“The mornings are for thinking; the evenings are for feeling.”
Gertrude Stein said that. The mornings are for thinking, the evenings are for feeling. Don’t you love that? And isn’t it that just the way?
Though I’ve always been a morning person, a few months ago I started waking up earlier. I started waking up at four — and I’m pretty sure that’s gonna be the way it is from here on out because I love getting up that early.
It’s true. When I get up at 4 a.m., I don’t wake up in despair. Oh, I’m a little daunted when the alarm goes off, but it’s exciting for me to know that I have hours to think before the rest of the world gets up and need things from me and I need things from the world.
It started because I had no choice. Between school, Quiltfolk, lecture gigs, and the rest of my life, waking up in the almost-middle-of-the-night and getting to work became the only way out, as far as I could see. And sure enough, day after day, the mornings were for thinking. I saw that I could mountains of work between 4 a.m. and noon, all of it necessary — necessary, of course, if you agree that reading assignments are necessary; that responding to fellow students’ work is necessary; that turning in magazine articles and columns a least within a day or two of their respective deadlines is necessary; if working on my essay collection is necessary.
I think all that’s very necessary. I think those things create what my life looks like and I feel pretty necessary, if only to myself.
So I get up at 4 a.m. and make tea. I take my vitamins and my meds. I stare into space for awhile. If you were to see me there in my reclining chair, holding a hot mug of tea and staring into space at 4:17 a.m., it might not look like I’m doing much. But make no mistake, I am very busy.
I am thinking.