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October 26, 2010

Nighttime Brains

For some reason, my brain just seem to love the night. Do you find that your brain starts to get more active the later it gets? Sometimes, my brain is lying in wait for me to try and go to sleep, and then it springs on top of me with thoughts, images, or "hey, what do you think you should do about those bagels that are rotting in the fridge?" questions. Or "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if you appeared on the Talk Radar podcast? Do you think it would go like this?" Meanwhile, I'm trying desperately to shut it up so I can get some sleep.

Some of our best thinking is done at night, the later the better.

Unless there are alcoholic beverages involved, though in some cases that makes the brain go into overload and it's just the content that spews out of it that probably shouldn't be repeated.

But anyway...

I find I do my best writing when it's late at night, the wife has gone to bed so I'm sitting basically alone in the dark, with the New Age music channel going on our TV's digital music channel (that may surprise some of you who missed the one music post I did on my music tastes mixed in with the 508 other posts on this blog). Sometimes I get introspective and the words just flow out of my head like a water cooler if you try to take a full jug off of it.

It's almost like my mind was buttoned up or something.


But I can't just write anything at these times. I can occasionally force myself to write a review, or if I happen to be reading something interesting on a news site or something, I might be able to post about that.

No, my brain is not wired that way.

Instead, I start thinking (always a dangerous thing). I think about friends. I think about love. I think about the past, the future, or the present.

I think about inspiration, like my friend Dawn's post from the other day, In This Moment, where she talks about an inspiring quote, and then goes on for a long time about daily inspirations, how her brain works (maybe that's what inspired this post?), and other really fascinating stuff. I say "long" above, but that's only after I look at the post itself. While reading it, I sit entranced, and it doesn't feel long at all. I wish I could make a long post like that which didn't sound like I was rambling.

Or Lisa, the "Smiling Widow" who wrote the quote that's under my masthead above, and who writes the "Widow Lady" blog. A woman who's been through so much, has blogged about it and shared with her readers with the hope that it will help those going through a similar circumstance, yet who can also provide us with such funny stuff as today's post. And I wonder how I would get through something similar.

What-ifs seem to also invade the brain late at night. Most of them are something that I know will never happen, but they still come upon me. Sometimes they're worth blogging about, sometimes they're not. Sometimes they're not even worth thinking about, but try telling that to my brain.

It's stubborn and doesn't listen.

It's also late at night when the dreams come. Not the sleeping dreams, which I can never remember but often seem to wake me up disconcertingly. I'm talking about the dreams of the future, of what might be, or might never be.

Dreams that, with a little work, might come true. It's the work part, in the cold light of day where the dreams don't reside but where the reality of what it would take to make those dreams come true lurks instead, that seems so daunting. I imagine the results of something but am not willing to do what it takes to get to that result. Of course nothing happens, no matter what Rhonda Byrne says.

And so the dreams lay unclaimed. But that doesn't stop my nighttime brain from visualizing them again the next night.

It's that nighttime brain that's responsible for this post.

And look, rambling!

(Note: This blog was finished at 11:00 pm last night, but I'm scheduling it to post this morning because, let's face it, only a few people will read it if it posts this late at night. But it *is* the product of my nighttime brain, and hopefully I won't regret it by the time it posts)


  1. Ah yes, the nighttime brain. I take sleeping pills to shut mine up. Otherwise I can't function.

  2. Thankfully, mine's not *that* bad.

    Thank heavens for small favours. :)

  3. David! Thank you for the mention, sweetie! You know oddly day before yesterday was a Widda brain moment for me. I've always had occasional insomnia, but since my two losses last year I've gotten to know 4:30 in the morning very, VERY well. I do my best thinking then...sometimes that is good, sometimes not so much lol. But like you I can't force myself to get up and actually write. Those nights have inspired some of the best posts though.

    <3 You man...rock the insomnia, make it work for ya!

  4. I don't know if I would count 11:30 as "insomnia," but there have been other nights like that.

    I think what this just means is that the wife can't go to bed before me. LOL

    Thanks for being that touch of inspiration!

    <3 you too!

  5. Here I am, finally! Way late, but so very appreciative of the kind mention of my writing here. I know...'tis true, I'm a prolific, wordy sort on my blog, so it's good to know that while you're actually reading it, it doesn't feel overly long. :)

    Your posts, my friend, are always a good read! I laugh often, which is a quality in writing that I greatly value. I think we all have that inner voice yammering at us in the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes I can shut it off; most times it's a comfortable background buzz. Without that inner dialogue, we wouldn't be writers, I think, and what a sad world it would be!

    Thanks again for the nod of recognition, from one writerly type to another. You put me in good company with yourself and Lisa. :)

    ~ Dawn

  6. Thank you, Dawn! I'm glad that I'm able to make you laugh (I hope at the appropriate places :P).

    It's always good to hear that you're succeeding in something that you're trying to do.

    I can't think of any two blogs that are so diametrically different than yours and mine. Isn't it awesome that we both see the value in each other's work, though?

    And also thanks for the wonderful, thoughtful comment. You're the best!

  7. My most recent bloth is on contrasts and how they help us appreciate Life in general. I think that friendships highlight contrasts for us in the most elemental way. The fact that people like you and I and Lisa and Marticus can find one another and appreciate one another's writing is another example of exquisite contrast. It's part of what makes Life so enjoyable!


  8. I think you're right, Dawn. It's a beautiful illustration of that!


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