Saturday, November 04, 2006

Insomnia will never be the same

No, insomnia will never be the same again, not now we have Google. A 24 hour library in your own home... (Warning: this post has lots of links, lots of fun if you have insomnia and hours to pass before morning, but probably a bit time consuming for the rest of you so I suggest you pick one, randomly, and call it lucky dip) Last night I had full blown insomnia for the first time since I left Kabul. This was the kind of insomnia that feels like jetlag, where your mind knows that it is sleep-time but your body seems to be functioning in a different time zone and simply won't act sleepy. I learned a long time ago that worrying about not sleeping is what makes insomnia painful, so at 3.00am this morning I gave up lying in bed practicing my yogic breathing and just got up. I wasn't in the mood for reading for long, so I came downstairs, got online and started googling all sorts of things that caught my fancy. A search for 'yoga afghanistan' led me to this blog - written by a woman who I met in a yoga class in Kabul. In fact in the wee hours of the morning I discovered a few blogs my people I know here, some of them anonymous but recognisable and others under their own identity. This woman lives and works here in Herat and is becoming a friend, she is great company and just as vibrant in real life as she appears in her blog. This good value Australian used to live in Kabul and was a friend of mine, she is now in Indonesia and I think her blog reflects her sense of humour well. A search for 'women running' led me to an article that provided a special training programme for people who are stuck inside and on a treadmill - and on the same site a pace converter (I can plug in how many minutes it took me to run a kilometer and the converter will tell me my pace, or vice versa - exciting perhaps only for running geeks like me, but I thought Wendie would like it at least!). The converter also converts paces from miles to kms and vice versa so I can use US derived race training plans, which has always taxed my mathematical abilities in the past. But my favorite article on this site was the feature on 'running heroes'. Okay, now I really am showing my inner running geek. Moving on... Several searches using variations on 'books writing women' threw up some beauties. This one has great book reviews (check out the non-fiction review - From Baghdad, with Love). This one has all these interviews with women writers describing their writing technique, I love it and think it may fuel many wasted afternoon fantasizing about myself as a writer. There were many other strange and winding paths down which I wandered through the night, and it was fun. I enjoyed the sense of freedom, of there being nothing else that I should have been doing. I indulged my new addiction for reading these blogs by women who I don't know but whose honesty, warmth, creativity and wit seem to reach out to me across the electronic wonderland: Susannah, Denise and Laini. When I miss my own wonderful tribe of women, I enjoy looking in on this online tribe. Well - I've survived into the early evening and I am fairly confident of a good night's sleep tonight so I'll leave you now with my one final fabulous find.

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