One of the suggestions to insomniacs is that they have a mantra which they repeat to themselves to help fall asleep. It’s basically intended to prevent you dwelling on those anxieties which seem like certain fish that rise to the surface of the ocean at night to feed, and circle the poor would be sleeper like sharks, before when the dawn comes, sinking back into the murky deep.

I tried counting backwards from 100 but found this much too boring.

So I thought I would try with a well known text, and I chose The Lord’s Prayer. It’s short, and the wonderful phrases have not been mangled by a translation into modern English (not in the version I‘m going to use anyway.) I breathe slowly in and out with each word.

However I find I have a tendency to lapse into seditious heretical thoughts while pursuing the policy. Let me show you.

OUR FATHER. Odd that God should be described as being exclusively pariarchal, since he representing all, must clearly have encompassed the feminine as well.

WHICH ART IN HEAVEN I’m always keen on a little excursion into grammar. Should this not say, WHO IS in heaven? If God says it, does that make it necessarily into correct grammar​​?

HALLOWED BE THY NAME. I am reminded of the no doubt apocryphal story of the little girl who asked her mother whether God’s name was Jack or Harold? When her mother looked puzzled, the child quoted, Our Father is Jack in heaven; Harold be thy name.

THY KINGDOM COME. THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. It must be slightly tedious being always right and knowing what will happen. On reflection, perhaps Our Father is the best title for God.

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD. Amen to that for myself and everybody.

FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS. This could be a problem for me as I could spend quite a lot of time remembering grievances I may have had about someone from decades back. But in accepting that I am not perfect either and hope to be forgiven, I generally manage to remember some good things about my opponent and wish them well. For a few people however, and despite one’s best efforts, I cannot find a single redeeming feature.

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION. DELIVER US FROM EVIL. I am sure that God does not do this. I am beginning to wonder if rather than God making man in his image, it is not instead the case that the ancient patriarchs could not compete with the m

I begin to wonder what form The Temptation would take when Big Sister, bossy boots that she is, always knows the answer and annoyingly nearly always does, suddenly wakes up and begins to berate me for my insidious, vengeful heresy. I don’t waste time arguing with her (nobody can withstand her deadly logic) and sadly agree that she might well be right.

Next time, I think, I’ll choose a song. I wonder idly, would I Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog, do​​​?