Sunday, July 30, 2006

Natural rhythm and virtue

Laurie from Body Impolitic is a working artist. She says she is lucky she has been able to be self-employed all her life. She also happens to have a circadian rhythm that is different from most. She wakes up around 1 in the afternoon, works and interacts and creates. Her bedtime is around 3 a.m. or later.

She wonders why people who get up at the crack of dawn tend to look down on late-sleepers. Is there really a virtue implicit in getting up so early? One could look at the body of her work as an artist and as a human being, and say she has been quite productive. Sure she starts later in the day than most, but by the same token, she works well into the night when everybody else has given up and gone to bed. Why is her natural rhythm inferior to the day-worker's?

Maybe the crack of dawn virtue is a holdover from our agrarian days. But we're not farmers anymore. It's worth thinking more about.


Blogger ...e... said...

it's enshrined in the protestant culture, early to bed and early to rise makes a man ealthy, wealthy and wise. those outside the norm, intellectuals, artists, philosophers writers, they're the boheian contingent, marked by the sign of late rising and etc.

11:27 AM  
Blogger ...e... said...

i would really welcome the opportunity to talk with Laurie, as i am in the middle of a transition into being a self-supporting artist, and haven't gotten anywhere near figuring it out. i'm a virtual participant, though, so it would be hard to do so other than via email...?

1:08 PM  
Blogger Nancy White said...

It is the yin and yang. Someone needs to be awake to the world at every point. So we need da night owls and the morning people.

Now, on the morning people (of which I am one down to my cells) - I sometimes think our judgement is actually envy, as we fall asleep at parties. But like the night owls, we love the solitude we gain by being up early or late. We love the edges at either end. So we are in some ways, the same. But different.

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