Dear Friends: With a new book out in January of all months, I’m delinquent in both my updates and following. I read at least 10 blog posts a day, but it’s not always enough.
For now, I thought I’d share some of my late-night thoughts, written over several years.
Stopping to acknowledge our privileges, no matter how small — and giving thanks for them — allows us to dwell in the realm of the positive instead of rushing headlong into solving the next problem, or worrying about it.
When the leaves fall, we suddenly see all kinds of things that were hidden. One morning I woke up and looked through the window, and there was our stream, rushing and sparkling through the woods.
On many days, my near-past was a distant planet. It twinkled against the impenetrable darkness of what should have been memory.
Extremists can be a vexation to the spirit – especially those that are one’s beloved friends or relatives.
Perhaps they are sent to test one’s patience and beliefs — including my own belief that each of us is, in some way, a representation of God. So I force myself to remember Mother Teresa’s saying: “There goes God in another of his distressing disguises.”
Of course, it’s also likely that each of us is fundamentalist/extremist in some way that just hasn’t been threatened yet.
Writing to Heal
I wrote because I could not speak. (Journal entry, later said to a radio interviewer about my difficulty thinking and speaking during the toughest years post-accident)
When we write about deep pains, when we note – and perhaps even share — our moments of great insight, it releases something in us. And when we stop to count our blessings, and give thanks for them, we let joy in.
Words Have Power
It is so much easier to generalize, overlook and dismiss people than to try to understand them. But I’ve learned from hard experience that not listening, and not trying to understand, can lead to a world of unkindness, hurt and trouble.
So when someone explains why they’re hurt by what I may well have intended as an innocent statement, I listen, and try to understand.
We learn it when we’re children: words have power. Words can comfort, uplift, enlighten, but words can also hurt, damage, devastate.
I have reached the stage in life — after much suffering and reflection — to know that being considerate in my choice of words to and about others doesn’t mean weakness. It means strength.
My best wishes,
72 thoughts on “Late-Night Thoughts”
I love Mother Teresa’s quote. “There goes God in another of his distressing disguises.” This is the first time I have heard it. God must have a wicked sense of humor these days.
Worth remembering. And I suspect that s/he always had a sense of humour.
Your words are all gems, Cynthia. This a beautiful collection of late night thoughts.
Thank you, dear Lavinia. I have been thinking about you. Hope you’re doing well.
These have been trying times, but we are doing alright. Spring will come. 🙂
Reblogged this on DiversiPro Inc. and commented:
Many people have trouble sleeping; apparently about one third of the population. I suspect I’m among the “one-third.” I call it EMA -early morning anxiety. For me that moment of full awakeness occurs like clockwork just before 3 a.m. At that time, my head is full of thoughts; things I need to do, things I should have done, things I’d like to do. Maybe I’ve been working on a project or a major speech and I awake with (at least in my opinion) profound and wise thoughts. I always promise to remember those great thoughts but when I go to retrieve them later that day they are gone. All that remains is a slight memory they they were ever there.
It wasn’t that long ago that the state of wakefulness, or second sleep, was quite normal. In fact, some of our most productive time is in between sleeps.
So next time you can’t sleep, get out of bed, read a book or, like writer Cynthia Reyes, put pen to paper (please stay away from the computer screen). Here are Cynthia’s Late Night Thoughts:
It is good to hear that many others are up during those hours. I’m trying to embrace second sleep as normal.
Sometimes that “second” sleep is vital and oh so sublime
So many wise words Cynthia. Thank you for sharing them with us.
You are most welcome.
Your words challenge and encourage all of us as we start out on a journey for 2019! I’ll read your late night thought any time!
Thank you, Jo Nell. I hope the year is off to a great start for you and your family.
Thanks for this. I slowed down a bit to take them all in. And that Mother Theresa quote–gem!
I’m so glad you like them, Lisa. I write things in my journals in the wee hours of the morning, and later find myself re-reading them for strength or comfort.
Beautiful thoughts, Cynthia! I hope things go well with you and your new book this year!
