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THE ATTRACTION OF INSOMNIA 



"It's at night, when perhaps we should be dreaming, that the mind is most clear, that we are most able to hold all our life in the palm of our skull. I don't know if anyone has ever pointed out that great attraction of insomnia before, but it is so; the night seems to release a little more of our vast backward inheritance of instincts and feelings; as with the dawn, a little honey is allowed to ooze between the lips of the sandwich, a little of the stuff of dreams to drip into the waking mind. I wish I believed, as J. B. Priestley did, that consciousness continues after disembodiment or death, not forever, but for a long while. Three score years and ten is such a stingy ration of time, when there is so much time around. Perhaps that's why some of us are insomniacs; night is so precious that it would be pusillanimous to sleep all through it! A 'bad night' is not always a bad thing."
~Brian W. Aldiss

WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN'D ASTRONOMER by Walt Whitman 



WHEN I heard the learn’d astronomer; 
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me; 
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them; 
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room, 
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;        
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself, 
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, 
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.