The clock glares 3am. My eyelids have once again popped open. It’s as though an electrical switch has been flipped up. Frankenstein's gadgetry turned on high voltage! I wake up like Frank, too, with a low moan and a stiff stretch. I have the three am blues!
I’ve spoken to so many people who’ve complained about waking up in the middle of the night. I’ve sat there counseling them on the wonders of sleep hygiene as I secretly gloated about my enraptured nights of dreaming. We’ve talked about limiting caffeine intake, no daytime napping, drinking a nice decaffeinated herbal tea in a sweet ritual designed solely for the individual. I’ve even suggested that they write down what comes to mind during this quiet time. The list goes on. I was sure that if they attended to these routines that they would sleep as blissfully as me.
For some reason my nights have changed. I’m really not up agonizing over gut wrenching personal problems, thank the stars. There is no mouse chewing at the corners of my mind. The fact is that I'm just up. Sometimes I’ve been hungry and a banana has done wonders to quell the pangs in my belly. I’ve contemplated making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and placing it next to my nightly glass of water. It will be ready and I won’t have to take the stairs to the kitchen and step on the dogs’ toys strewn on the living room floor.
There was something different the other night about it, though, and I decided to vary my routine. Getting up at six am daily for a very busy life, I despise having my brain turned on in the middle of the night but I chose to go with it rather than against it. I began to listen to the words that were banging in my brain. The images that were playing around in my inner vision were begging to be put on paper. So I shuffled out of bed in that moment of surrender. I began writing the poem that was coalescing in my head. This moontime madness had become an adventure for me. My style of writing was a bit different I realized as I read the words that were flowing out of my fingertips. Suddenly I was very glad that I’d decided to listen to my nocturnal muse. After a few minutes all was quiet. I put my pen down, ate a banana, went back to bed and fell into a deep sleep.
There was a difference in my attitude and in how I allowed the night hours to interact with me in this new way. I believe I was able to get in touch with a slant of me that I hadn’t been privy to since I tend to explore my creative side during the daytime. Something special happened by sitting in the quiet of the darkened sky. My feminine creativity side came shining through as the moon above me did. This interior was dark, a little eerie and totally unexplored before that night. I’m anticipating traveling around it again the next time it wakes me up in the middle of the night.
Having reread my poem in the light of day I know that something special happened when I decided to listen to what had woken me. My writing may take on new forms such as that short rhythmical poem that I wrote. I’m considering rewriting it as a short story. When I sit in front of other bleary eyed individuals I will have something to share from my experience. Waking up at three am I may not have to be infused by the strong electrical current that Frankenstein was but maybe by the softly lit energy of the moon that is just as powerful.