"I chose to engage in some WeeSmall choosing instead."

"from dusk till dawn,
As the clock ticks on,
Something happens to you."

from Wee Small Hours by Bob Hilliard 1955

My most productive hours come in a WeeSmall size. The hours after dawn opens up, eventually spread between horizons, but the predawn time compresses into concentrated capsules. Like dog years, WeeSmall hours contain more time, in spite of their misleadingly tiny appearance. Distractions avoid WeeSmall hours, needing more space to frantically wave around their arms. Bright shiny objects seem relegated to modest sizes situated in outer space, hardly capable of disturbing concentration. The WeeSmall hours bring contemplation, the human facility capable of sorting through life's many and varied contradictions. Without my WeeSmall contemplative time, I might simply take this world and all its charms at face value and never suspect the many and varied interpretations I might make. In this way, the WeeSmall hours fuel better-informed choosing. In the dark and the cold, I feel safe to try on a variety of alternatives. By the time the sun starts thinking about rising, I'm almost present to my day, having made some initiating decisions which will reverberate in action thereafter. I can set aside my trial balloons and set about moving somewhat more deliberately.

I will probably have figured out nothing, but I will have sorted through the nature of the confusion.
I might well feel more confused than when I started, but will at least carry some clearer understanding of that confusion. I might accept that I suffer from confusion rather than confounded certainty, and this state alone seems somehow superior to simply charging forward as if I was not confounded, but simply certain. My belief structures seem more malleable in the WeeSmall hours, capable of changing as conditions command. I can catch myself out there, without any critical scowls concluding anything from my behavior. My behaviors are my own then, uninterpreted by any ill-informed observer. I come to know myself, not to explain my knowing. I feel suspended without harsh judgement, the perfect environment within which to simply be me. Nobody knows that person, nor should they.

Oh, I can get creative when it comes to distracting myself. Rose The Skittish Spinster Cat performs her usual skit, feigning abject starvation until I supply a fresh bowl of food she will not more than sniff at. I'll want my morning decaf, ritualized into successive stages which spill powdery Turkish grind all over the countertop. While the coffee boils, I wipe up the resulting mess and flip the fireplace switch, often before even turning on the lights. Rose will assume her usual position in front of the fire and set to trying to absorb every emanating Joule of energy. I'll fire up the MacBook so the Network Preferences can choose the wrong network so I can correct it again. I might tromp out into the driveway to check the outside temperature and cloud cover. By the time the coffee boils, I've expended ten WeeSmall minutes, never to be recovered, and catch myself carefully carrying my bowl of decaf towards my writing chair.

Somedays, I sit there with my eyes closed while my coffee cools, but usually I'm scanning headlines. I could not care less about the breaking news, not usually. I'm more focused on finding stories that somehow slip between the headlines of the day, ones which might provide more perspective and fuel greater understanding or appreciation. I know the world's not gone completely to Hell, and I suspect that it's also not well on its way there, either. My WeeSmall time seems no smaller or larger than ever before, expanding and contracting to its own internal rhythm. I hope only to discover something remarkable.

Some days, I find a treasure trove. Other days, nothing attracts my attention so I yawn through my usual suspects. Synchronicity stalks me in my WeeSmall hours, or seems to be stalking me, sometimes even finding me there. By sunrise, I will have usually found space to simply sit quietly, laptop closed and Rose snuggling on my lap, considering what might rise to the level of importance to become what I might write that day. I'm never seeking continuity, for the WeeSmall hours seem discontinuous by nature, time bombarded by innumerable thoughts, most of which pass right through like neutrinos on their way to nowhere. I could have slept through the festivities and relied upon ill-remembered dreams to inspire me. I chose to engage in some WeeSmall choosing instead.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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