Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Finding something in the dark of night

I woke at 4am. It was cold. Through the window came the beautiful light of the deep frost, and everything had that midnight quiet that I so love.

I couldn't sleep for a while. I was thinking of this resolution I'd undertaken to keep, to record something each day that I'd noticed, and wondering if I'd see anything worth recording.

And that anxiety was shading into the anxiety about the play I am writing, and...

And it was cold. I was sleeping on the bed settee in my sitting room, so my daughter and her husband could have my bed. The settee doesn't work for two people, somehow.

And I needed to pee, and I needed some water, and I needed to find another downie because the one I had was old and full of draughty bits.

So I padded about the flat as quiet as I could, looking for another quilt, and I couldn't find it, so I tried to snuggle down and found myself thinking of the beautiful film I'd seen that evening.

It was called THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP and is a lovely, humane, and gentle film that has at its heart a deep friendship between an English and a German officer. It was made in the middle of the Second World War, and must have been astonishingly difficult to film, given the censorship, and the wartime conditions, and the fact that Churchill wanted to stop it being made.

But I'd say it was still a masterpiece in its own quiet way, and it helped me understand that the worst obstacles are almost always the ones we create for ourselves.

And then somehow I remembered the quilt I needed was in the chest next to the settee I was sleeping on, and at the same time I understood something more about the play that I'm writing.

And that's how I also understood that often what we're looking for is actually right under our eyes. Because the quilt was there, and I was warm, and I could sleep.

And then it was morning.
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