miracle of miracles, it's 5:30 and my family is still asleep. which means: prayer time. tip toe downstairs. put water on. don't bother with a sweater...too risky to go back up for one. when i grow up i want to be able to wake at five and write for an hour. don't get socks...too risky. i'll freeze my butt off any day for a minute like this. hot water. tea bag. milk. honey. the tick of the clock. the windows dark. i read a story so good last night it renewed my faith in fiction (which has been on the rocks of late). it was written by a friend and it hasn't yet been published. so good it made me gasp and so good it made my chest hurt and all of that gasping hurt enshrouded in love and beauty. what more could one ask for? it made me want to get up at 4 am and write stories again. it made me want to look harder for things i really love. it made me want to teach a class so i could stand up in front of the class, arm trembling, and say "read this!" this is the way to start a day. this is the way to bend down, as m. oliver would say, and kiss the earth. that story and this quiet house. this still darkness. this reverent, breathless waiting. every minute a pot of liquid, feathered gold. and when it's over? my darlings.