Thank you very much! Same hopes here, for you and your loved ones.
You’re welcome Cynthia. Thank you, too.
These are things we should all think about.
As I was reading through your words of wisdom, Cynthia, I lingered over your observations on extremism. I’ve seen it up-close and ugly with family and often wondered what type of mindset encourages it to flourish. And maybe you are right. Possibly we all have the capacity to hate. I, for one, know that I can become a bit extreme when I think about extremists. –Curt
I have the same problem. Extremists make me mad. Road rage actions fill me with rage. And then I get cross with myself for being enraged. Sigh! I think Mother Theresa’s quote is a good one to remember.
Agreed. I often have to chastise myself. Sigh. But at least we do! –Curt
Curt, I sometimes say I’m very intolerant of people who are intolerant. (tee hee…)
Me too…. 🙂
Cynthia, your late night thoughts are lovely, reassuring, and inspiring. And, yes, minding our words, being considerate, takes strength and energy. I enjoyed listening to Kamala Harris the other day. She speaks with strength and with consideration.
Thank you, my dear. I see that since you made this comment, she threw her hat in the presidential ring! Maybe she heard your words.
That is interesting. I am with the family in Cairns so I am very out of touch with current affairs.
I enjoy reading your thoughts Cynthia. It seems you’ve gleaned much wisdom and compassion from your journey. blessings…
Thanks, Brad. I guess when one goes through so much hardship and pain, one had better come out at the other end with something to show!
You inspire me. ❤
Works both ways!
Very powerful words, Cynthia, giving me much to think about! I wish you the best with your new book.
Thank you for that kind wish, Becky.
You are so welcome.
What wonderful late night thoughts and a perfect philosophy for how to lead your life. 🙂
How generous of you to say so! Thanks you. And keep writing!!
It is a gift to be able to put your thoughts into words for others.
Thank you. All of these were written in my journal first, so I guess I wrote them for myself first! It’s nice to share them with my blogger friends, though, and takes trust to know they’ll appreciate them.
I have recently given into the middle of the night reading habit and found it very productive, eases the anxiety of trying to get back to sleep but I am in the enviable position of not having to wake up to an alarm.
Thanks for replying, Donna. I read a good book or write in my journal and find both very helpful to take my mind off other things.
It’s amazing what we think about in those late hours of the night. These are pretty wise thoughts for those often doubting hours!
Thanks, Andrea. There are many more, not always wise and often bewildered! It’s one tactic to work my way out of the recurring PTSD car crash nightmare. Sometimes, later, I don’t remember having written these things, so maybe an angel is holding my hand when I write the good stuff.
Mother Teresa was a very wise woman. I love all you night time thoughts. I also wrote to heal.That was why I started blogging. To find my words again. Some are still missing in action though. 😉
So lovely to hear from you and thanks for the interesting comment. I hear you about writing to heal, and about some words still being missing in action.
You’ve given us so much to reflect on, Cynthia. It’s a gift to your readers. My favourite is your reminder about privilege. But I need to consider your final statement every day: Being considerate in my choice of words to and about others doesn’t mean weakness. It means strength.
Thank you, Jane. What a thoughtful and kind reply. I hope your new year is off to a good start.
You are teaching with this post an art of life, Cynthia .
Good luck for the next book .
Merci beaucoup, mon ami Michel!
These are beautiful and inspirational thoughts, Cynthia. Thanks for sharing them.
And I thank you for your kind response, Jennifer. I hope you are doing well.
These thoughts are nice, Cynthia. Lately, we have been telling each other what we are most thankful for each evening over a hot cup of almond milk. Late night thoughts can be so troublesome sometimes, but as evidenced in yours, not always.
I love that ritual! What a great thing to do together.
My late night thoughts are beyond troublesome — I struggle with PTSD — but I try to get through at least some of the scary hours by writing in my journal and/or reading a very compelling book. Very recently, that book was Library Lost, by Laurie Graves. Before that, it was The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, which both compelled and repelled me at times, Booker Prize notwithstanding. (Perhaps the mark of a great book.)
