Every morning–well, almost every morning–I wake up at five. The first thing I do is make coffee. A fifteen-minute ritual.
Heat the water.
Weigh the beans.
Cringe as the grinder roars through a sleeping house.
Pour the water.
I sneak in a bathroom break at some point, cleaning the toilet bowl with my urine as I avoid the unruly sounds of Niagra. If I’ve learned nothing else as a parent, I’ve learned this difficult truth: peace is fragile.
I face a blank white screen–coffee steaming–an emptied bladder–the circle of life. Facebook tugs at my attention on an open tab and I’ll sometimes peruse it like it’s an alleyway. I’ll peak into people’s windows until I realize (again and again) there’s no point.
They are they.
You are you.
I am me.
I have something to say and a means to say it. And even if someone already said it, I never did so, in a way, it’s never been said. I have a perspective that belongs only to me, a voice, a mind, a heart, two eyes, and three ears. The third is the one a parent grows.
I click back to the blank white screen. Some days, like warm bedsheets, it’s a comfort. I wrap my heart in the silence of the morning, grateful for the time to reflect on the universe. Other days it’s an ocean. Overwhelming nothingness. And I know something is there. Somewhere deep beneath the surface, there is a world of thought lurking, but all I can see is the nothingness. Waves crash to the rhythm of a blinking cursor.
Today, the page is an ocean and I don’t feel like diving anymore. My morning may be quiet (until the first baby cry), but my mind is loud. Facebook’s screaming at me. Insecurities are biting at my ankles. My third ear is craving a noise. The ocean mocks me, and I wonder if waking up at five is even worth it. Maybe I don’t have much to say after all. Or I lack the means to say it. Perhaps my perspective is a ship sailed.
There’s the baby. It’s Isaiah.
Tomorrow I’ll write again. Five in the morning as usual. You can never tell what kind of day it’s going to be until you sit down at the mercy of that blank white screen.