jo was a weepy, touchy girl, someone no one wanted around for long.
Look out, world, Sleepless Jo has returned.
There is no "typical" reason for these bouts of insomnia, at least not for me. It's as if my brain, which usually categorizes and prioritizes my tasks, errands, worries, and responsibilities quite efficiently throughout the day (without much help from me, I might add), short circuits, causing this power surge of ruffling thoughts.
The dog goes to the groomer today. I need to edit that piece for the ballet company. How's Mom doing? Those photos will be ready by noon today. I left laundry in the dryer! I wonder how a dear one handled his chemo this week? Lunch with Konnie today!...ruffle, ruffle, ruffle.
There was no rhyme or reason to the cascading ruffles of thoughts last night. But I am only slightly groggy now, and I'll be just fine after a bonus cup of coffee this morning. I'm grateful for my lovely bed, my beautiful family, and even for the curious mix of thoughts that invade my sleep. I'll try hard not to be weepy and touchy today. The silver lining to my insomnia must surely be all the tossing and turning I did last night. I'm counting that as my daily exercise.
Today, I wish for you an unruffled mind.
I have a love/hate thing going on with Franz Liszt. I always thought he must have been a hard man to like. I imagine most Hungarians to be fairly imperious and intimidating people (unfair, I know), and Liszt would have been the president of that club. Not a really warm and fuzzy guy.
Then I found that he suffered from insomnia, and it made perfect sense. Some even say that insomnia contributed to his death. Yikes.
So today, I've chosen this sonata by Liszt to share with you. A sonata is a composition for keyboard (usually) made up of 3 or 4 movements of varying moods and intensities, but most often melodic and slow. Not this one. I imagine Liszt to have composed this after a night of merciless insomnia.
Gergely Boganyi performs The Liszt sonata in B Minor is performed by Gergely Boganyi here in 1996. Though only 22 years old at the time, he also won the prestigious International Franz Liszt Competition in Budapest that same year.
This movement is long, but well worth watching. Boganyi's hands are a marvel to observe, demonstrating both tenderness and power with equal ease. Thank you to my friend, Leni, for sharing this with me...Enjoy!