[The new Vogue and a glass of red – the perfect 2am activity.]
“Dawns are all very well (though I generally see them after staying up all night, when I may be too sleepy to appreciate them), but they can’t hold a candle to a full moon, an aurora borealis, a meteor shower, or a comet.” – Anne Fadiman’s essay “Night Owl” in At Large and At Small
As long as I can remember, I’ve been a night owl. I was the kid reading in bed long after everyone else had gone to bed, and I was the kid who was next to impossible to get up in the morning. (Nothing’s changed there – just ask my husband.) My mum resorted to spraying the still-sleeping me with a water bottle on many an occasion. In university, I wrote every single one of my papers the night before, staying up the entire night with intermittent naps on the couch (probably due more to my perennial procrastination than my night owlish-ness).
I’ve always loved that magical time, usually around 2am – 4am, when all the windows are dark in the neighbourhood, and it seems as though everyone is asleep. (Except me, bwaa haa haa!) Nighttime is when I get my much-needed time to myself (even more so now that I have a baby!), for writing, or thinking, or reading, or making things, even though I usually pay for it the next day. My Golden Hours are from 10pm – 2pm – my children’s novel was written during these Golden Hours, and so was all my poetry and nearly all of these blog posts. I should just forget even trying to be creative at any other time of day. Fortunately Keaton is a kind, sweet baby and usually sleeps until 9am or 10am (I am lucky, I know).
As Anne Fadiman also points out, studies have shown that our circadian rhythms are built in: once a lark (god forbid) always a lark, and once a night owl, always a night owl. (Although my dear dad, who used to be a late-nighter, is now a to-bed-at-8pm-get-up-at-5am kinda guy.) I’m always happy when I meet another late-night person: apparently only 10% of the population is made up of night owls, so we gotta stick together. Or not. Maybe part of being a night owl is the solitary nature of it.
The lark’s familiar exclamation to a sleeping-in night owl is, “but you’re wasting the day!” Well I say, “you’re wasting the night!”
Reading: The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker – Was on the request list for this from the library for what felt like a million years, and now I am so excited to sink my teeth into it. You’ve already read of my love for his earlier novel Room Temperature, and his latest looks like just my literary cup of tea (what is up with all the cliches? Lazy!) – it looks like Baker’s love letter to poetry, which is a big love of mine, as well. I’m only a few pages in, but already I know how much I’m going to love it. Check out this bit, from page 1: “What a juicy word that is, ‘divulge.’ Truth opening its petals. Truth smells like Chinese food and sweat.” Brilliant I tell you, brilliant! Nicholson Baker’s books always make me feel like I’m discovering the English language again for the first time.
Watching: Annie Hall, tonight, on the big screen at the Vancouver International Film Centre. My most favourite movie since I was fifteen, as you may already know from my previous “My Favourite Things: Movies” post. The perfect mama outing: a mocha, a big bag of popcorn and Woody and Diane being all nervous and neurotic. Bliss.
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