Stolen Stars

Stolen Stars

stolen-stars-mandayla.comIt’s not uncommon to have some regrets in life. And as a night person, I definitely feel like I am missing out on prime time. I would love to stay up all night if I didn’t have to get up in the morning.

I was blessed to have a few periods in my life when I could indulge my inner night owl, my true self. I did some of  my very best writing at Penn State in the middle of the night. My thoughts and ideas are so much more vivid and clear during this quiet and special time. I can feel things more deeply too, and tap into a level of creativity that I don’t often have access to during the day.

Maybe it’s because people feel cloaked in the dark, but I’ve found that many people talk about more abstract, intimate and interesting topics later at night that they wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing during the day. Sadly, I rarely stay up late even on the weekends anymore because it’s too difficult to get back on track on Monday. It’s a trade off to survive in the 9-5 work world.

I understand the practical origins of the day schedule. Prior to the advent of electricity, people had a very specific window of daylight time to get things done. I guess it’s just another hangover from the past that we haven’t worked through yet as a society. We celebrate so many differences now. But I can attest that people who don’t get up early, look tired or aren’t at their best in the morning still get labeled as lazy.

When morning people see me going for my third cup of coffee, they will typically say something like “wow, you really like coffee.” Not so much. I probably wouldn’t drink coffee at all if I was a morning person. Mornings are such a painful and jarring interruption to my natural rhythms, which tell me I should be sleeping. I guzzle caffeine until I can get into a vaguely functional place.

I have gotten a lot better and am able to wake up much earlier now than ever before. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. I’ve always joked that elderly people get up really early to to make sure they are still alive. They are so excited that they get another day to play that they just stay up, no matter what time they originally awoke.

I started my mandala with a star in the middle tonight because it’s one of my favorite night time symbols. It ended up looking more like a flower with a ring of stars around it. I also worked in a few crescent moon shapes, a family of zzzz’s to denote sleep and a drawn shade that retreated as the drawing progressed. A ring of eyes that were all sleeping, except for one, were also part of the original layer.

The eyes ended up morphing into shapes that resembled hammocks which makes sense. More sleep and relaxation references. I put palm trees on either side of these shapes to anchor them and grass underneath. A magic wand emerged from what was a shooting star. To me, this speaks to the magic that occurs in the middle of the night. And there are a bunch of little circles and dots to represent what the same stars look like from far away. It’s all about perspective.

It’s just after 9 p.m. and I’m getting ready to go to sleep. I wish I could stay up later to continue writing and drawing but it’s a school night, as they say. Goodnight moon. And the rest of the world. jt

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