Monday, February 3, 2014

The Best Hour of the Day

Art by Tim Nyberg
I generally rise alone at 3:30 a.m. I set up the beagle’s breakfast, put in laundry and make the coffee, then, after doing 18 pushups and some yoga back exercises, meditate for 20 minutes, trying to concentrate on sensations rather than emotions or thoughts. The ding of the coffee pot stops me, and I fill the beautiful raven coffee mug Jim Jenkins gave me and curl up with a biography on the leather sofa. The predawn exercises and the solitude and the intellectual absorption combine to create a languorous sensation in which I drift for 90 minutes or an hour, the best hour of the day. I am centered, and whatever worried me last night or confronts me in the coming day is dispelled like the fog it is by the here and now of focused, unforced attention.
I sometimes treat myself to a late-afternoon echo of that experience by reading with the beagle curled up next to me while I sip Irish Breakfast tea from the cheeky mug Jim Hampton gave me, which boasts a word balloon that declares, “I will never use my powers for evil!”

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