I edge into the beginning of my days very carefully, like someone in a movie trying to demonstrate calm in a hostage situation. Look, I’m putting my gun down here. Look, you can see my hands. I’m moving slowly. I’m talking softly. See? Eeeeverything’s okay, buddy. We’re all friends here.
Because I’m anxious and an insomniac, mornings have always been hard for me. First thing in the morning I’m like a baby animal: whimpering, puffy and afraid.
My before-bed self, on the other hand, is all over it. That chick has her shit together. She’s got the coffee machine programmed for the morning, she’s put the robe and the socks near the bed for her bleary-eyed morning counterpart.
See, Morning Self has to be carefully managed. Especially because she has a very important job.
My life has evolved so that Morning Self is on duty when I write. She has to be, because her shift coincides with literally the only time in the day I can devote to writing.
This brings me to the chair, a key component in managing Morning Self. See, when Morning Self goes down to get that pre-brewed coffee, she tells herself that when she comes back up she’ll crawl back into bed. But when she walks back into the room, she spots the chair.
I have a big gray rocking chair next to the bed. It faces the window, looking out onto a forest vista that’s getting greener and lovelier by the day. The chair is so soft and comfy and friendly that even Morning Self can’t be intimidated by it. This means that once coffee has been obtained, it’s not hard to reroute the back-to-bed plan and be enticed toward the chair… where the laptop is waiting.
See? It works. I start with something easy: my morning pages ritual, which moves me into language again.
And here’s where the magic comes in. Rocking gently on my gray chair, I ease into the place where I can wield the words, but where I’m not yet reunited with the logistical perspective and terrestrial priorities of Before-Bed Self.
Somewhere between fully asleep and fully awake is where my Storyteller lives.
I think this is why I cherish this time so much, and why I manage Morning Self so gently. Because for all her pathos and puffiness, Morning Self has access to treasures that begin slip through my fingers as I delve further into the day.
So I edge carefully into the day, with the help of this big gray rocking chair and some really shit-hot organic single-source coffee. And with the bleary half-dreams that I carry with me between the worlds and offer up to the keyboard.