Thursday, August 26, 2010

UP EARLY

I've been awake since 4:00 a.m., and up almost that long. It is still dark out; night hangs around longer and longer lately and now, even when I arise at my usual 5:30 time, I still have to wait for the dawn.
Today's high is only supposed to reach the upper-70s. My kind of temperatures! I'm no fan of hot and sweltering summer, although the implication of such cooler days is that of time's eternal and relentless passage…and that does bring a twinge of the bittersweet because as much as I look forward to fall and winter and spring beyond, I know that I'm only allotted so many turns around the great seasonal circle, and each passage ticks one more off my personal list.
Ahh-h, forgive me; I don't mean to be so weighty. Blame it on the clinging darkness and my early rising—and the fact that I'm gong to have to make a certain decision in the next few days which I make reluctantly, even though it is the right and wisest course to follow. One of life's constant truisms is that when faced with multiple choices, the hardest one is most likely to be the path to follow. I've been struggling and worrying about this for several days now. Which probably explains why I couldn't sleep. But I guess I've known for some time what I needed to do, and just had to finally admit it to myself. There's no joy in this, however, and little comfort. But nevertheless, it must be done.
Now it is time to take Moon the dog out for her morning ramble…time to check on the river and spend a few minutes watching the first light bloom in the east. Later on, I hope to visit a local meadow and woods, make a few photos, take a bit of a walk. Try and reconcile my heart and mind. Listen to birds, watch butterflies, inhale the sweet breath of grass and leaves and sun-baked earth.
I can use a good dose of beauty…
———————

20 comments:

Bonnie said...

I often have similar thoughts at the change of seasons ... how many more will I enjoy? Such musings prompt me to bask in the one I do have, and perhaps that is the purpose of that kind of universal contemplation. The spector of death enhances our enjoyment of life ... if we let it!

Decisions are tricky aren't they? The word decide comes from the same root as homicide, suicide, etc. and is telling us that when we choose one option we kill off others that may be more palatable.
Decision-making is an interesting topic to study. Seems like you have made your decision and must now move to implement it. I hope it proceeds as smoothly as possible for you.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ_

The only 4:00 I know is in the afternoon.!! :-) The only 5:30 I know is in the afternoon as well!! :-)

I feel your heavy mood - and I hope facing this difficult despite its obvious pain. And remember, the moment of absolute certainty never arrives.


Love to you
Gail
peace and hope......

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I'm sorry your heart is troubled Griz. I hope you find peace in your decision.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Changing seasons always brings with it contemplation. I too, feel the shortening days and urges maybe akin to what a squirrel feels when storing nuts for the winter. First, get my basement in order, plant some perennials so they can take hold before the cold sets in, and thoughts of soup and stews and time to read...and hopefully the difficult decisions will not weigh me down either...

The Weaver of Grass said...

Dose of beauty is definitely what I get from your blog every time I visit you Scribe. Hope you make the right decision and feel better when you have done it. Best wishes to you.

George said...

I don't know what kind of decision your are facing, Grizz, but it sounds like one of those painful junctures that each of us faces from time to time on our respective journeys. The problem, of course, is that even the right decision usually involves the loss of something, and after many junctures over many years, the losses begin to mount, even in the best of lives. In good times and bad, I am always asking myself the question that Stanley Kunitz asked himself in "The Layers."

"How shall the heart be reconciled to its
feast of losses?"

I don't pretend to know the answer to this question; I only know that this is the question that remains in our hip pockets throughout our little walks through life, and maybe the best we can do is to follow Rilke's advice and simply live the questions, which I take to mean that we should continue to sing and dance and love, even when things appear to be falling apart at the center. At sixty-seven, that's about the best that I have been able to come up with thus far.

Good luck with your decision. Go for that walk in the meadow, catch a little starlight tonight, spend a little time with Moon -- and I'm sure you will be comforted by all that remains constant during difficult periods.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

I guess the decisions which give me the most trouble—and therefore cause the most worry—are those with no clearcut moral, honorable, ethical, or legal connotations as viewed against our personal code. Of course, the fact that such factors aren't immediately obvious, doesn't mean they aren't somehow underlying, waiting to be uncovered if you "parse" the choices and motivations down to root level. I've only broken my personal code a few times in my life—and don't ever intend to do it again, regardless of what it costs to avoid.

This wasn't anything close to such magnitude—wasn't something I wanted to do, a choice I wanted to make. But…it was the right thing, the right choice, and I've made it.

Musings on mortality aren't, for me, troublesome. Life is finite; sooner or later it ends. I find nothing to fear in that—nor do I have any particular wish to cling to life. Which isn't to say I don't try my best to enjoy to the fullest every year and season and day. What I do regret is when mundane exigencies I can't immediately surmount rob me of that opportunity—because I know, my own days being limited, such opportunities are also equally limited. I don't like the waste…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

What about 6:00, 7:00, 8:00? (Actually, 5:30 a.m. is okay…but 4:00 a.m. is deplorably early.)

