There are days when I wake up, get out of bed, and leave my brain laying on the pillow. I stumble to the bathroom and then to the kitchen, following the siren song of coffee like a zombie after living flesh. Once my cup is full of warm caffeine I shuffle off to sit at my computer.
It’s routine. I can do it without my brain. The movements are automatic. Which is good because otherwise I would never get any writing done. Eventually my brain wakes up and joins me…or not. Sometimes the lazy glob of cells and electrical impulses calls out on me and refuses to work. The writing still gets done some how. It’s not always good writing, but one word does get put down after the other.
Writing this post right now is kind of my version of poking my brain with a stick, trying to wake it up. So far I’ve got a few mumbled “go aways” and a yawn.
Mornings come too early. The sun isn’t even up yet but I am supposed to be awake and functional. So far I’ve got half of that covered (mostly anyway) and I am hoping the functional part will come after a cup of tea or coffee. (I haven’t decided which I need yet. Probably the coffee since this morning will be hectic.)
So to get the blood in my brain pumping I thought I would give myself a time limit on this post. (Also I only have ten minutes of free time left before my day really begins.) I thought a time limit would also help with those blank moments of staring at the screen trying to put my words in order. Sometimes you just have to spit thing out. Even if your word are in print and not spoken out loud.
I am having difficulties waking up this morning. I now hold in my hands a hot cup of Earl Grey that I hope will do the trick. I have to return to my night job tonight so sleeping in is not such a bad thing, except I write best in the mornings. (The definition of morning for me is two hours before I would normally get up. The actual time of day doesn’t really matter since I have such a strange work schedule. Morning usually arrives at five o’clock.)
I stayed up into the wee hours last night with the kids. I set up my daughter’s telescope and let them stare at the moon for a little while. They quickly grew bored and went back inside but I remained in the back yard (sitting in the grass I really need to mow) gazing at the sky.
Growing up in the middle of nowhere, I used to do this a lot as a kid. My brother and I would sit outside for hours just starring at the sky. When we went to visit my grandmother during the Summer (who also lived in the middle of nowhere, just in Florida) we would climb onto the roof of my grandfathers workshop and star gazed from there. (We always got in trouble for being up there but that never stopped us.)
I realized last night how long it’s been since I last sat outside and dreamed about those pin pricks of diamond light. Looking up into the night makes you realize how small you are and how unique. Taking a deep breath of air, smelling the damp grass, and listening to the crickets I let myself let go of all I logically know about space. (Which honestly is limited to what I learned in school, from the Discovery Channel, and a few books.)
I let myself dream like I did when I was a kid who watched Star Wars with my dad and carried the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy around in the pocket of my coat. I left myself open to all the possibilities, real and imagined, until I was filled to the brim with magic. The night sky is a big and amazing thing. It was nice to remember that, to feel awe at how tiny we really are, and how far the possibilities can stretch.
I am glad I am a writer, because for me all of those possibilities can become real, even if it is only on a page. And if I write well enough, then one day maybe they will become real for someone who reads them.