Monday, 5 October 2009


...just below the surface.

A bit like snorkelling, I suppose, even though I have never done it myself, but it is how I imagine it:
Above me is the world of air and sunlight, of noise and wind; below, the water which gets a deeper shade of blue over there where the coral reef ends, and the play of sunlight through water on the sandy ground and the incredible variety of fish and other animals in colours so vivid you wonder whether your eyes would be able to take it all in, were it not for the softening effect of the water.

Instead, I am drifting just below the surface of being awake, with my mind still turned towards the mysterious and seemingly infinite world of dreams.

Just how the snorkelling tourist's eyes catch sight of so many different species, of wondrous formations of rocks covered in corals, of small scenes ripe with big drama, my mind drifts from scene to scene, thoughts flickering up for a moment, only to be replaced by others seconds later.

My former boss, who featured in a dream the other night (one of those dreams you can't actually remember what happened, you only know who was there); the letter I got from the insurance; what am I going to wear on the Friday night after the book fair when I will meet some friends; is there still enough muesli in the cupboard for when I'll have breakfast in a bit?; I wish this bit of duvet on my lower back was his hand; today I must not forget to take that book to work; the pumpkin soup was lovely last night, but R. didn't look very well...


For almost an hour, the drifting goes on. Sometimes I steer my mind deliberately away from one thought and on to another, sometimes I really just let it drift.

My cat wakes me up.
The drifting stops, and just like the snorkeller breaks through the surface of the water, I feel the last remnants of sleep recede from my mind, and I am here.

The day can begin.


  1. I'm reading this 30 months or so after you wrote it and I'm both astonished and envious. My dreams are very rarely pleasant (I'm sure I must have had some but I can't recall any).

    1. And here's me, thinking that everyone must know this kind of drifting... I still do that, and my mind probably needs it in order to get into the right frame for the day's requirements.