Timing is Everything

  It's been a while, I know. My dug-up iris corms (featured in my last blog of August 7) sat in two canvas in the garage until about a month ago. There were just so many of them I felt daunted by the task of making room for them in the garden. I finally replanted them in the garden in late October. Almost all of them, anyway. Some I gave away, some rotted, and a few (I just noticed yesterday) are still in a small pile waiting to be planted.
   As they say, "The way you do anything is the way you do everything." Which brings me to this morning and to this blog. Actually to last night.
  I sat in front of the fire reading The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp, and was inspired to improve my writing habits which, like my garden, have gotten a bit lax of late. I needed to break a few habits--listening to NPR news in the morning (which is incredibly soporific), oversleeping (because the news just goes on and on),  drinking tea which is a very poor substitute for coffee, getting wrapped up in e-mail (despite the egg timer I set for 15 minutes for this activity), and putting off exercise until so late that I skip it altogether.
  New World Order! I spent a while last night rigging up my house to break myself of these habits. I pulled out the dusty (literally) Mr. Coffee and set the auto-brew to make me 2 cups at 5:15. I plugged a bedroom lamp into an auto-timer to turn on at 5:20. I moved a clock-radio next to my bed so it would go off at 5:30. I attached a double hand-me-down iPod (1g) to the clock-radio so I could hear Domenico Scarlatti's "Piano Sonata in C Major K132" (on piano not harpsichord). I set out my stretchy exercise clothes on a chair near the bed.
   The plan was to wake up with the light, smell the coffee, traipse to the kitchen, return to drink coffee with Scarlatti, go to the gym, return by 7 to feed and walk the dog, then write.
   I was so excited by my new plan that I could hardly sleep.
   But I did. Before I knew it, the light had come on. I sniffed for the coffee, but it's aroma hadn't reached the bedroom. The clock-radio didn't go off and I had dimmed the LED clock light so low that I couldn't see what time it was. The Audubon bird-call clock in the bathroom read 5:30. Except that I never re-set it when Daylight Savings Time ended, so it was actually 4:30.
  I was not getting up at 4:30. So I closed my eyes and tried to fall back asleep. Which I could not.
  At the civil hour of 5 a.m., I turned over-rode the clock-radio alarm and put on Scarlatti. It was so beautiful that I began to cry. My tears were not happy or sad or melancholy or hormonal--they just flowed because the music flowed in a way that touched some truth that only music can touch. I have fourteen Scarlatti piano sonatas on my iPod, but the K 132 in C Major--with its pure, measured, and insistent lines--is simultaneously arresting and inspiring.
   And, because I was alert and dressed in my gym togs by the time the coffee was ready, I decided not to get back into bed with my coffee but--here in the pre-dawn darkness before I head out to the gym--drink my coffee while letting you know that my iris have been planted, the words are flowing, and timing is everything.