Sunday, August 31, 2014

Counting Sheep


I have been suffering from insomnia lately. My mind  mind is whirring around energetically, creating new frocks and fabrics or making extravagant , glorious and impossible plans for future European parties.  If that was the only result it might be quite a useful insomnia. But  after some time  I start to go astray,  visiting far away places and times which it would be better to forget...
Since this is a recurring problem I  have tried all the traditional remedies, and none of them suits me. In particular the counting of sheep has me wide awake and very annoyed within a few minutes. I start counting, but the sheep are never  behaving themselves. There is always a fat one that can’t jump over the fence and needs rescuing. And while I go and help to shove the disgusting overweight  specimen over the fence , breaking into a sweat with the effort,  I see  out of the corner of my eye lots of agile sheep jumping over the gate without waiting for me to count them. So I end up in a tiss  and in the unhappy  knowledge that I have totally failed.

A girlfriend of mine once told me that she  counted  passed lovers instead of sheep, it always did the trick for her and she fell asleep almost immediately.  I assumed that she meant just having them them filing past consequtively rather than making them jump over fences. Well, I have tried, but yet again, this puts me into a terrible mood as I start wondering what on earth possessed me... and what could I possibly have seen in that one... and why, oh, why  did he not love me... and why could I not have loved that one , it would have been perfect really  etc , etc...
I lay awake in the warm rainy season night listening to the toads’ joyous choral practice as a thousand throaty toad voices  raise their  celebration to the rains.  Around midnight and a little later I hear, one by one, the motorcycles skirt by the perimetres of my house, on their way home from their secret midnight  meetings with marabouts or lovers. Many nights I hear the Moezzin’s first call to prayer, drifting across the river from the Grand Mosque, and  some nights I see the first light dawn over Djenné before sleep finally claims me.
 
(Picture shows Baobab tree with bee-hives)

7 Comments:

Blogger Susan Scheid said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:00 AM  
Blogger Susan Scheid said...

Oh, boy do I know this one. You, however, have made insomnia into poetry:

I lay awake in the warm rainy season night
listening to the toads’ joyous choral practice
as a thousand throaty toad voices
raise their celebration to the rains.
Around midnight and a little later
I hear, one by one,
the motorcycles skirt by the perimetres of my house,
on their way home from their secret midnight meetings
with marabouts or lovers.
Many nights I hear the Moezzin’s first call to prayer,
drifting across the river from the Grand Mosque, and some nights I see
the first light dawn over Djenné
before sleep finally claims me.

1:02 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

Oh, Susan, you are too kind and I am quite overwhelmed that you should find some poetic merit in what I write...!

3:04 PM  
Blogger Nashville Brown said...

LOL. I love this one.

I myself suffer from insomnia.
Instead of sheep I count the seconds and minutes that tick by, and that itself is the problem.
As far as the fat sheep goes, well, even in dreams there's a black sheep.
No pun intended.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Kim Hart said...

Hi Sophie!
The only other blog I read regularly is written by Pamela Timms who is living in Delhi, India and writes mostly about street food.
Thought you might be inspired though as she has finally managed to write her much talked about book based on her blog and it has just been published: http://eatanddust.com/
Kim

12:57 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Thank you Kim, just looked up the eat and dust blog: yes indeed it is very good! and the name is fab, I think the book should have been called that too!

7:20 PM  
Blogger Kim Hart said...

There was a lot of discussion about the title and Pam invited her readers to vote on the title ... anyway, of course got all excited about reading it but only available in India at the moment! Just looked at the lovely new MaliMali clothing and fabrics - all gorgeous and terrific new photos as well.

11:20 AM  

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