Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Borrowing Daylight

Fumbling in the dark, I open and close four different drawers to get to the clothes I’ll wear in the morning.  Each drawer makes a raspy sound upon opening, gives a thick clunk as I try to shut it quietly.

Still in bed, he flips over.  It would annoy me to be awakened by those sounds first thing every morning.  The anticipated rssssp-clunk-rssssp-clunk- rssssp-clunk-rssssp-clunk in the dark of each new day would drive me crazy.  He’s never said anything about it.  He must not mind.

I creep to the closet and flip the switch.  Light floods the small space and I grab a sweatshirt, a pair of pants, and flick the light off.  His snooze time is up – the alarm buzzes for attention.

Quickly, I get dressed, brush my teeth.  He stumbles into the bathroom to do the same.  He reaches around me for his own clothes.  They are on the side of the tub; he always puts them there the night before.  His habit is to prepare; mine is to rssssp-clunk my way through the dark.

Morning, we say.  Neither is fully awake.  The light is glaring; we are squinting.

I’m still in that half-asleep phase of waking where interrupted dreams still take over much of the brain’s attention.  As I brush my hair I replay the last scene, where I climbed through a dark men’s prison dormitory up dirty, plastic stairs, trying hard not to wake inmates while making my way through a maze of passages and narrow hallways that made up their sleeping spaces.  The stench of sleep and sweat and uncleanness there is somehow still in my nostrils.

Why am I always lost in my dreams, trying to find my way out?  Meandering through potentially dangerous places is a common theme.  My dream-self takes a lot of risks.

Finished with our toilettes, one of us turns off the light.  We plunge into darkness again, but only for a second.  He flips another light on to grab something, then flips it off.  I do the same.  What follows is a popcorn of light-dark-light-dark-light-dark all the way downstairs.

I find him in the kitchen, overhead light harsh in its singleness.  I flip two more on, knowing that the lights he needs to get out the door will be turned off very soon.  When he leaves, I sit at the table and press the power button on my in-need-of-a-replacement laptop.  It hums to life lazily, the screen’s glow adding to the existing illumination.

The kids wake eventually, each of them with their own rhythm of light-dark.  As they move through the next hour before catching the bus to school, the sun rises and asserts itself on the horizon.  Sometimes I am called to the window to share in witnessing the pinks, purples, oranges, and yellows just above the rooftops of our neighbors’ homes. 

They leave.  It is a cloudless morning; we don’t need the artificial lights now. I turn them all off. 

Today, I will borrow the light.


photo via Unsplash



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This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #1: Write a blog post inspired by the word light.

18 comments:

  1. Your words, heart, metaphors, allusions...they're always so beautiful.
    I'm not sure any other writer makes me laugh as hard AND think as deeply.

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    1. You are a kind kitten - thank you. I will put your words in my heart pocket and treasure them forever. ;) and xoxo

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  2. I am always really impressed by the results you achieve from these writers' prompts. You created genuine atmosphere in very few words.

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    1. Thank you, Hillary! If not for writing prompts, I'm not sure that there would be many words here.

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  3. I liked your description of your morning. I can relate to it except there would be a whole lot more talking going on at my house!

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    1. There is some talking. But it's mostly quiet. We try hard to keep the peace in the mornings.

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  4. Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your life. We always have so much to say on so many subjects that sometimes we forget to stop and look at the beauty of the "mundane".

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    1. So true! Sometimes it's nice just to slow down and look around once in a while.

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  5. This was lovely - hauntingly serene. Is there no chaos in your morning? How do you do it?

    I think tomorrow I will borrow the light, too.

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    1. I have to admit, not much chaos. We get up early and ease into it. Although there is usually a little bit of a rush as shoes, bags, lunches are gathered and all of it is shoved out the door.

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  6. Exactly what Julie said. Plus - uncleanliness? You are such a lady ;)

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    1. Oh, that was only in my dream. :)

      And the dirty bathroom that is in desperate need of a good scrub. I DON'T WANNA DO IT

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  7. I love the visual of your morning with your husband. It's so different than mine, where my husband is out the door just as my alarm is going off and I switch all the lights on to wake up the house.

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    1. Thanks, Greta! Our mornings weren't always this serene. There were days when all the lights were on by the time I woke up, and adults had nothing to do with it.

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  8. Borrowing light, something I do quite often but never thought of it this way.

    Coming by from Mama Kat

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    1. I never thought of it either, not until I was in the middle of writing this post. :) Thanks for being here!

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  9. You just described my mornings with my husband...but I'll say your dreams are way cooler than mine! Fascinating!

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