I have been night owl for as long as I can remember. Worry and obsession often follow me to bed, and, as they are not anesthetics, I often take flight to escape them. Over the last few months, I’ve been working to become an early bird, but there are times when the night owl threatens to eviscerate her before she feathers out.
Friday night I had willingly made the mistake of reading a few news items shortly before bed. Having invited the news of the world into my nighttime consciousness like a vampire over my threshold, I knew the only recourse was to let the night owl take flight. I needed sleep – even wanted it, but activity is often the only antidote to worry. So I went to my desk and closed the door, securing my sanity with pencils and paper and paint.
The alarm was set for five – I had intended to write – but by the time the night owl had driven the shadows from my mind, the early bird was trying to rise. The night owl was keenly aware of this, and, for a moment, seemed prepared to consume her as she began to flutter. But something – wisdom – perhaps overtook the night owl, and she let the fledgling alone to do her work as the sun rose, warming them both.
Saturday evening I again let myself be seduced by the news of the world. The previous night’s flight and the morning work, however, had built a wall around my worry. That wall may crumble – my walls usually do. But as the night owl learns to live with the early bird, I’m hoping whatever balance they find will permeate the other parts of my life.