Writing at night is a double-edged sword coated in a healing balm. While the house is quiet and my faithful rescue dogs sleep on the futon in my office, the contemplative nature of the dark lingers upon drifting shoulders.
The Night can give us our weight in literary wealth, word count pouring through our fingers with the diligence of water droplets over the Victoria Falls. The Night can also starve us, as it has tonight. I sit in the sweltering heat, refusing to open the window lest I wake my slumbering dog. He's a good elderly gent, adopted at 11 and 12 by now, or so we think. Nobody knows, but Zuko and he's not talking. Any progress on my novels stilled recently, with outside work responsibilities and the blessed healing of friends stepping in to keep my depression at bay.
Clinical Depression is the spectre in the shadow, rustling through the spruce trees in my front yard, invisible as the void outside my office window.
The Night also gives relief. My friends in Australia and Europe are either in midday or newly awoken, peppering along to keep me occupied. Tonight was such a night, where one of my dearest friends kept up a conversation, which started as a 'can you look this paragraph over for me?', middled to 'if you wouldn't mind looking at my website for holes' and ploughed on with tales of academic and childish woe. Fathers and their offspring. The glory of missed opportunities shines like the street lamps behind the spruce trees.
I know they're present. I can see nothing but the svelte void. A steady stream of Baroque Composers (Handel, Purcell, Bach my favourites) keeps me on the tilting edge of wakefulness, yet it's the singular ability for us Millennials to feel crowded in a lonely room which keeps my head from its' pink pillow.
When I have my compatriots to chat with on Discord, I am not longer alone in the dark. The stiff black wall rustles in a breeze, which hopefully will eliminate smoke that oppresses the air and seizes my lungs.
Such connective bonds are intimacy in safety, revealed secrets without the tempestuous nature of living beside or in front of the person while you type what you wanted to say. Paused and edited. Waited for that next voice chat with the group.
Companionship is reverting to a time where travel was unconscionably tough, and ill taken. We linger on the resurgence of a lifetime of letters, written in real-time, responded to in a blink of weary, red-stained eyes.
I prefer writing at night, until my morning hours are stolen by the fog of fatigue... yet the spruce trees won't be existential monsters then, they'll be organically growing structures shielding my house from the sounds of the road.
As a Canadian of Norwegian Descent, and a Millennial, my solution is the same:
Coffee come morning.