Essay: The Best Refuge For Insomniacs

The Best Refuge For Insomniacs

I know a woman whose son died by drowning on the night of his high school graduation. She told me she got through the weeks and months afterward by reading and rereading the works of Willa Cather. The calm and clarity of Cather's prose stabilized the woman and helped her through the time.

We have rafts that we cling to in bad weather -- consolations, little solidarities, numbers we dial, people we wake up in the middle of the night.

Somehow it is not much fun to wake up the television set. The medium is a microwave: it makes reality taste...

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