A while back at 4 in the morning, I posted to Facebook “If in the dark night of the soul it’s always 3 am (FSF), then what is 4 am? Asking for a friend.”
That F. Scott Fitzgerald line I referenced has stuck with me ever since I read it during some dark nights when I was in college. “In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.” (from “The Crack-Up”)
I was typing this around 4 a.m. today on this Leap Day. I think my body clock somehow sensed the calendar needed adjusting and woke me up way too early.
There is humor in that TED talk about the synchronicity or coincidence or code or plot or meme about that late-early morning hour which seems to come in in many contexts.
Though most of us who don’t have to get up are still asleep at 4 a.m., some people find it to be a quiet, peaceful and productive time to work. I don’t. If I’m awake at that time (or the deadlier 3 a.m. when the soul has its darkest night), it’s because I can’t sleep and I am not in my best mood or at my top brainpower. Today I worked on this post because it just seemed like it was handed to me by some unseen power of the universe.
I’m more likely that if I am awake at that time I would put on the TV and go online with my phone bumping into other North American insomniacs and other-side-of-the-world folks going about their day oblivious to my sleeplessness.
One or two in the morning is really still last night and you might be out having a good time. Three in the morning really is the soul’s dark hour. 5 a.m. is close enough to sunrise to give one hope.
Four in the morning seems to be something else. Much too late to be partying. Too early to start the day. What the hell are you doing awake at that hour?
The TED Talk speaker really got into this topic. He even created a”museum of four in the morning.”
In a poem by Wislawa Szymborska that the video references, the poet says about “Four in the Morning”:
…The hour swept clean to the crowing of cocks.
The hour when earth betrays us.
The hour when wind blows from extinguished stars.
The hour of and-what-if-nothing-remains-after-us.
The hollow hour.
The very pit of all other hours.
No one feels good at four in the morning.
If ants feel good at four in the morning
–three cheers for the ants. And let five o’clock come
if we’re to go on living.
The sun is up in Paradelle now. I reread this post and it looks ready to go out in the world. I am less prepared for the world. I need some coffee. And I’ll probably need a nap this afternoon.
The TED speaker, simply called Rives, does 8 minutes of lyrical origami, folding history into a series of coincidences (Are they?) surrounding that most surreal of hours. Poet, performance artist and storyteller Rives has been called “the first 2.0 poet,” using images, video and technology to bring his words to life.