I awake earlier these days, somewhere between 4:30 and 5:30 AM—-hours I saw in my youth only from the other side, after very late night adventures. Perhaps it is a function of getting older. Maybe my unconscious self understands that time is more precious and I shouldn’t waste a moment more in sleep. I used to refer to these as “the Stephen King hours” when little gray anxieties arrive to torment and refuse to leave. But I’m changing my attitude. Surely there is a silver lining here in the dark.
Old: My mind starts abruptly and I begin to ruminate over errands to do, people to contact, art in progress.
New: Instead of trying to quiet my mind’s chatter, I get out of bed. I focus on the quiet peace in the house and the absence of morning traffic sounds. I listen closely to the silence and savor the pale gray hint of daylight in the sky. I think of walking in the mountain woods on a cool summer morning. This is a time for reflection—universally understood and worthy of respect.
I head downstairs to my studio, curious to see what I might paint in these peaceful hours. It could be a revelation.