Ah Christmas. The day has finally arrived. Every action an excited rush, done out of necessity before moving onto the real goal. We just about manage to brew a pot of coffee. Check the phone for messages, of which some merit a long enough pause for reply. Then onto the centerpiece. The wrapped presents that beckon us. We pass presents around, open, smile, inspect, and in-between, gulp our now cold coffee.
The bundle of presents now open, stacked in a neat display of hapiness. The small pile of books at one side, bright, crisp and calling for attention.
"We'll just have a light breakfast, save room for overeating at lunch." Jules said.
"I'll just have a coffee and two slices of toast. I need to kick my metabolism into gear so it makes me hungry for a big lunch." I reply.
"They'll be lots of veggies, and my roast potatoes, plenty of food you'll enjoy." She said.
"Oh I know, I'm sure there will be". I was safe in the knowledge more food than I could handle would come my way over the course of the afternoon.
Two styles of roast potatoes, sweet potato, ham, turkey, shrimp, salads, coleslaw and all the liquid options of a bottleshop fill the room. Their only contender for attention is the conversation offered up by the 23 relatives catching up between mouthfuls. And so everyone eats and eats, and once we devour lunch we switch to our dessert stomachs. Filling bowls with icecream, jelly, custard, Christmas cake and slipping the occasional chocolate coin into a free hand. All the food tastes incredible. An occasional grunt of satisfaction, audible as you let the flavours unravel on your palette before getting stuck back in.
As the chaos of the day settles down, the guests leave and the family retreat into the corner of sofas. The reading begins. Towards the end of last week I was fidgety with a restless but lazy mind. I couldn't focus for too long and it seemed like most ideas had faded or died from lack of inspiration. I still have no ideas, but I have peace, focus and the interest of a good book. I read. Page upon page, slowing only for the upwards gaze as a concept unravels itself in my mind. Like micro eureka moments, the discoveries unravel fast and then park themselves in my subconscious and I read on.
At dinner time there is no need for food, still full from Christmas lunch we graze. Single pieces of chocolate, single slices of toast. Though I discover I seem to have a separate stomach for pasta. Eating an entire bowl at 8pm. Aside from this dinner, I'm absorbed by my book.
I read and read and read, consuming as much as I can fit in. Then, as the words start to blur and my eyes force themselves shut, I give in. Sleep. A deep, exhausted slumber. Waking well after the sun rose I sit up, reach for my book and pick back up where I left off.
I'm loving the book, equal parts interest and inspiration. Though today, after a long rest I can feel my mind starting to fidget. It's not uncontrollable yet, but it seems now not to just be unraveling the ideas of the book. Now it has it's own ideas, the convergence of new information with old concepts. And so I sit and read for just 30 more minutes. My stomach seems to be calling me out of bed and towards the kitchen now. Yesterdays overindulgence digested. A second coffee and some toast. The lethargy of the evening before is all but gone now. My energy levels rejuvenated and my mind awake.
I finish breakfast, pick up my book, pause and then set it back down. I'm full of reading and now I have ideas. It's time to create.
And so this cycle seems to continue round and round. Not always at an equal pace, but always in a circle. Consumption, digestion, activity, exhaustion and back to the start. Unavoidable peaks and troughs. I can try to fight it, but it seems almost impossible, a course i must just run with. And so here I am, Monday morning and primed for creation. I'm not sure how long it will last, my books still beckon me from the table, but for now, it's pen to paper.