Thursday, November 7, 2019
Middle of the Night
Somewhere around 2 am this morning I abruptly awoke from what had been a comparatively restful night. I recall having gone to bed not long after nine o'clock last evening so I had apparently exhausted the necessity of sleep. Nonetheless I mechanically lingered below the duvet. But the project was doomed. Slowly I was overtaken by scattered ruminations, philosophic considerations of death and dying and then the more proximate issue of paying our bills with Florida Power & Light on-line and getting the statements by email. This latter curiosity enlarged to an examination of what had been initiated yesterday through our Sarasota bank account. It wasn't long before the inconclusive weight of the bureaucracy had me sitting upright on the edge of my bed. There was no hope of further relaxation. I needed to set myself in front of my computer to resolve the contaminating concerns.
Unsurprisingly the mania soon subsided. Typically the erstwhile midnight madness is soon diluted to instant sanity with the advantage of incandescence and a cup of coffee. I am always embarrassed by my former preoccupation - as though I imagined some other scheme of behaviour might as easily have resolved the once compelling matters. But clearly it requires action to address any concern no matter how trivial it may appear in retrospect. More and more I am adjusting to the acceptability of removing myself from bed whenever I feel like doing so. To maintain an attachment to one's sofa by virtue merely of the hour of the day is archaic. This is especially so when I routinely prolong myself on a chaise longue by the pool during the day.
Underscoring this dead of night activity is the expectation that thus refreshed one will ease back into bed to capture the remaining hours of the early morning. More often than not this is precisely the evolution of the previous chaos. The interruption likewise succeeds to quell the former anxiety. I suppose I shouldn't presume that everyone feels the same immediacy as I to wrestle the smallest turbulence to the ground. I can't imagine why I conclude it cannot wait. This perversion has haunted me all my life. My career was entirely absorbed by the resolution of outstanding detail. I suspect the fixation polluted everything else in my life. My only consolation is that my limited capacity necessitated the engrossment; otherwise I would have failed in my enterprise.
It is a small compliment to a lifetime of study and professional employment that I have so little to show for it in the end. Admittedly I say this more out of modesty than conviction for the reason that I account my greatest success as the ability to be thankful for what I have. Never have I been envious of others; nor have I every disparaged for want of anything. Indeed if I were to be perfectly frank I consider I have spoiled myself on every level, materially, emotionally, spiritually. Certainly some of those elements have evaporated or disappeared from my treasure but I continue to value them. I haven't for example anyone in my memory to whom I now feel disdain though some of those acquaintances, friendships and lovers have long ago diminished. I can say the same about my former material possessions. More remarkably I continue to elevate the attachment I have to what remains. And by this I mean both corporeal and temporal.
Posted by L. G. William Chapman, B.A., LL.B.