It’s 4:49am as I write this. I’ve been up since 2:30 and haven’t been able to fall back asleep; perhaps it was the two soy lattes I consumed during the day? Or was it the consecutive cups of green tea, sipped and refilled multiple times between coffee runs?
The Lord Jones, I love you—but even your CBD tinctures are no match for this kind of self-induced insomnia.
As much as I wish for a full night’s rest, I’m grateful for these early mornings. Half the world is already up and yet it feels special; entirely my own, open to possibility. These are the sacred hours I feel most inspired. I read; write; stretch, if I’m feeling particularly saintly. Today was too cold to attempt the frog pose, so instead, I choose the easier, more human route: resume Henry and June from the comfort (and warmth) of my bed.
It’s not until I reach for my lemon water—once hot, now cool—when I realize just how captivated I was. Then again, when is Anaïs Nin not addictive? Utterly enthralling? I feel so much in common with her (which feels blasphemous to say at all; me? Merely mortal and incapable of such complexity and experience!) and yet remain bewildered by the fearlessness and frankness with which she leads her life. I look at my own, unable to resist the comparison. How vanilla, how regimented my days are. I wake up at the same time every morning; go to work; assist a salsa class/run errands; shower; eat a (late) dinner; unwind.
“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”
And yet routine is not the enemy. Mindset is. Seeing my life through judgmental (or simply ungrateful) lens—of my own making!—has only clouded the reality that has always been right in front of me. Is this a consequence of indulging in social media, or a rite of passage in every 20-something’s life? Both theories can be dissected (and already have been exhausted). Whatever the cause, this quiet morning of stillness is a catalyst for finding the special in what already exists before me.
Like: a morning so quiet it’s too early for sun but early enough for a glow in the sky; having the luxury to read a few chapters and still mill about before getting ready for work; freedom, earned since living alone.
A sacred morning, all to myself.
. . .