It was one of those nights when I was awake well before it was time to get up. I lay in bed hoping to fall back asleep but mostly just waiting for the alarm to go off. Outside my bedroom window, the world was beginning its slow turn from night to day. I heard an odd squeaking sound, which, in my half-sleep mind, I thought might be my house’s old joints creaking from the sheer weight of existence. Then I listened again and realized I was hearing the first birds of the morning.
Their song was pretty enough, but I didn’t want to listen to it because listening meant I was awake and I was still committed to the idea of stealing a little more sleep. I wanted silence. I wanted the world inside and outside my house to be still and quiet, to offer no temptation to my wandering mind. If that mind gets interested in something, it will set off on a journey with no thought of rest until it has discovered where the interesting idea is headed.
The birds sang on. Birds must have their own little internal alarm clocks, I thought. Maybe I do too. Maybe that’s why I’m awake. We’re all made of the same stuff, the birds and I. Except when they want to sleep, they just sleep, and I lay here thinking. Thinking is my singing. That’s the first thing I do when I wake up. Goddamn you, birds. Look where you’ve taken me!
I actually have nothing against the birds. I can hear them singing still as I write this. The author looking for a beautiful sound to put in his story might choose a bird’s song. If he does so, he must remember that nothing in this world, no noise or light or smell or touch, has any meaning at all until it has passed through his mind, which views everything against its own desires. I have never once described the world I live in, only what I think of it, what I want from it, what I believe about it. That is my song, what is always most beautiful when it is in tune with love.
If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual coaching and group workshops.
Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence.
You can find William at: williamkenower.com