Setting Forth at Dawn

L I G H T H O U S E

 

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 thumpthump of my footfalls and swishswish 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/

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Advertisements

Blogging, a Lot Like Running

blogging like running

 

My running journey provides metaphors for life. At that time of day when my neighbours court sleep and win an hour or two, the wind serves crisp air as I begin jogging. I contemplate my life’s compass until I land on lighter matters like the kinds of personal bloggers I’ve come across and how they resemble the runners who share the four-kilometre boulevard with me.

Hit and Runn-ers

These bloggers resemble that runner whose gear I like but couldn’t find at the mall. I wonder if Nike customised it for her, but swallow my Maggi-size envy before it burgeons. I swear that in a previous life, she was a rare gazelle. Hit and run bloggers excel at their craft, but they only tease us with their brilliance once in a long while, lighting our skies with their fireworks. Where will their gift take them? Some roads don’t take you anywhere and maybe, that’s okay because nowhere is a place where you can start again.

Aveng-ers

Their blogs exist to avenge their enemies. They remind me of the runner whose painful breathing heralds his presence. Punishing his thighs for a crime they did not commit, he nods and grunts as he overtakes me. One kilometre later, I find him sitting on a bench shouting, “Sh*t this, sh*t that, sh*t, sh*t, sh*t!” while tying his shoelaces. Determination and ugly are not synonyms. Avenger bloggers name names, places, times, and events, as they roast people on their spit over and over. They blog as frequently as they are offended.

Observ-ers

An about page and maybe one post make up the contents of their blogs. They hop from blog to blog reading, liking, and commenting. They are like the fishmongers who yell, “Kom op! Hup hup hup!” as I turn the bend, spent, and ready to head home. These perpetual encouragers put a smile on my face and help me gain a second wind. Observer bloggers cheer other bloggers all the way to the finish line.

 

bloggers I admire

 

Reblogg–ers

They are first cousins of Observ-er. An about page and maybe one blog post they actually wrote is the extent of their originality. They have found their niche just like that blond woman in her fifties who walks her three dogs every morning. She waves to every jogger and has the same kind word for those of us slow enough to hear, “Goede morgen! Succes!” Rummaging for content on blogosphere is a reblogg-er’s high. Redistributing wealth they do not possess is an elixir. Their blogs are exotic mosaics of content from essays on Marilyn Monroe to breaking news on CNN. Rebloggers would flatter other bloggers if only not every post on their blogs was a reblog.

Promis-ers

Promis-ers begin the year with the New Year resolution, I swear to blog consistently this year, so help me God! They bring to mind the fast and furious joggers who make the word high-speed redundant. In January, they published eighteen posts, serving essays, satires, how-tos, poems, and short stories. By February, they joined Mr fast and furious on the park bench gulping air and thinking, na who send me work? When Promis-ers woo us next New Year, we will embrace them, yet no one is deceived. Why work so hard to lose credibility?

Slow and Steady-ers

They are neither cheetahs nor tortoises, but pace themselves for longevity. They run like joggers whose even breathing ensure they complete six kilometres in just over an hour. Slow and steady-ers write posts that are boring, exciting, poor, average, or excellent, but their publishing schedule is predictable. They may not win the race, but they will live to run it another day because they understand their clock and resist the pressure to reset.

 

Because we’re doing life together, these patterns transcend blogging. So, you don’t have to tell me which category you fall in, tell me about other categories I missed.

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2014

 

Photo credit: Francois Peeters / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.