Paint Schoodic

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Those crazy circadian rhythms

Night falls much earlier in the winter.
Once again I’m living off the grid in mid-coast Maine, and once again my friend is laughing at my peculiar habits. As P. points out, my eyelids start to droop exactly three hours after the sun sets, and I’m awake with the gloaming. This is apparently our pre-industrial pattern, and she delights in me validating it.
The sun knocks me out of bed in the morning, just as it seems to send me to bed early in the evening.
I like being up with the sun and down with the sun, which today in Maine means sunrise at 7:06 AM and sunset at 4:34 PM. That might seem like a short day, but if you are outside for a good part of the day (which I am) you are exhausted from the cold.

In my normal life, I’m a shallow sleeper who rises several times a night. Without electric lights, I seem to fall into a stupefied slumber and not wake until the sun comes up. It’s wonderfully restful. Having spent several weeks living like this—at all different times of the year—I can say that it is unique to this place.
Off the grid doesn't mean out of this world. Handwarmers, texting gloves, a spare battery-pack, and an electric toothbrush are wonderful accoutrements for a cabin in the woods. 
This doesn’t mean I want to adopt off-grid living, but it does give credence to the theory that our electronic tethers have the potential to make us irritable and anxious. Who knows what the combined thrum of a thousand little fans does to our ability to be calm?
Sunrise streaming in my window, which faces east.
Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in Maine in 2015 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops! Download a brochure here.

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