The Waking Hour

I am repeatedly roused from the comfort of slumber during the waking hour between three and four in the morning, the still of night and the cover of darkness no solace for a restless mind springing back to life.  My relaxed body has been lulled into complacency by sufficient rest, unwittingly allowing a hostile takeover by my subconscious thoughts.  Every fear and doubt suppressed by the illumination of daylight is unleashed by moonlight, demanding immediate inspection and contemplation at an unreasonable time.

As my darkest fears play a deadly tug of war with my deepest desires, I pray for the persuasive power of reason to banish these tormenting demons so that I might return to the consolation of sleep before the break of dawn.  As I continue to wrestle the questions in the darker recesses of my mind during the wee hours each morning, I’m reminded of various lines of desperate resignation from a familiar poem by T.S. Eliot:

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?

In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Eliot

Questions, indecision, anxiety, failure, inadequacy . . . these negative sentiments visit regularly around 3 a.m. during the waking hour, but then seen absurd later in the day when rational thought once again takes precedence.  Luckily these ill-founded and dangerous notions dissipate with the rising of the sun, which always restores my sense of optimism and faith.

References:
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Eliot
Image by *L*u*z*A*

Brought To Our Senses family saga novel by Kathleen H. Wheeler

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