Friday, April 25, 2014

Thoughtful risings

Mornings can sometimes blend into each other in our memories. They are, after all, ritualised phases of our days with the habits that we've acquired to successfully clear the sleep from our eyes, much of a muchness. I'm a very regular waker - I usually boast that I never need an alarm clock because I'll get up about the same time every day. And my Chinese risings follow a fairly strict yet unoriginal schedule: coffee, e-mail and then some sort of reading and a late breakfast. 

The wake-ups I can remember specifically in my life are few but they are there. They aren't marked by things that happen usually but by things I'm thinking about that cause me to stir much before the body clock is otherwise set to ring, thoughtful risings. Today is one of those mornings. A previous blog about Xiaogang park is one of those too. (Probably more than one blo post.) I can remember a thoughtful rising like this in Taiwan.  

(Actually I can remember a lot of tramping mornings, too, but they are a class of their own with their own distinct quality, but at the same time with similarities to this kinds of wake-up, one of which I can hear right now: birds, even in Guangzhou, audible from the 26th floor.) 

This morning it was thoughts of a more logistical nature that caused me to stir, or at least render me incapable of returning to blessed sleep. The unknown of residence visa processing times, of human psychology and biology, of finance and fate were on my mind. Uncertainty is that demon that not only steals sleep from the front end of your rest but can deduct it from the end too.

I'd always regarded myself though as an early riser. Adult life, especially my life in Guangzhou, has changed that, but it has always been true that I have clearer thought in the early morning. A normal wake-up is good for reading. A thoughtful rising is good for writing. It's a good time for thinking about friends and writing to them. 

I pause between paragraphs and stare outside my half-open sliding doors to the overcast hazy morning and the buildings opposite. And I type to the sounds of birds. Once at our first apartment together, I remember going out on the balcony with a chair and table. A small birds landed on our kumquat tree, pondered for a few moments and then flew away. 

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