Saturday, September 13, 2008


There are times, and oh, this is one of them, when my schedule has become just a little later with each passing day, minute by minute, more and more nocturnal, until eventually I find myself keeping the hours of a raccoon. Never really being a morning person, I have often found I get a real boost of creativity when the sun goes to bed. If that second inspirational wind chances to blow in my door around ten in the evening, then I can stay up till all hours of the night, happy as a clam, working away at whatever project currently has my attention. To be certain, there are less distractions to be found inside the darkness, no jangling telephones, no harsh raps on my door, but it’s something more than that. I just love the nighttime. The soft curiosity of the moon’s light as he peeks in my window, traversing my table, offering his gentle help with my task. His sunny sister is often so assertive as to require a pulled curtain or two during the day, but the moonlight is always a welcome helpmate. Taking a break, I glance outside at the darkened magnolia tree knowing that it shelters scores of mauve grey doves as they sleep with their peaceful, perfect heads tucked safely in the stillness of their wings. I listen to the old ebony clock by the fireplace, like the steady, sweet heartbeat of the quiet house, and I feel blessed in my work. This would not be a problem if the rest of the world saw fit to follow my lead on these revised hours of operation. However, I have found that this is simply not the case. I am supposed to be up and at it each morning with the rest of the early risers. This of course pleases Edward immensely as it usually means I will need some sort of a naptime in the afternoon, which is his idea of pure sybaritic bliss.
I will gradually wean myself off of this schedule to better fit in with the rest of the workaday world, but for now... I am pleased to say,
it’s just me and the hoot owls.

Not to sleep
A Poem by Robert Graves

Not to sleep all the night long, for pure joy,
Counting no sheep and careless of chimes
Welcoming the dawn confabulation
Of birds, her children, who discuss idly
Fanciful details of the promised coming -
Will she be wearing red, or russet, or blue,
Or pure white? - whatever she wears, glorious:
Not to sleep all the night long, for pure joy,
This is given to few but at last to me,
So that when I laugh and stretch and leap from bed
I shall glide downstairs, my feet brushing the carpet
In courtesy to civilized progression,
Though, did I wish, I could soar through the open window
And perch on a branch above, acceptable ally
Of the birds still alert, grumbling gently together.


  1. The peace of working through the night is uplifting. I also enjoy waking early, though. For me, working through a quiet, pearlescent morning rivals the serenity of being awake during the darkness.

  2. I'm a night owl too!
    I can get so much done at night, but then I have to pay for it with an early morning of getting kids to school. That's one thing I love about summer. But oh well. Early mornings can be beautiful--if I can make myself get enough sleep to see them!
    Lovely poem!

  3. Pam,
    Your writings are so poignant and beautiful! From one owl to another...thank you.

    (who has 2 loyal Wheatens for late hour accompaniment )

  4. Pamela, with this piece you could convert the world to working at night! What a beautiful perspective! I too love working during the stillness of night. This week I was up before the birds cutting and piecing patchwork. It was so quiet before dawn with nothing to disturb. My own hot cuppa, sewing machine softly whirring away. Then listening to the world gently awake..

  5. Hubby is an early bird so makes me a coffee each morning to wake up to. It's his way of starting my day with love. Awwww! :-) I however am a night owl somehow without the distraction of TV, daylight chores and family, ideas pour in and I simply have to grab them or get them started so I continue with them in bits of snatched time throughout the day.

    Beautiful writing capturing the esence of night work.

  6. I'm an early morning person but still I'm working in the dark mostly too so I guess it's a semi-nocturnal existence I lead. I probably get most of my best work done in the wee hours.
    Who would have thought, a poem celebrating not sleeping and welcoming in the dawn. I guess that is what i enjoy about the mornings. The call of the birds, soft light and walking the dog.
    Fab post Pamela.
    May I add you to my list of blogs I read?

  7. A lovely description of your night time, Pamela.
    I wish I only needed two hours of sleep, which would be taken between 1 and 3 in the afternoon heat and harsh white light. There is something good to be said about all the other times of day.

  8. Hello, pleased to meet you. I am a natural night owl too but early starts with my children mean I am struggling to stay awake late at night and struggling to get going in the morning. One day I will be able to indulge myself in late nights and late mornings. I love the peace and isolation of working in the night.
    My husband and I were just talking last night of how we would love to go to the Blue Ridge Mountains to listen to bluegrass. We are very into Highland and Irish traditional music.

  9. I came here via Ms. Morris and am delighted...what a lovely blog you have.

    I admit that I am more of a morning person - for me, the early morning quietness with a cup of coffee tends to be the happiest time I am awake during the day. My Prince is a night owl, so lately I have learned to compromise a bit!

  10. Another very beautiful post Pamela. And as you well know I am a SUCH a morning person and the earlier the better. I do love the sound of a sputtering coffee maker at 4am and even better in the midst of winter when dawn is still hours away. We both do love the quiet and darkness ... just at opposite ends of the day.

    Thank you for your ongoing kind thoughts ... and Miss Lulu thanks you to.

    Hugs to you, happy girl Miss Apple and oh so handsome Edward from both Miss D. and myself. xo, S.

  11. I'm completely with you on this one. I've always been a night owl and often stay awake long after i should have drifted into the land of nod as you probably read in my first blog.
    I have two small children which means i'm trying to re-train myself to go to bed at a reasonable hour as i have to get up for them in the morning, as well as locking the front door behind my husband!
    Beautiful words and poem as always. I'm really loving my visits here, i shall be back again. Love to you and Edward xx

  12. Love your last line....just you and hoot owls....You know Pamela, there is an ethereal quality about your blog, your posts, your pics, and you...I can now add the mental image of you joining the owl and the pussycat as they sail away on their pea green boat...'neath the pale, pearly moonlight...

