Thursday, October 22, 2009

Forestalling the Morning

I'm lying in bed working on the thesis, listening to a Russian Orthodox choir sing a chant called "Forestalling the Morning." It's 5:30am, dark and drizzly. But I feel good about getting stuff written up, even though I haven't made the breakthrough discovery tonight that I hoped for. And the music is fantastic, no -- that's the wrong word -- it just is. I mean, it is fantastic, and beautiful, and thoughtful, but those are qualities of the music. The music itself is more than that. More even than its connotations of drafty monasteries in the frigid Russian winter, and monks gathered to forestall daybreak even earlier than 5:30, kept warm by the smell of incense and the singing of the chant. Why forestall the morning? Why not let the sun rise, and bring at least a little warmth? I don't know about them, but I do understand the desire to stretch the current moment, to stave off even good things because the now is so great for whatever reason: inspiration, productivity, enlightenment. Right now, I'm in a place of thinking "when the morning comes, there will be time to enjoy it then."

I don't often think like that. More often it's "what's the next thing I have to get done," the next duty, the next problem, the next interruption. I wish I could keep this perspective. Focusing only on the tasks and problems is dispiriting -- there are always more problems and more tasks. One more bug fixed? Great -- now fix this one. To begin a day before the day even begins just feels good. If I could, I would probably start each day really early. Usually that never works for me, but at the moment I seem to be on a weird schedule: work, come home, make dinner, go upstairs, work on thesis for a couple of hours, then sleep for 4-5 hrs, wake up around 2 or 3 or 4 or 5, work on thesis, then sleep a bit more before work. Why not just work more on thesis in the evenings and sleep normally? I don't know. This is just what my body seems to want to do. Sleep for me is like Keith's arms. Some positions are comfortable for him, others are intensely painful, and which ones are which is unpredictable. I don't think I'll work this way forever, but for now it feels comfortable. And I get to email my advisor at weird times in the morning, so he knows I'm working hard (which I am in reality anyway).

No comments:

Post a Comment