I love, love, love that Mother Theresa quote. And I’m sure God does have a sense of humour, I mean, look at some of the stuff Jesus came out with. And any entity that comes up with the duckbilled platypus definitely has a sense of humour.
Thanks dear Cynthia … I so enjoyed your Late Night Thoughts. 🙂
Thanks, Julie! Great to hear from you, as always! Hope the year is off to a good start.
I like your thoughts, they made me sit back and think deeply. Your words have power comment resonated deeply. I see a world of people torn on miscommunication, on failure to take the time to listen, to understand, to empathise. Thank you for sharing this
And I thank you, Ari. For reading my post, and for your thoughtful reply.
Hi Cynthia, and thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. You’re right – trying to understand others and choosing words wisely is never a weakness, but a strength. As for this quote? — Mother Teresa’s saying: “There goes God in another of his distressing disguises.” Pretty funny. And maybe a little scary, but a good reminder. 🙂
Well, these days in the US, one may think that God is very well disguised in certain persons, but we have to hold on to our shared humanity.
Inspiring thoughts. I’m lucky if I get around to reading ten posts per… week?… month? these days. So much to keep up on our place, family visits, aging parents, etc. I might even get around to assemblying and downloading our 2018 photo album with the extremely cold weather… -Oscar
P.S. I have printed off the latest draft of my book. I have one more (for now) read-through to incorporate one more suggestion from one of my readers about being consistent with how I describe the art and the history of the art. Again, I need a snowy day in which no one needs to chat at me. The solitary world of writers/thinkers.
I’ve come up with a trick for reading posts – it works with my addled brain: I usually read two posts by one person at a time, and think about them. It means I don’t get to many, but it doesn’t give me headaches, roaming from blog to blog, and I feel as if I’m visiting with each blogger for a while.
I am enormously glad that you are proceeding with your book. I’ve restrained myself from nagging you about it. Don’t you have a hidey hole or a cabin you can go to? My husband once had a studio (former shed) at the back of our property far from our house and the family learned to leave him alone till he came home for supper!
I agree with your blog-reading method. I do the same, when I get on-line… which is random.
I must laugh about your question about a cabin… we live in a log cabin in the woods, with our closest neighbors well out of sight in the forest. When we moved here, some of our city friends asked, “What are you going to do to keep from getting bored?” But, our reputation as “Doers” means that most days off from work, we are solicited to assist someone with some task, if we do not have a To-Do list ourselves. Beyond cleaning the goat barn yesterday, we were negotiating with neighbors about filing potholes (the ground is too frozen currently to follow the methods prescribed by our home owner’s association). We finally came up with the compromise of putting gavels on the sheets of ice from so much run-off this year. Guess who had the material to do this. I’m working on being a cheeful Doer.
Meanwhile, I found two books on Paul at our used book store. One a series of sermons from the 1950’s and the other a historical-biography from 2000. I’m reading these to get back into the midset, or convincing myself that I was on the right track to begin with.
Bundle up with some good books and a snuggy blanket for this weeks Arctic Blast of cold air. Better yet, have Hamlin join you.
Absolutely lovely thoughts, I wish my thoughts late at night were as pleasant. Unfortunately I tend to have scary dreams.
I hear you. I do too — PTSD from the car accident. It’s why I am awake for hours at night or early morning. I write in my journal, and once in a while, a wise thought comes through.
Another great post. I’m catching up on posts over the next few days. Hope you are well. Tina
Hanging in, Tina. It’s turned into a busy time promoting the book, but that’s good. I’m knowing when to stop everything and lie down, or do my exercises — so far, so good. I hope you and the family are all well, my friend.
I have read and re-read this post, Cynthia. Such wise words. You use your wakeful hours to greater effect than I do!
Hah! I’m just hiding from nightmares, and so I read and read or write in my journal. It focuses my mind on other things!
Brave woman xx
Wow, exciting a book…what a great start to the New Year! I am sure a lot more hard work is to come…happy writing!
You’re so right! Lots of hard work at this stage. I hope you and the family are all well and will check in with you.