The first appearance of light in the sky before sunrise is called dawn. The forecast says sunny day; the clouds are undecided. One passenger is standing in the middle of the bus that rides past me and the rows of empty seats around him make alone seem like loneliness. The air is crisp and breathing is bliss, interrupted occasionally by the draft from the black garbage bags left on the pavement the night before. It will be at least two hours before the garbage trucks arrive. The thump–thump of my footfalls and swish–swish of my sports jacket provide comfort and company. Although every joint protests and reminds me of how old I am, I jog because spring is here.
Like writing, jogging requires discipline and perseverance for results to show. If I work hard now, my dresses will flatter me in summer. After reading one of my blog posts, someone commented that writers lead very interesting lives. Hmmm, if they are anything like me, they do not, not by a long shot, not by most people’s standards anyway. Wise writers know: I am not, in and of myself, interesting to a reader. If I want to seem interesting, work has to be done in order to make myself interesting.
Four hundred metres into my jog, my body submits to my will and my mind takes over. I dissect my life, paring flesh from bone, rolling things over this way and that. Then, I tell myself the truth, crying, laughing, hoping, praying. I run through an article in my head, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. Satisfied, I think about what to write today, tomorrow, next week, next year and with whom I may write it. In the newness of day, untainted by doubt, every idea seems plausible, even past mistakes, redeemable.
Ideas are running over me thick and fast. I don’t jog with pen and paper, phone, or voice recorder because the temptation to stop and write would be unbearable. I have learnt to park beautiful sentences in my brain and trust that memory would reward my fidelity. Moreover, to pause would force me to rationalize and logic would provoke miscarriage or stillbirth. It’s been said that all readers come to fiction as willing accomplices to your lies. It is easy for me to tell lies before the sun comes out.
As I turn around the corner, a new Indian restaurant reminds me of curries and naan bread, and my stomach rumbles. “Too early,” I mumble. Further down boats dot the harbour like swans. In summer, sailors will wave from boat decks and people lounging on rattan chairs in waterfront restaurants will raise beer glasses in return. Ahead a dozen men with buckets, rods, lines, and hooks, queue to board a boat sporting the signs sport vissen and rond vaarten. Such is the allure of the sea at dawn.
In the end, I quit two kilometres short of my goal, but it doesn’t matter. I jog to not only make the numbers on the scale decrease, but also for these moments of lucidity where I dethrone my giants before I face them.
Before the sun rouses
Ideas play hopscotch in my head
Flushing sleep from my eyes
What do you do or where do you go to find clarity? Are you a morning person or an owl?
©Timi Yeseibo 2015
Photo credit: Unsplash/ http://pixabay.com/en/pier-dock-quay-ocean-sea-calm-336717/
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