Before dawn…

Writing before dawn began as a necessity—I had small children when I first began to write and I needed to use the time before they said, Mama—and that was always around five in the morning.

-Toni Morrison

2013-11-16 07.46.58

This quote resonates with me as I often write in the early morning, before my own small children call my name, sweep their bare feet against the worn wood floors. Toni Morrison’s quote allows me to think about my mornings in sweet creative, a swift flutter of choices, tools, and time, the abundance of love, nurture, and daily domestic duty. With all the tasks that must be done before we walk out the door to our respective days, I am happy to make the choice to read and write, if even for a moment, a sentence or two, as I watch the sunrise.

I think about how words work hard in that precious bit of dark that swirl of plum, gold and gray, the sun and moon. The words hurry and stir alongside a choir of snores and sleepy boys, inside my own quiet prayers and meditation, crowded in an assembly line of food for packed lunches, or in between imagined ingredients for dinner. Not to mention all the details: washing, dressing, eating breakfast, then walking out the door in the best presentations of our selves, with little bother and quarrel. It is no small task, these mornings, yet the words find themselves present at dawn wrapped in whatever my dreams left over, finding their way first to the day.

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Categories: Inspiration, Writing

4 Comments on “Before dawn…”

  1. Gwen Stephens
    December 9, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    I’m with you, Dionne. Writing before sunrise is a great way to start the day.

    • December 9, 2013 at 8:48 am #

      The mornings get more and more daring for reading and writing. I like the idea of the audacity to write before the sun rises, before the domestic work gets done. We make choices right?

      I had no idea Toni Morrison started out writing in between spaces, between dark and dawn. Even if the early morning writing was due to practicality and motherhood, I suppose writers will find a way to write, to make that choice.

      I know you write early morning as well Gwen. That time of day is truly sacred space. I tend to believe there is an aspect of writing that is social and collaborative and here is yet another example of that.

      And yes, you are right, writing and sunrise are wonderful points of the day.

  2. December 9, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    This is a nice slice of life writing.

    • December 9, 2013 at 8:38 am #

      Thank you Peter.

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