1 The constraints: 1) No more than
one hour. 2) No more than 20 lines.
The result ? Genius or Not.


14th January 2011

By Cassandra Moss | 2011 January 14

Listening, but not hearing; giving up the ghost of giving and receiving, and without the wherewithal to go anywhere or do anything else except sit and mutate into an older form. What is the sound of the present moment? It's the faint footsteps of a receding future. There is a condition called Fatal Familial Insomnia in which the sufferer develops a complete inability to sleep that is followed by dementia that can last up to six months until death. Apparently it's very rare. However, it's not difficult to convince yourself that you are going to die from lack of sleep, or at least go mad. Six hours a night, while not the recommended amount, is a liveable average. When it's down to two or three, though, the light is drained from the day and you are held back from the hours you undertake like flies on cling film, seeing what's in front of you but not reaching it. I was asked what 'sudden' meant and for about fifteen seconds I didn't know. The word entered my mind and was met with silence. A further soundlessness followed as I felt myself pulled away, deeper into an empty space within and then again, the sensation repeating with increased intensity. What I said when I managed to answer had semantic value in as much as the explanation had to mean something to the listener. My words were a sort of definition around the edges: 'Like when something wasn't happening or it wasn't there and then it is without you exactly knowing how or when'. Speaking is a strange thing for the insomniac, an observation of a mechanical process of preconscious information delivered through formal movements. Focus tends to go on interacting teeth, lips and tongue, making sure the correct shapes are made and worrying about their correspondence with the air being able to produce recognisable sounds. And still as this was happening I felt myself pulled further into an interior, perhaps in search of 'quick and unexpected' or perhaps that was already long gone, but as the journey inwards continued the distance between the inside and the out, in which context, value and inter-subjective connection were located, increased in a way that no matter how far it stretched, both ends were always visible as tiny, unreachable final destinations.

Insomnia, Interior/Exterior

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