Photo 43Christmas Day. Last night I resolved to wake this morning at six o’clock. I’ve been using an app on my phone that calls to wake me according to the principal of the Golden Mean. If my intention is to rise at 6:00, the iPhone version of a Tibetan bowl‘s single gong will seep into my subconscious at 5:45. The first chime is not at full volume and has no discernible effect. Five minutes later and a bit louder it sounds again. Is it my imagination or does that gong resonate with just the slightest edge of urgency in its tone? I make no attempt to bring myself any closer to full wakefulness. A few minutes later and once again there’s a proportionate increase in volume. This time, it feels personal. I swear that as the cyber sound of cyber wood hitting cyber brass lands on my frontal lobe I hear the echo of Ben Franklin’s voice in my head: wake up lazy cow…om…wake up lazy cow…shanti…wake up lazy cow…om….

As the appointed hour nears the ringing gong becomes increasingly incessant until finally, at 6:00 AM and at full volume its chimes fall in quick succession, unwilling to respectfully wait until the echo of proceeding chime fades.

This is just a practice run,” I tell myself. I pick up the phone, turn off one alarm and reset the nice, normal, standard iPhone alarm and grab another twenty minutes of shut-eye. “The New Year will be here soon enough.”

246 words/20 minutes with a bit of revision as I wrote