Wooden flaws…


4:15am

I have made a contract with myself that if I wake up in the middle of the night, I then have to write at least 500 vaguely cogent words as penance. I borrowed the slightly adapted idea from the psychologist Milton Erikson who had interesting ways of treating chronic insomnia. He told one man to polish his wooden floors upon waking, night after night the man woke up, got down on his hands and knees with a small cloth and polished the wooden floors in his home (an onerous task indeed as it took well over an hour to complete). After developing a particular distaste for the task, Erikson claimed the man ‘slept like a baby’ (although in my home, the words ‘sleep’ and  ‘baby’ are certainly not  commensurate).

After reviewing my recent entries it is painfully evident to me that at times I am prone to feeling too much. Although I do feeling well and my emotional landscape is well traversed, it can become rather a bother. Not only have I charted rather obscure areas of my own emotional terrain, but I wade around in other peoples feelings all day (images of subterranean Paris in wellington boots and a head-torch comes to mind). On occasion, the result of this is that I become incredibly sensitized to my environment and when shock waves roll through the collective psyche of the broader system (e.g. Marikana, Bredasdorp etc) I can short circuit. A short circuit is essentially when I begin to drown in feeling without titrating it with rational thinking, this can lead me into the unlit areas of mind called despair and hopelessness. I’ve been in these neighbourhoods before and  know the kind of characters who hang around the street corners peddling woe and self recrimination. I’m not currently in the market for any of their wares.

So, although I am awake at some ungodly hour, I’ll try to reconstruct Hope with some sticky tape, wood glue and some good ‘ol fashioned Tennessee bourbon (a pity the latter is a compensatory fantasy as I head into a full day of work, but never mind) so instead I’ll have to return to reading my suitably soporifically titled book  ‘Changing Men in South Africa’ and hope it has a happy ending.

386 words, I’m going to have to get more wax.

About the author

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Jamie Elkon http://shrinkrap.co.za/

The author can be found rummaging through life looking for nourishment in the early hours of the morning. He is slowly going sane by using his actual life and relationships to wake up.He lives in Cape Town with his teenaged daughter, two bassett hounds named Thelma and Louise and Digit... the cat. He hugs trees, has experienced numerous dark nights of the soul, collects incorrect Chinese packaging and tracks curious things to their lair.

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