My poor husband hasn’t slept this week as a result of unremitting pain from a pinched nerve in his back—goddamn sciatica. Among the many other thoughts and emotions that have crowded my mind during his agonies, blotting out most of the rest of the world it must be said, is the memory of a song I used to sing thirty years with words by John Fletcher. Wonderful, somewhat poignant words in Andreas’ current situation, and indeed for all those who suffer from insomnia. I’ve also attached a lovely but not particularly well recorded version of the Gurney song itself, Sleep, here sung by Ian Bostridge, not me (I wouldn’t do that to you!)

Come, sleep, and with thy sweet deceiving
Lock me in delight awhile;
Let some pleasing dream beguile
All my fancies;
That from thence I may feel an influence
All my powers of care bereaving

Though but a shadow, but a sliding,
Let me know some little joy!
We that suffer long annoy
Are contented with a thought
Through an idle fancy wrought:
O let my joys have some abiding.


One thought on “Sleep

  1. Dear Janine,
    I am sorry to hear that Andreas is suffering from insomnia and having such pain. I know what insomnia is like, having gone through such periods myself… Please convey my best regards and ask him not to worry about my recent emails…
    Love from San Francisco,

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