Hendrick ter Brugghen – Old Man Writing by Candlelight
When the sun settles for the night and the moon begins its reign, I rise and I write.
Insomnia is often a writer’s friend, perhaps even their only friend at times. It can also be an innocent and unintentional adversary. Many nights I have laid my head upon my pillow in hopes of drifting into dream. Instead, my mind begins to think on things I should have thought of throughout the day. Ideas and epiphanies chance moonlight visits to my conscious mind, begging me to rise and give them life upon a page.
Sonnets of silence serenade me with lullabies not meant to calm me to rest, but rather charm me to dream a thousand wakeful dreams. With my eyes open, pen in hand, word by beautiful word, they enchant me. A writer’s respite is not often found in the dark of night. Meandering minutes quickly turn to hours when a wandering muse beckons. When night retreats to the rising sun and the words silence to claim the sleep that was meant to be mine, it is time again to start another day.
Coffee in hand I stumble through, vowing not to stir again before the morning sun. I almost make myself believe I will slumber when the night comes, but when it does the seduction of solitude is too much to resist and I find myself once again, dancing with words across a page like lovers in a dream. I know too well the next day will be filled with weary eyes and a yawning, yearning for sleep.
Sometimes, when the night words come to steal my tomorrow, I refuse to play. When I do not heed their call, they whisper louder to lure me from my bed, knowing I will mourn their loss if I do not rise and claim them for my own. As a willing servant I follow and frolic just as I did the night before. Though happy to have the gift of them granted to me, I know there will be a price to pay, and I gladly pay it without pause.
There are moments I admit I have wished them gone. When my tired eyes blur and my head pounds in time with the beating of my heart, sometimes I wish them gone . . . but not really. Without them I would cease to exist, at least I fear I would. Every now and again, they retreat and sleep consumes me. I never fear their leave of me; they are silent and still only long enough for my body and mind to rejuvenate before they come again to play.
I welcome them and look to the light of the moon to guide our way through another night.
Crystal R. Cook
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