The Time In Between

Most of my views come at 4:00am on Mondays.

This makes perfect sense to me, because I too lay awake so deep into the night that the sky starts to lighten with the approaching dawn. Those hours, after the calendar date changes at midnight but before the sunrises exists outside of time. This is doubly so when Sunday becomes Monday. The remnants of the week before still linger in your mind, but a new week is waiting just below the horizon. I feel most like myself in those moments, free from distractions. Just me, my thoughts, and my existence in the silence.

It’s more than just insomnia.

Over the years I learned to distinguish a difference between inability to sleep, and living in the deep night. The causes and the symptoms aren’t the same. Insomnia is frustrating, draining, and restless. They stem from my anxiety. I feel manic and high-strung in these moments, like a wind-up toy geared up for release. But those late nights outside of time, are stimulating in a different way. They are enlightening, insightful, and tranquil. I come by my best ideas in these moments. Sometimes I am struck with inspiration that leads to creative vigor, and other times I am filled with an inner-peace that begs to be reveled in. I choose not to sleep to stay in that moment of mindful serenity.

Outside of time is also outside of space.

My bed becomes an island, the only place that exists. Nothing else matters, and nothing else is real. It’s oddly freeing to be completely alone in the universe. My thoughts, my dreams, my vision are given free reign without influence or distraction. I am not worried about what other might thing, because they do not exist. My whole world rises and falls according to my breath and my will. I am in the moment, and of the moment, because I am the moment, and the moment is me. As pretentious and egotistical as it sounds, this is when we become the most real versions of ourselves. They are brief moments of self-actualization that are were some of our best work emerges.

This is where my best ideas come from.

My best story plots, poetry, blog posts topics, and paintings come to me in the quiet of the pre-dawn When I have time to ruminate on my dreams, my thoughts, and inspiration from my favorite artists (music, art, books, etc.) I can make connections and solve puzzles I couldn’t in the distractions of the sunlit day. I keep a notebook and pen by my bed for these vary moments, to capture the ideas before they float away with my dreams. Sometimes I allow for several nights of meditation on the initial thought before committing to the stage of creation, like allowing grape juice and yeast to ferment into wine. Those dark nights allow for greater maturity in the final flavor. I find it difficult to find these times of creative quiet when the sun has risen.

I know I’m not alone in this.

There are others who exist in the time in-between, and they are my people. We have a way of finding each other. Regardless of physical distance and background, we recognize each other with silent understanding. Something about our aura, our style, or demeanor, communicates that shared experience. We recognize ourselves in the art created during this time. We see ourselves reflected in the space between the lines. We feel a kindred pulled through the pages or the screen. Maybe that’s why most of my readers come at 4:00am, because they feel that connection the strongest when we are both awake in the time in-between.

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