Monday, 10 October 2016

An Alternative to Counting Sheep.

There’s a house about two hundred yards across the field from mine which has an exterior security light fitted. It burns all night and shines through my bedroom window, casting an illuminated patch approximately the shape and size of the window onto the opposite wall. The patch is party filled by a vaguely delineated shadow cast by an intervening hedge, and when it’s windy the shadow moves.

During the summer this shadow took on the appearance of a burly man chopping wood, at least it did to a fertile imagination like mine. But now that part of the hedgerow has been cut, the shape has changed. Now it looks like a much thinner man stooping and hitting a prone figure with a large hammer. (At least it does to a fertile imagination like mine.)

And that’s what I see every windy night when I turn over to go to sleep. When the wind is light, the murderous action looks calm and measured, but when the wind is strong it looks frenzied. It’s most interesting, and surprisingly soporific.

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