Monday, June 3, 2013


I tend to be up and about fairly early, usually rising around 5 in the morning.  It is a habit I first developed back in high school, when I would walk the mile from my house to what was then the school, and it is one I returned to in my undergraduate days, when I had an hour-long commute along the twin asphalt ribbon of Interstate 10 in the Texas Hill Country.  And it has confused a great many of those who have known about it, people who tend to sleep in as much as they can in favor of staying up late into the night (I usually find my way to bed at around midnight or a little earlier).

What they frequently do not understand is that there is much of value in getting up and getting going while the day is yet young.  As the weather warms yet more, the precious hours of coolness in the mornings become more attractive.  Too, there is commonly a quiet about things that is of aid in finding peace amid the concerns of the world; even those who must be at work while the world is yet dark, diligent and proficient, are hushed in their motions and words.  And so I have tended to find it a good time to put in place my own words; in the relative quiet, I can hear the voice within me dictate what my fingers, stroking keys, will leave behind.

As I write, of course, the day is emerging fully, and the din of The City (never truly silenced, although muted between last call and first light) is building.  The noise of news (or what passes for it) and people going to work (or not) swells in a cacophonous crescendo that will soon drive out such stillness and serenity as city streets ever permit.  I am hardly unable to write in such surroundings, of course; I do much writing (if not enough to please me), and not all of it can be done as I would ideally have it.  And there is always more of it for me to do.  Letters, entries in my journal, posts to this and other blogs, comments on student work, the documents upon which my current institution seems to depend, papers for conferences and presentations, reviews of books, summaries of what I read, and small scraps of verse all call to me to be done, and even I cannot be awake in all the quiet hours to attend to them.  Too, they take more time than there is quiet to be found.

Still, when I write in the quiet hours that are vanishing away for the day, I have not got to block out the many distractions that threaten my focus.  I can attend more fully to the tasks that present themselves, and it is to be hoped that I do better with them therefore.  For as my writing is, making it worse would not do well at all.

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