Because when you think you're alone
that things *could* get worse
and your insides are a solid seven on the Bortle scale
-- minus the magnificence -- right now,
somewhere the sun is already rising,
somewhere it is already a new day.
And with the force of a few thousand stars
it is rushing towards you
like it can't wait.
Like *you* can't wait.
It will crawl under your bedcovers,
nudge its way into your breakfast
and spiced tea
into the core of the apple that drips juice on you
as you sit on the ledge in this morning's sun
and fill you with light so glorious
it bathes everything in its way.
Hello, new day,
is this what you wanted to tell me?
Well, I'm glad to meet you too.(less)
The hour when you wake is drowned in a certain kind of silence. A silence so complete, it smothers the world, and everything outside your bedroom ceases to exist. Sunlight begins to creep in underneath the blinds as you bury yourself in your pillows, desperately seeking one more minute(more) of sleep before you begin your day. Sleep eludes you, dancing silently from sunbeam to sunbeam just as you reach her. But its the journey that matters, not the destination, and in your state of half-awake, you don't really mind. From outside, you hear the muted trumpet of a car horn. The silence broken, your mind awakens. The waking hour is over.(less)
The waking hour is one of darkness, filled with doubt and fear and uncertainties that are too fragile to see in the light of day. You wake in a whirlwind of confusion from a dream that you hope was mere fantasy. Your mind swirls with dangerous potentials that you(more) try hard not to see too clearly.
10 minutes go by and the night feels like it might last forever. You try to clear your mind. You call upon every breathing and relaxation technique you can think of to make your thoughts a blank slate, but it doesn't do any good.
30 minutes go by and you wonder whether you should get out of bed, or at least see what time it is. That makes you even more nervous though. If you know the time you'll know how little you've slept. You'll be trapped in numbers and know without a doubt that you cannot function on two hours of sleep, and then you'll fall into panic and despair over how broken you are.
After an hour, you realize that it's pointless trying to sleep any longer. Your eyes are weary and you feel trapped and floating in a timeless limbo. The need for order consumes you. At this point you no longer care about consequences. You grab your clock and squint at the time without your glasses to assist you and frown.
There's only 5 minutes before your alarm will go off for work. The bubble of timelessness you had been trapped in bursts and the reality of responsibility feels heavy on your shoulders.
A lack of sleep prompts minimal empathy in our society.(less)
Tik's watch was always the last. He usually spent it on the outrigger, sitting with his arms around his knees and thinking, occasionally scanning the horizon. Some days he would bring the pitted board and stones with him, and think through some problem of the stone game. Others, he(more) would recall the dreams of the night before, turning them over and over. Sometimes he would bring across his harness or net, and carefully check them over, lovingly sewing or binding when they needed repair.
He was as careful a watchman as any other, of course. Whatever activity he planned the night before, he would inevitably end his watch bored, watching the sea over the low gunwales while doing his breathing exercises. Other vessels rarely came close, but he would watch each sail carefully, in case it happened to choose a course that would bring it near the slight, hidden boat from which he watched. The sun would slide steadily towards the horizon. His watch would drag on.
He looked forward to the waking hour.
When the sun's disc had submerged beneath the horizon and its light was fading, he would sit up, and start to sing softly. The others would get up and raise the mast, rigging, and other things with which they dare not sully the horizon during the day. They would wake the Sailfish.
But Tik would stay where he was, stand and watch as the sea woke with them.
It would start with one star, then two, then a dozen and a hundred, until the sea was a carpet of a thousand colours. As the pinpricks in the sky offered their poor reflection, the dark sail would rise. Tik would return from the outrigger, and they would slink away, a shadow on a shining sea.
The goddess will only rise once during the waking hour, and within it she will prophesy, and she won't repeat herself and she could tell us a lot about the next year and if we don't write it down we'll forget, so that is why you must learn your(more) letters, young lady. (less)