Usually around 4:00am.
I suppose this makes me peculiar compared to some folks. But, for me, rising early seems as natural as breathing.
There are many reasons for this pattern, the most prominent being this was the time I could most easily set aside for writing. For as long as I can remember, I have experienced the early morning moments as my creative time.
It’s a mystery to me that someone could do anything creative in the evening. When my wife worked on her Ph.D. dissertation, her most productive hours occurred after 9:00pm and continued into the wee, small hours of the morning.
But it worked for her!
Sometimes, during that dissertation time, we would pass each other in the darkness; her finally headed for bed, me plunging into the new day.
The early time is more than just the best time for me to do my “creative” work. It has at least two gifts, and both are worthy of royalty.
Most early mornings, whether near summer’s longest day or winter solstice’s brevity, I rise in darkness. The world beyond my east-facing window is black and foreboding; the faint glow spilling outside from my office light barely affects the immensity of the unseen space beyond. I know my yard is there, with its patchy grass and orange trees and oleanders. But I can’t see them. Out my window, just past waking, I can imagine a thousand miles of open space or, if I want to amp up my anxiety, the possibility that unknown creatures slither through the night.
Out there is a kind of chaos. Unseen. Unsettling. Darkness. Continue reading →