Annie Dillard

At 4:00 am I was still awake.

I made several attempts to sleep, but none of them eased my reeling mind.  I finished a book.  Then because my eyes were heavy, I turned off the light.  And lay there.

And watched the street lights dance across the room.

And listened to the indistinguishable voices of the people upstairs.

And enumerated every concern that has ever crossed my mind.

So I turned the light back on to write.  Usually, it helps quiet the compulsive march of anxious thoughts.  Normally I defeat the deafening pulse of the words in my ears by following their trail, out of the woods and into a clearing of awareness.

But last night…last night it was hard.

Today I’ve been easily startled and quickly irritated.  A small knot of tissue exists, pulsating with tension, under a smooth exterior.

So while I sat in the library and waited for a computer, I read some of “An American Childhood” by Annie Dillard.  Her words, carefully chosen and artfully strung together, work like the firm pressure of a masseuse against that point of tangled pressure.

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