I'm pluggin' along…and okay.

Thank you. :-/

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lynne…

Acquiescence, yes, forbearance, yes. Peace? Only in knowing it was the right thing…but I wish I could have made another choice.

Still, thank you…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Teri…

Soups, stews, hearty homemade bread, fresh-picked apples and tangy cider—the real stuff, not that swill from the grocery store. Put out more fall bulbs. Bolster reading material with a dozen or so new titles. I do the same routine—though the cottage has no basement so cleaning starts and ends on one level.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

I've made the decision, the right one—but can't say I feel better for having done so. However, the sun is shining, the river sparkling, and there's definite joy in that!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

George…

That is the dilemma exactly: "How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses?"

It is not the decision that is difficult, but the price of the choice. Even when you choose what is both right and best…there's still the fiddler waiting with his upturned hat.

I don't have a lot of answers either, George, but I've learned to simplify the questions, and to reduce their number considerably. Most were, as it turns out, either of no genuine importance or else self-reconciling. What's left address who you are, what you are, why you are. The line from each of these connects directly to the heart.

Happiness and joy are two different things. I'm not always happy, but I pray I'm usually joyful. Just as I find comfort in faith and love and friendship, I also find solace in wind and water, old fields, green woods, Carolina wrens, and the panoply of stars playing their symphony across the heavens. These are, indeed, the constants I always seek, the anchors holding my life.

Thank you for taking the time to offer such lovely, wise, and kind comments.

KGMom said...

What weighs so heavily on you, my friend?
Ugh--4 a.m. I am not an early riser. When I have weighty decisions pulling me down, I have trouble GOING to sleep, but once there, I like to sleep a bit longer than 4 a.m.
Only once did I awaken early early early, unable to sleep--that had to do with making a job decision.
And, finally, I am TOTALLY with you on weather preference. I do NOT like the hot hot days--I am so happy there's a touch of autumn about.
I wish you peace in whatever weighs you down.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

Actually, 4:00 a.m. is an improvement—I used to simply remain awake all night long, which made the following day purely awful. I hated doing it and couldn't change. Now, I go to sleep fairly easy, but apparently wake up early enough to do some serious worrying before time to get up. God knows what subconscious department came up with that plan.

For whatever reason, I don't seem to feel any worse right now, at my usual bedtime, than any other evening. And no, no midday nap. Didn't have time.

Hey, today's weather was wonderful. I love 70-degree days and cool nights.

MorningAJ said...

I know that 4am thing myself. For some reason it's actual 3.58 (there's a digital clock in the room so I know EXACTLY what time I wake up!) Sometimes I lie there and think. Sometimes I get up and read. Sometimes I do the Buddhist thing and watch my breathing (it helps).
I hope now you've made your decision that the early waking gives you a break.
<>
AJ

Jayne said...

Peace to you in decisions that have to be made.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

MorningAJ…

Yeah, my bedside clock is digital, too, which often makes it worse by being so specific (3:59 a.m. sounds somehow worse than "about 4:00 a.m.," for example. Yesterday morning, it was 4:10 a.m. when I actually got up—but I'd been staring at the ceiling for several minutes, trying to decide whether or not to get up. When I wake up early like that, I can usually tell whether I'll be able to get back to sleep or not.

Often it's just pain that wakes me—arthritis, a lifetime of beating and banging myself up, something new I've injured or pulled or sprained recently—and if I've already exhausted all the positions I can find that offer any degree of comfort from whatever it is that's hurting, I know there's nothing left to do but get up. Worrying is almost automatic, no question—get up. Everything else is sort of open to negotiation with body, mind, and bed.

Today, I slept in until 6:15!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

Thank you…I did what I had to do yesterday. I do wish it could have worked out otherwise—but sometimes doing what's right feels pretty awful, and uses up a part of you you wish you'd have been able to keep. The heart trying to reconcile the action—the first taste of the "feast of losses?" aftermath of George's sagacious quote.

MorningAJ said...

I managed 5.45 today. Comes to something when that time of day counts as a lie in! As a long-time back sufferer (my spine was born deformed and repeated surgeries have left me almost -but not quite- the right shape.) I know about the challenge of finding a comfortable position. I treated myself to new pillows last week. It seems to have helped a bit.

Have a pain-free weekend.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

MorningAJ…

Well, 5:03 for me…up and at 'em. I can remember when I used to GO TO BED at 5:03!

Again, it was shoulder pain, which currently seems to be my sleep-limiting factor. It apparently overrides all my back pain. But once vertical, the pain is usually low-grade throughout the rest of the day.