It’s 3 a.m. and my wife just left for a business trip. Breathing an extra prayer or two for her safe travel feels necessary at this hour because the hour-long trip to the Austin airport can be filled with all manner of nocturnal creatures who feel the need to hang out on the winding, two-lane roads.

I tried my usual middle-of-the-night breathing exercises to put myself back to sleep but obviously, that didn’t work. My relentless inner-critic managed to get a foot in the door and is haranguing me about the things I wanted to address but didn’t get to in my music and message presentation yesterday (even though it was extremely well-received). It also occurs to me that at this hour the primal fears of the reptilian, fight-or-flight brain also have better shot at taking hold because, well, it’s dark out. Very dark. Dead-of-night dark.

The three dogs who snore deeply and contentedly next to me in the bed give no evidence I should be afraid of anything other than my own thoughts. This is comforting (and not…) at the same time.

So, writing right now is simply an exercise in “writing down the bones[1]” until I feel my head start to bob. Doing any kind of actual “work” (i.e., reviewing my calendar for the upcoming week, cleaning out my email inbox, etc.) as I may often do when I’m awake at this hour is not the remedy this time. Nope.

Buddy and Marti on guard duty

The sudden realization that in a way I am talking to someone right now is hugely comforting. The act of writing these thoughts down is still a means of communication regardless of what time of day (or which day) you, the reader might end up receiving it. Your willing ears (or rather, eyes) are appreciated. Thanks for keeping me company.

The largest of my three dogs is twitching and whimpering as she plays with someone in her dreams. The other two dogs are not at all disturbed. I’m going to follow their cue and surrender to trusting that all is well.

I’m grateful to once again feel sleepy, but dang if I didn’t just catch sight of a muse out on the fence line of my mental estate. God, her timing sucks! Excuse me while I go throw open the gate to let her in.

[1] “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg is a seminal work on writing of all kinds