Once a month, I spend an all-nighter on Twitter with a friend from Scotland. He's an insomniac and we keep each other company through the night. We call it a competition to see who can stay up the longest, but there is never a winner or loser. I know, why would anyone elect to purposely push the limits of the need for sleep. I've found that it's actually worth the effort.
I've discovered that these evenings have become very productive ones. I get much reading done, things I haven't been able to get to in the everyday. One time I alphabetized my music collection (its extensive and needed to be done). I've written letters to friends, not emails, real letters and enjoyed doing it. Tonight I'm spending more time reading the poetry of a friend from a beautiful old city. I haven't had as much time with his words as I would like so, I am taking advantage of this gifted time tonight to lose myself in them.
Those of you who know me well, know that music is a big part of who I am. On these nights, music fills the air for the first few hours. Anything and everything. This is again another gifted opportunity to listen carefully to music choices I've gathered from friends over the weeks and to revisit some of my favorite music. One night I listened to the complete Led Zeppelin studio recordings from start to finish. Sublime.
In the summer months, I've moved myself out to the porch in the early hours to sit with feet up to watch the moon travel across the sky. Those nights are the best, peaceful and quiet. Standing from my third floor looking out over the sleeping houses, perhaps catching the sound of a laugh from an open window. During these nights I find myself, not lonely, but wishing with greater desire to have certain loved ones there with me at that very moment. Those with whom I wish to share those moments of peace, to see my smile reflected in their eyes.
It is 2:00am as I sit here typing. It's quiet and the light is soft. Candles and Christmas lights the only illumination. Ottmar Liebert's The Scent of Light is playing softly in the background. I've read Robin Robertson's A Painted Field cover to cover and also a little Rimbaud, baked cookies, laughed uproariously with a friend on the phone and did some much needed contemplative thinking. I watched a movie, The Pillow Book, and framed some photographs. Sanctuary.
I have several hours left in the "competition" and I'm not sure that I will actually make it to the end this time. But once again, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and my own company along with the gift of time and clarity.