During the day, there are so many distractions: a spread sheet, the laundry, the news, rushing from one thing to the next. But at night, when the rest of the world is quiet, we at last have an opportunity to restart a conversation with a very important person we have neglected for far too long: ourselves. We can let what we really think emerge. The night is like a sheltered cove where our more tentative, precious and important thoughts can shelter and gain strength. Sitting up late in bed or on an armchair, the sensations and ideas we don’t usually have time for have the chance to come to the surface. Is this relationship a big mistake or are the quieter signs of love getting missed? Is our career about a longing to impress, a desire to fit in or a fear of failure? We might relive a childhood holiday or an argument, which we’d hardly thought about for years. We can reconnect, in our imagination, with a friend from way back, who brought out a new side to our personality. In the deep privacy of our minds, we can circle round the big questions: Who am I? Where have I come from? Where am I going?
Our night thoughts might sometimes sound weird. They can be tricky to share with friends or family; they need us to be a certain way. We don’t want to frighten them, yet at the same time, we have to give our deeper selves some attention too. We need a journal to hold the wayward, peculiar yet important parts of our minds, so they are waiting for us when we are next ready for them. In the morning, we will be – once more – well-meaning partners, devoted parents, diligent colleagues. But the record of our nocturnal thoughts will keep us safely connected to our more complete and sincere selves.