A quiet house, a quiet world at five o’clock in the morning, and the quiet is a welcome respite from the relentless cheeriness of the last days before Christmas here. I have nothing against cheeriness. I like it. It’s friendly. And now, well into December, I welcome the music that is everywhere, in every store and restaurant and outside them on the sidewalks. I like music, generally: it’s a great creative stimulant.
From long observation, though, I know that writing, for me, is quiet, solitary work, scavenging through a lot of inner rubble for anything I can use. It’s a search inside. It’s not meditation exactly. It might be meditation’s relative, though. Maybe it’s meditation’s reckless uncle, or libertine aunt. It’s meditation getting into mischief. Or meditation that has embarked on a brash adventure.
But whatever it is it needs a quiet space, which is sometimes hard to find at this time of year during office hours. So I’m looking for it well outside of office hours, here, early, where my computer screen is the only light. It’s not silent even now; all around me I hear the night-sounds of a winter house. The cold this morning is creating occasional thermal creaks on aging stairs, for example. There are occasional heavy drops of chilled rain falling on the chimney caps, and the murmur of wind through azaleas just outside the window. But all of those sounds just enhance the quiet. They might help my meditation find the brash adventure it’s looking for.
That, at least, was my hope when I yanked myself out of bed hours before dawn to come down here to write.