Tuesday, January 8, 2013

the little things

The other evening at work at the restaurant, a motorcycle-riding man with blue eyes and a dimple who was sitting at the bar told me that he's usually done a full day's work by the time his wife wakes up.

What time does he wake up?  At four a.m.  I've been thinking about it ever since.  I've had bouts of these kinds of thoughts throughout the years.  I've tried to be an early morning riser.  I love the idea of drinking coffee while it's still dark out.  I'd love to be at my desk, writing, thinking, making lists, checking things off my list... I would love to be awake, alert, waiting for the natural light to meet me in my home.  Imagine... you could have made a pot of soup, you could have bread rising, you could have outgoing bill payments waiting in the mailbox for the post carrier... I could have laid out new pattern designs, sent the kind of important emails that confirm and set things in motion... all by lunch time.  Then the rest of the day could be for attending to errands, grocery shopping, cleaning, creating, painting, meetings, enjoying fresh air, etc.

And what would it feel like to be one of those people who grows increasingly tired in relation to the sun's sinking proximity to the horizon?  Could I become one of them?  At the moment, I am the kind of person who gets more and more geared up to do things late into the night.  And no matter how many promises I make myself before bed at night, no matter how excited I think I am about the coming day, come morning, I've forgotten it all... I turn my nose up at the whole wide world and just want to go back to sleep.  Even when I force myself out of bed, a relentless grogginess (and sometimes grumpiness)  hangs over me for most of the morning, sometimes all the way into the afternoon.

In the past when I've failed at becoming a morning person, I reconciled it with genetics.  Just like my paternal grandmother, I'm a night owl.  But I guess I haven't reconciled it yet.  I still want to try being a morning person.  I want to try to function in the early morning.  I want to try to savor the very, very beginnings of days.  I'm trying to think of little inspiring things that could actually rouse me out of bed at 4 a.m.  Most of all, I think it would require getting used to it, so that I would grow to covet the dark pre-dawn time because of all the positive memories I have of it.  At the moment I don't have too many wonderful pre-dawn memories.

In the  very near future (whenever the space is deemed ready by the landlords) I'm going to move into the vacant apartment across the hall. (The final resolution to my on-going ceiling leak/repair problem).  It is bigger and has more windows... and I'm thinking maybe I could coincide the move with a new habit of waking at 4 a.m.  That would mean I'd have to go to sleep by 9 p.m. at the absolute latest.  The trouble is that it will clash with my waitressing schedule.  Who knows... I'm stewing on it.  Each of us has the power to shape our lives to our visions.  I have an especially large amount of leeway because of the pretty open circumstances of my life... so why wouldn't I try this, just to see how it works?

Meanwhile, yesterday I checked out a new book from the library.  Peaches for Father Francis by Joanne Harris.  Don't know how men would feel about the book, but if you liked Chocolat, and are looking for a book to cozy up with and be swept away with magic on the wind, really engaging characters... if you want to be captivated by sensory experiences conveyed through the written word... I'm only a few pages in, but so far it seems like it could be a very enveloping January read.  Here's an excerpt of main character Vianne remembering her old friend Armande, who is now dead:

I stared at the page for a long time, hearing the echoes of her voice.  I'd heard it so many times in dreams, balanced at the edge of sleep with her dry old laughter in my ears and the scent of her - lavender, chocolate, old books - gilding the air with its presence.

I think nowadays the average American person is so busy, so consumed with the hectic tasks of the daily rush that there isn't time for this kind of luxurious memory to blossom, particularly on the edge of sleep, because we're all too often reviewing and rehashing our most current dilemmas frantically before sleep, and then jarred awake by an alarm clock in the morning.  But... hopefully most people can remember this kind of memory sensation from childhood, or maybe while on vacation?  And wouldn't it seem right if we could have more of this kind of thing in daily adult life?

Today I'm boiling a big pot of pinto beans, my kitchen windows are all steamed up, and I'm working on some new paintings.

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