on vows and being alive

Having made a vow in August never again to stay up all night for teaching prep or work, I find myself now, once more of a winsome morn, having broken it nearly in two. Although it is just the second time for this semester—a fair-sized achievement in itself, I suppose—I’m in re-vow mode now. If there’s one thing I’m sure of in the contemporary US-of-A? It’s that our never-stop-working stances are a huge part of what’s killing the world (or whatever’s worth living for in it). Graveyard dead. Next footfall of mine to hit the floor? Is aiming higher than that. I intend to leap straight over comatose, too, and get to where I’m walking upright on both feet. Sound asleep when night claims the sky or close to it? And wide awake with the dawn. Why does failure remind us so readily of what we love?


Staying up all night to write? Now that’s an entirely different kettle of fish. Feeds the soul so well that the body follows suit, refreshed, happy, ready to face whatever the day may sling our direction. There has never been any need for me to make a vow to not write at night. Doing so opens the bay on my soul and drops anchor at home, lifting the flap on the envelope of one more of yesterday’s tomorrows so that I can read the mail of my existence. Fully, skin-tinglingly alive.