Creative Soul, Awake


I’m just going to come out and say it: I_love_bedtime.

Now dear reader, please do not think that just because I love bedtime means that I do not love the children who are finally going to bed. No no no. I’m crazy about them. They complete my world and I think they’re five of the coolest people ever.

But after a day of noise and sometimes tedious (and soon to be undone) housework, I love the dim light and quietude of a houseful of sleeping children. This is the time of day when I can unwind and think clearly and create. Alone. Quiet.

As soon as the kids are tucked in (prayers said, daily happenings reported, lullabies sung) I can begin my creative day, and end it when it when I have to. (Being a “night person,” I always injure my tomorrows with too little sleep. A part of me envies “morning people” who begin every day with such a healthy kick-start. A dear friend of mine once told me about how she wakes up at 5 AM to begin her chores. I asked, “Why would you do that?!” and she said, “Because it’s the best time of the day!” She must have been joking. right?)

This is when I am free to concentrate on a difficult bead stringing project. Or when I can experiment for two uninterrupted hours on a just-dreamt-up cabled knitting pattern. Or when I can wire-wrap fifty freshwater pearls in silver for a pair of earrings. While the kids are awake, I simply cannot do such things (it’s called: “neglect.”). Nights after bedtime are when I breathe as an artist.

For many years, when newborn babies woke up at 2, or when toddlers at play depleted me, I savored my bedtimes as a time to foster my creative soul. To fan a spark that I wouldn’t (couldn’t!) let die. During those years, I don’t think I created anything amazing. But I created. And I kept alive my creative soul.

I know that some artists can handle their creativity as one “clocking in:” wake up, work in studio from 8 til noon, break for lunch, develop new product from 1 til 3, ship finished pieces at 4, leave studio at 5. I’m totally jealous of disciplined artists. I am not and will not ever be this professional. Instead, my creative energy barrels headlong all day, finally crashing into bedtime. Ideas, new projects, design solutions are filed in the back of my brain. And after bedtime, I begin the frenetic compulsion of gathering a day’s worth of ideas (along with supplies and tools) before they dissipate. Creativity is not matter; it can evaporate into the forgotten.

And there I end my day, every day. Letting my creative soul sit on the sofa like a strange Seussian chimera. Bedtime enables the creative outlet that lets me love a day full of my children when I’m on the clock.

I love bedtime. I love it.