  13. You've written the perfect description of the perfect time of day.

    For me creativity only begins to lift its lovely head after 4 in the afternoon and isn't ready to rest itself until 2 or 3 in the morning. This isn't good when I have to rise at 6am. Alas....

  14. I am not a late nighter - but an early bird. Up at 4.30 am today and on the road at 4.45 with the doggos, I walked in the light of a full moon! Magic! Posted a poem for you and Ed. Love and woofs from South Africa. Eleanor

  15. Have enjoyed reading your blog. There is something magical about the night and its effect on creativity. Being farmers we have an early morning schedule but I so often get ideas for poetry in the small hours - keep a notebook by the bed. Sometimes I write a poem in my head and it has gone by morning.

  16. This is so beautifully written and so true.
    I too am an owl! I love the moon's magical light and the sky scattered with diamond stars.
    In the stillness of the witching hour,ideas come to me more freely.
    Although like others, I too struggle with early rising having two school age children!

  17. You are not the only wise owl up. I too feel something magical and mystical once the sun goes down - often staying up working and plotting for the new day dawning. I appreciate the quiet uninterrupted time.
    Tasks like setting the breakfast table and the laundry
    underway always help to get the day going and the house humming for another glorious day.
    Sunny and bright today!

  18. Poignant thoughts and well written......Lovely poem too!

    I formerly was a night owl too until I got my little Cavalier pup, Bo, who lets me know when it is 10 o clock and bedtime! Like clockwork!


  19. I used to be a night owl, but no more. My husband keeps very regular hours, and I guess I've adapted. We were out on Saturday until 4--and it's taken me two days to recover!(it wouldn't have phased me a few years ago). My mom though, is still a night owl. I think it's all about what your body is used to!

  20. I have been a always morning person but strangely, I am now staying up later and later and turning into a night owl. You make the night sounds so magical, I am looking forward to being a fully fledged night owl very soon!

  21. Pamela, I've always been my most creative in the evening hours, too ...It seems to fit well with putting the children to bed and having that down time to be creative...

  22. As you find enjoyment and serenity in the hours of darkness, I am captivated by the early dawn.
    The stillness that inhabits your hours of preference still lingers when I arise.
    With 24 hours to a day there is time and solitude to suit us all!
    xo Susan

  23. I too like to work at night- I don't feel sleepy when I get to writing something!
    "happy as a clam"- I love that phrase, though never think to use it. But it's so pleasant and conjures images that are happy and lovely!
    I wonder if it's more to do with routine, or as people really predisposed to be one or the other when it comes to night owls versus morning people? I'm not sure, to be honest, but I know that as I am right now, mornings are not my thing :)
    Great writing, just like always.

  24. I love it in the middle of the night when everyone is sleeping and I'm still creating. I feel so in tune with the universe.

  25. "Never really being a morning person, I have often found I get a real boost of creativity when the sun goes to bed. If that second inspirational wind chances to blow in my door around ten in the evening, then I can stay up till all hours of the night, happy as a clam"

    --that is so me too. Trouble is that I have so many early morning obligations that i suffer as a result! Ugh.

  26. You can see I am a night blogger sometimes, it's 3 am and I can't sleep! Glad someone else also enjoys the quiet of the night!

  27. I'm the same... and sluggish as a sloth in the mornings. The general consensus of early rising makes folk like us feel lazy.. but I think our working hours are just moved back a bit, I do just as much work as the sunny people, just "after hours"! I have learned not to feel bad about this, and just go with my own body clock... after all, I am self employed, so I can! :)

  28. A beautifully written post as always. I think I like mornings now, my body clock changed as I got older so don't be surprised if you become a lark one day!

  29. What a lovely tranquil post to drink in of an evening. I love the night time too, I am usually walking around the house at 3am with an EMF meter wondering who the heck has woken me again!

    CJ xx

  30. Your a night owl........
    & I'm your morning glory.
    We all need one another or the world's wheels would never keep turning. My dad was an owl too!


    woof to Master Edward!

  31. We would work together quite well. I do not wake easily but can keep going into the early hours if I allow myself which i mostly do.

  32. I often wish that I could enjoy the late hours. However, I am usually asleep by 8:30 p.m. every night.

    The evening hours are so tranquil and peaceful. I guess that's what helps most people with sleeping during the night.

  33. Pamela, I must confess, I have a guardian angel who gets me up at the strangest hours, just as I drop off to sleep at 1 a.m., or 3 o'clock in the morning with two lines of an unwritten poem. The stillness of the sleeping world holds so much promise in it's shadowy corners.
    Disregard the buzzing world, sleep in the afternoon and quicken to the rustling of the owl's wings in the night.

    I did so want to catch up on all your recent posts but my eyes, somewhat worn by years, went on strike with the low contract between print and background.
    Sorry. Will come back later to try again.

  34. I'm totally with you here - I couldn't be more nocturnal. I keep thinking that some day I'll successfully transmute into a more 'normal houred' being, but it doesn't ever seem to 'stick'...

    Hurray for the moon.

  35. Yes,That's me.. a little nightowl! With green eyes ,wich i can at one point hardley keep open, but that's just for an our or so ,and then I can see clearly,gazing at the stars,and be a quiet simple soul,happy in the moonlight,dreaming of fairytales!
    I am not the greatest morning person...

  36. I am, undoubtedly, a night owl, and I know how easily the gradual shift in sleeping hours can occur. I am often my most creative at night, and I sometimes wish the world operated just a little more on my schedule! : )

  37. Ah, now I am definitely a morning person...I cannot stay awake past midnight! But you make it sound so very tempting.

  38. You have a marvelous talent for telling a story.. You kept me engrossed and I had to finish every word...
    I understand what you mean!


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