It’s 5 am and I don’t want to be awake. It’s overcast and the sun is technically up, but the light is so feeble I need my illuminato pen to see the words on the page. It’s Saturday and for some completely unprofound reason my mind is turning to limericks. Partly because I read an article yesterday that a friend posted about introverts. (I know! That is a complete non sequitor sentence! Still…that was what was rolling around my semi-consciousness.) There was a spectacular illustration of the cocooning process as introverts go into recovery mode when they have just had over-exposure to people. Blanket, book, comfort food, TV remote. It only lacked the cup for lashings of restorative tea.
This is a true ‘thing’ about introverts. I love people and care deeply, but gosh they are exhausting in herds! I just need them in small doses. In my 45th year, after spending my adulthood up to that time in big cities, we moved to the fringes of a small village in rural Ireland that is about twenty miles in every direction from a place that has more than a thousand inhabitants. It is not boring at all. It is restful. In fact, my nervous system adjusted immediately and began to repair the fraying of its fabric over the previous twenty and more years of urban dwelling. I need more quiet than extroverts to keep my being in tip top condition. Shopping malls are hell. Airport Departure Lounges likewise. We joke about crowded beaches and our solitary blanket miles from the madding crowd. Even our car ‘needs space’ and homes to a slot in the farthest reaches of the parking lot with (at most) two others who give each wide enough berth with several empty places between. Introverts don’t do well in crowds. It’s like walking through a whirlwind of static electricity. It is internally hair raising after short periods of exposure.
Five AM probably is the introvert’s witching hour. Nothing much is moving. Even in 24/7 cities there is still a hush and muffled quality that you find in echoing cathedrals. (Even if you are non-religious churches are good places to compose yourself when you are an introvert abroad in the urban environment. Also art galleries. I have long experience of working my personal Introvert Adapt and Survive routine.) You might think that at this hour I might entertain profound thoughts. But no. What comes during poetry practice are limericks!
There once was an introvert called Bee
Who, when things got all too peopley,
She would take to her bed
With books she had not yet read,
The place to recoup her bravery
If you read two books in twenty-four hours
Five AM may be the time to conspire,
Plot coups in your pillow book,
Or recipes one might cook
Or otherwise go set the world on fire.
Or just this, when I am resetting my nervous system at the early morning writer’s witching hour. Because many writers are crack of dawn productive.
When it is just you, the old dog, and birds
And you are feeling a dearth of catchwords,
Well, you still take up your pen.
Like a good Superwoman,
Big Girl Pants one of a writer’s hazards.
I need more reading matter, so I will need to leave my rural fastness for the metropolis nearby for the library and other emporiums of literary matter. I have girded my loins.
Still, 5am is probably the writer’s witching hour as well as one for introverts . Many writers are introverted. Given the mostly solitary nature of this vocation/occupation it is a naturally good fit. Which may be why 5am is our witching hour. All those covens crowding up midnight? Just too peopley.
The featured photo is of Willowbrook Glamping where, at the end of June, my husband and I will run a workshop on “Companioning Your Greatness.” The soothing natural environment will be as a blankie to my introverted soul.