Not Writing at Dawn Bears a Late Harvest (aka Another Day. Another Cup of Tea.)

Since my resolution to try writing at the dawntime I haven’t written a word between 4.30am and 6am.  I got as far as turning the computer on at 5am on one day, but then the baby woke up again and all bets were off.  He’s been poorly too and the nights have been rough.  So I’m sitting with some questions.  Is this a failure? Is this a manifestation of resistance (the baby is sick…. I’m so tired…. so I can’t write).  Well.  Yes! All of the above.  But that’s not the end of the story.  Because I may not have written a word, but I have been ‘turning up’.  At dawn, I wake up, and even as I regret not writing, I have in the past week been present with my work at this time.  My thoughts have been fermenting ideas, though it’s been hard to see what the fruits of it would be when I couldn’t follow through with the dawn writing I wanted.  Instead, the fruits have appeared at other times of day, when the writing does happen.  Today, I gave a lecture titled ‘What makes us human?’  I was terrified by my lack of concrete preparation, it’s also been a very long time since I spoke publicly.  It rained and rained in the morning.  Getting us all out the house left me soaked to the skin… crouched under a broken umbrella.  But once I’d dropped my daughter at school and my son with a friend, the hour before the lecture was there.  Stretched open and ripe to pick.  Resistance wanted me to ‘wing it’ as I so often do, but instead I allowed the percolations of the dawn time to get their space.  The lecture that emerged was cool…. it had life and substance, imperfect yes, and also full of questions and the dynamic of the conversation that makes us think about being human in the first place.  I delivered it to all of four 17 year olds on a university taster day, and a couple of their teachers.  There were no great accolades or rewards here, just the satisfaction of a job done, and seeing the shift in their faces as some of those questions got through and resonated.

Afterwards,  I went to a greasy spoon cafe and got a full English and a cup of tea.  Soaking up the beans and fried tomatos with a buttered slice, washed down with the golden brew, I sat with the sense of satisfaction that comes when you’ve done the work.  It passes.  That’s cool.  I’ll fight the battle again.  And continue to turn up at dawn.  Whether I write or not, it’s the showing up that counts.

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Waking Up Before Sunrise to Write – Can I do it???

Reading this wonderful post, I laughed and recognised:

http://www.julietallardjohnson.com/blog/

These words at the end hover around me……

“Write first thing, before sunrise if necessary. Carve out that time in the early hours and let every thing else be after your writing –-”

I try to carve it out in the day.  Snatches of time where I can write.  Now that I am committed to the Wheel of Initiation, my writing obligations have doubled.  I owe both my thesis and the stories of the West my time and energy.  This amongst everything else that needs my time and energy.   There are plenty of very good reasons why I don’t have enough time to write.  They are valid and true and real.  And if I allow them to persuade me to put off my work for another day or more opportune time, well, for a split second I am vindicated.  And after that just plain old hollow with a gnawing feeling in my chest that something is missing.  I have sat with that feeling for years, putting things off for another day.  And that sort of scares me.  That so much time so easily slips away.    Because for better or worse, writing matters, or rather, honouring the Creative in whatever way you do it, matters.  And actually, funny this, when you get down to it, when you get started, it’s no big deal.   Wow.  I let years slip past me for no big deal?  Yup!  And no big deal there either… because another manifestation of resistance is to get all caught up in how much time you’ve wasted and what’s the point now it’s too late etc etc etc etc ad infinitum.

Still.  It is hard to find the time……

Lately, my son has been waking me at dawn everyday.  Around 4.30am, he cries softly and I wake up to give him some milk, and we both fall back to sleep.  This time at the point of daybreak has become very precious.  Sometimes, instead of slipping back into sleep, I have listened to the dawn chorus (one of the few times you ever hear a symphony of birds in Central London).  I have slid out of bed and looked out the back window at the colours of the dawn.  I have chanted Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padme Sidhi Hum under my breath as my son feeds.  I have felt the infinity of the moment of dawn and realised that dawn is always breaking somewhere as the planet revolves.  I have felt a connection to all those who rise at dawn to meditate.  And I wonder if I can wake up a little more, and use this spaciousness to write in… even if only initially for a little time.  Maybe half an hour to start.  Even ten minutes, then back to sleep till the alarm goes off at 6.45.

This feels like a big deal, and yet, my desire to write (even write badly) my way out of the West and out of my Thesis. is bigger than my desire for an extra half hour of sleep.  This is a new thing.

So….  I take the step and say I will try.  Perhaps trying is not good enough and doing is better, but I’m being gentle on my sweet little self.

Just for this week.   Just for the morning that is coming up.  I am giving this space to the West, and to the Thesis.  They need it, the quietness, the solitude.  No blogging at this time.

I will blog in the day, in those snatched times.  About how it’s going, if it’s happening, how it happens.  Because this kind of public, organic writing is a cool way to reflect and summarise.  And get unblocked too.  Blogging for me right now takes the pressure off the other writing I am doing.  In the years that have passed, I have asked too much of various pieces of work… asked them to bear too much weight.  So they have become stuck under the burden.  I am grateful to this medium for providing that relief.  And I also acknowledge that those other labours require more privacy and space.  I will try to provide it.  I will try to be awake before the dawn.  I hope that however long this pre-dawn writing time lasts, I will be able to mark the end of the space by responding to my son waking, as I do everyday, and falling back asleep with him for that final hour, full of the love and energy of the Creative.

I wish this!