Perhaps it’s the nature of blog writing in 2018. A less connected medium, free from a socially networked place where we’ve remained logged in for several months without ever needing to remember our password. After not writing like this a year or more, with no expecting audience, it’s a bit freeing.
Midnight writing can go two ways; either it’s on a deadline, cramming to finish some arbitrary word count for an editor at 7 am, or it’s typing away at something that might never be read by more than a dozen people. In either case, the night is still and only odd sounds disrupt the clacking of the keyboard; either ghosts or some intruder (though neither are the case 100% of the time).
Writing at the midnight hour, for no one, for myself, for someone who might read this seven months from now. Its purpose unknown at the time, other than an urge to write, and tending to the desires of the muse is advisable (please see ‘Turning Pro’ for Steven Pressfield). Maybe this writing gets published and it gets 20 clicks, or maybe it moves one person to tears or action or rage and their entire universe is uprooted.
That’s why there’s midnight writing. Or the graffiti artist operating under the moonlight. A musician recording one more take on their laptop before diving into bed before another shift in the morning.
Its midnight, and we must write.
When I hit the road back in 2010 on my bike I used a Chrome messenger bag. Eventually, I switched to a Chrome Yalta, and that was my go-to bag for many years. I’ve got a Goruk GR1 which I really don’t use enough, but it’s a great bag for day trips or hikes in the woods.
Then I started running in 2016, and could finally run longer distances, so when I traveled I wanted to be able to run once I got to my destination. Packing extra shoes, shirts, shorts, and jackets… running gear takes up some serious space.
I purchased a Patagonia 60L Black Hole Duffel Bag in February of 2017, so almost a year now. It’s big enough for an extra pair of shoes, running gear, regular clothes, and a small Timbuk 2 laptop sling (I usually check this duffel when flying, or throw in the cargo hold of the bus, then keep the laptop bag with me). In between buses and trains I can throw it over my shoulder with the hand straps, and if going extra distances I break out the straps and carry it on my back.
I love long, drawn-out songs for the glow.
One of my favorites is Cult of Luna’s ‘Echoes.’ It’s from the 2004 album ‘Salvation,’ and is one of four songs longer than 10 minutes on the record.
God, this sounds like a fucking “album review,” but hear me out.
This isn’t a quick and easy song to digest. You have to sit down and take it in, in much the same way you don’t just sit down with ‘The Big Lebowski’ and skip ahead to your favorite scenes.
Back to ‘Echoes.’ The “pay off” doesn’t come until the 5:30 mark. You sit there, be patient, and when it hits, oh wow, does it hit.
Now, since this isn’t an “album review,” let me explain how this fits in other parts of my life as of late.
Getting up at 7 am to meet some other people on a cold, rainy Sunday morning doesn’t sound delightful. Then running five miles with wet, muddy feet? Why do that?
After all that trouble, the wait, the grind, I get that payoff. It’s something I’ve been feeling since I started running back in 2016. It’s the tunnel vision, the focus, like a secret you have that you can’t explain to anyone.