Nocturnal thoughts

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“It’s one thing in a labour camp: You break your back the livelong day and, just you lay your head on a straw pillow, you hear: “U-u-u-up you get!” No nocturnal thoughts here.

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But in the merry-go-round of our modern life, so frayed and fragmented, thoughts have no chance to ripen and settle during the day, and are abandoned. It is at night that they return to claim their due. No sooner does your mind’s fog begin to lift, they lunge, they flood your flattened consciousness, jostling with each other. And one of the more caustic and audacious of the lot coils in front, ready to sting.

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But your resistance, your dignity is not to give up to these gusts, but to master the dark torrent and guide it toward that which heals. For there is always a thought, often more than one, that introduces a tiny element of tranquility, like those control rods inserted into a nuclear reactor to impede a meltdown. Just learn to find this element, this saving ray of God or even have it on the ready and hold on to it.

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Your heart and mind are purged then, those gusts disperse, and into the troubled world of insomnia step beneficent, great thoughts, ones you could never have approached in the bustle of the day. And thanks to insomnia: From this lookout even the insoluble can be solved.

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Power over self.”

Solzhenitsyn.

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