There’s no logical reason to be up at this hour, except for the fact I am wide awake with no place to go until at least 8:00 a.m.
The house is quiet; even the cat hasn’t found the need to check her bowl for fresh food, a task she accomplishes routinely at 7 every morning. The best she could do was pick her head up and yawn at me, before laying back down and facing away from me with assurance not to be disturbed again.
I used to wake up early like this when I first starting writing, many years ago. It was a discipline of sorts, to be able to wake up before the children and write a few pages, give or take a hundred. The words flew from my fingers in a frenetic avalanche of thoughts and emotions. There was no way I could stop them. Before I used to write with abandon, with no regard or thought of consequence from the result of my musings.
Now, its like someone untied the knot of a balloon and all the words came floating out, disappearing into the atmosphere. Hemingway said it best: “Writing is easy, just sit down at the typewriter and bleed.” I’ve bled so much, vampires look the other way.
Its different now. My focus has changed, my thoughts are not as clear and emotion not as defined. I’m older, but my heart and body don’t know that yet. I still do the things I did when I was 16, only know I am lucky enough to know when to stop.
If time is measured in increments like the weights of a scale, I know I have passed the midline of equal balance. I am on the other side and have lived more years than I have left. Its not a statement of doom or macabre fascination; just merely a fact.
It rarely occurs, it seems; having my heart, mind and body all work in tandem. I’ve lost all discipline, all desire for routine and order. My focus has changed, my attention drawn to other things.
Where did the words go? Damned if I know. Just waiting to be born, incubating in the back of my mind, waiting to be born when the time is right. Perhaps they don’t serve the same purpose as they did in the past.
I’ve been thinking about several friends of late, at least three people I know who have fallen into this phenomenon especially among people my age, of letting go. They give away everything they own, except for what they can fit in their car, their van or R.V., and simply drive away. True, they don’t have families to constrain them, or responsibilities to contain them. Their savings are minimal, and some drive to a place where they can work for a few weeks, stash a few dollars away for safekeeping, and then on to the next adventure.
What makes these people different from those who are homeless is the fact they have a destination in mind, an end to their journey. They just take their time getting there.
Are they brave or delusional? Am I envious or cynical? I honestly don’t know.
I know I would miss the convenience of a bathroom, a hot tub and a hot cup of coffee.
I would miss the joy of cooking and feeding those who sit around my dining room table.
I would grieve the loss of my familiarity of the surroundings which I have become accustomed, the routine of the familiar and the comfort of the mundane.
I just realized I am taking stock of this year, with all its changes, good and bad. Of all things I’ve lost and the many things I’ve gained.
What did Rumi say? “Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
In other words, everything old becomes new again.
We just have to hold on.
May we always hold on to what is important, and let go of the baggage weighing us down.