Last night I thought I felt well enough to watch a DVD with my husband. At first it was a pleasure to enjoy this return to Saturday night normality. After about forty minutes or so, I realised I was beginning to feel uncomfortable. The voices and sound-effects of the film seemed to be growing louder. The constant flickering of images seemed to be speeding up. My head began to fizz. I shut my eyes but the sounds and lights were incessant. I began to feel a build-up of pressure in my head that needed some kind of release: bursting into tears; being sick; something. Half way into the film I couldn’t bear it any longer. I staggered dizzily upstairs and fell into bed, but my brain was popping and sparking with over-stimulation and I spent most of the night awake. Is this really what we subject ourselves to on a daily basis? How extraordinary, that we don’t notice how much our brains have to absorb until something goes wrong.
This morning: peace. My husband has taken the children to church. The house is quiet. I doze on in bed. At some point I notice that my eyes have opened: through the fringe of eyelashes, I am seeing the open wooden shutter and the bedroom window. The shutter is paneled into three, the window is divided into twelve small square panes. My short-sightedness gives all the lines soft edges. How restful to the eye, this quiet assembly of geometry. Pale light from a rainy sky. The clock ticks. A cow gives three monotonous bellows from the field. The whisper of the rain. The fringe closes. Sleep.