Early Bird


Early Bird.

I have the kind of commute that makes people regularly ask what’s wrong with me.

The same question could be posed about my sleep patterns. Even when daylight savings staves off dawn, I’m wide awake and wandering.

But I have my reasons.  


Dawning on Me

206When’s the last time you were up at dawn?

Well, this morning: daily dawns came along with grief, as part of the package deal.

As soon as my husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I lost my capacity to eat, sleep, and otherwise function . . . until the day I realized I had to amass some strength for his sake, and our children’s.  But that’s another story (one I told not long ago on the Moth Mainstage in Boston).

I used to be inside at dawn and miss the whole thing.  I was either sleeping or scurrying around the house, doing tasks, preparing myself and the children and dogs to set about the day–though, in the dogs’ case, they don’t really require that much preparation.  Their duties are minimal, but important in their way.

Then, utterly unable to sleep while Jim was sick, I would wander outside with the beagles and see immense blankets of color above the pond where Jim would take in his last outdoor view of an orange perigee moon.

So even when I began recovering strength, I thought it worth keeping hold of the dawns.

Dawn at Jim’s Pond


Nullify the Night

I continue to receive musical messages.

“I can’t go to sleep

I think about the implications . . .”

The song is “Overkill,” from Colin Hay of Men at Work.  I heard the acoustic version for the first time today.  The song came out the year Jim and I married–the year carved into the wedding band I wear on a chain around my neck.

I have been an insomniac since what I thought at the time was the ripe age of ten.

Now I have been through such a sustained period of sleep deprivation that I wonder how I can drive, let alone pluck an appropriate hearsay objection out of the internal fog, cross-examine an expert, or remember I’ve put water on for tea before I hear the frantic clattering of a kettle as its contents disappear in a mist of steam.   Continue reading “Nullify the Night”

Fever’s Edge

A few nights ago I was running a respectable fever and was utterly miserable.  The plates of my skull seemed to shift; fireworks went off behind my eyes; the supply of tissues was exhausted long before my sneezing fits ebbed.

It was a solitary pity party.  That is to say, it ranked well below one of my parades of drudgery.

It may be akin to the sound of a tree falling in the woods if there’s no one to hear it; it’s not much of a pity party if one’s whining is all directed inward.

(I considered titling this post in a more blatantly self-pitying way, with the entirely accurate recounting of the night that “I was a Single Helix at a Doubles Party,” but that shall have to wait until another time.) Continue reading “Fever’s Edge”

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