July 28, 2023

I Swim in the Power of the Banks


A ridiculous title, isn't it?

When my alarm went off at 6:30 this morning, this was on repeat. Not in my head. It was in my gut. I am only retaining remnants of the dream. A smoky bookstore, a monk (who may have been my bald UPS guy in a brown robe), a pair of amazing brown linen overalls, and this—I swim in the power of the banks—which he offered me on the palm of his hand and I took it.

I've been experimenting this entire week with early mornings. I recently interviewed BC author Ace Baker for my podcast and he told me he wakes at 4:30 a.m. every day. I was at once inspired and mortified. As a true blood night owl, early mornings are the seed of evil. And yet, something about the way he described the quiet and the productivity spoke to me.

On the heels of our 10th annual barn party (read: late nights and excessive extroverting) I set my alarm for 6:30 a.m. Baker may hold the Ace at 4:30, but I am a Queen (or maybe a Joker?) and I can't bring myself to stray that far from my nature.

Here are the benefits as I see them:

  • I gain daylight, which translates into productivity
  • I suddenly have a need and desire for breakfast, which means I'm eating three meals a day rather than lunch, supper, and an embarrassing amount of snacks
  • I am primed to fall asleep quickly and then I sleep deeply
  • Routine makes space for rest, rest makes space for dreams

Monday was okay. Tuesday was a little tougher. Wednesday, I almost convinced myself to go back to sleep. Thursday was okay. Today I was groggy and disoriented (but that was probably the UPS guy who stuck a psalm in my belly).

I've had a few dreams that have stayed with me through the years, but I'm not normally one to read too much into them. I often write them off as the overactive workings of a writer's brain. But in the spring, I edited Inger Kenobi's book (UK author, life coach, super human/beautiful soul) and she described a dream in which Margaret Atwood appeared to her, propelling her writing forward. 

I also brought three horses with me.” I looked outside the window and there they were, three shiny, beautiful horses. “They are allowed to run free,” Margaret Atwood continued, “because their names are Wisdom, Creativity, and Humour.”Everything, All the Time, Is Constantly Up to Me: the journal of an aspiring writer, Inger D. Kenobi

Her retelling of the dream was powerful and compelling. And left me feeling deep envy for her connection with a universe that would tell her what she needed to hear in order to take another step forward.

So I asked for the same.

And this is what I got.

I swim in the power of the banks.


It felt profound. It feels profound, the way it is rattling through my body, and I haven't done much today except allow its repetition to bring some meaning.

It has been 573 days since I launched into my publishing business full time, and while I've never felt like I am drowning, I have often felt like I am on the cusp of overwhelm. The water is up to my neck, sometimes the current is so strong my feet are lifting from the riverbed and I'm pushed forward, putting all my energy into keeping my head above water. Sometimes the rapids trip me. Sometimes I wish I had a motorboat so I can skip this part. Little fish dart about me while big fish watch me from the mud. I am being baptized into entrepreneurship without water wings.

And yet, rising up on either side of me and the river are tall banks, firm against erosion, holding me in the river, guiding my path, not allowing me to emerge, but offering an outcropping every so often where I can stop and rest for a moment. The banks hold me. The water is not the power. The banks are.

This river is taking me somewhere and the banks will protect me along the way.

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