R says God helps those who wake up early. I don’t know if he’s right. I don’t know if I feel helped; if God is helping me, or if I feel different, or what. But I’m here. I’m breathing in and out, I have coffee and a little bamboo plant is keeping watch over my desk. I’m here. I’m writing. Maybe I’m helping myself.
I need to be doing more things to help myself. That means yes, waking up early and writing. If I’m not writing, I’m not myself anyway. Maybe, I’m loath to say, that means drinking less coffee and more water. Eating radishes. Going to yoga. Learning to be gentle with myself, and to be firm with others. Whatever the case is, I need to carry my body through this place in a way that’s helpful. Today I’m starting by waking up early.
This morning I went out on the balcony to finish my coffee. The neighbors were unloading tires from the back of a pickup truck. Birds were stringing invisible garlands between trees. The sun already good and hot on my back. I noticed a dead bee on the railing of the balcony. Curled up there, like he had lay down to take a nap and just never woke up. I know that’s silly to say, because bees don’t lie down to sleep. I can’t remember if I learned it from Tom Waits or Amy Leach (funny, how their interests coincide), but (I think) if a bee wants to sleep outside the hive, he attaches himself to the stem of a plant, stretches out at a right angle, and falls asleep with his legs dangling down like wind chimes.
The point is, a few months ago I lay myself down and didn’t want to get up. But I want to get up. Being good to yourself isn’t easy. It’s work. But God helps those who get up early. And I’m here. I’m up. It’s early. And I’m doing what I can to help myself.