The summoning hour by Will Ringland

4am feels late instead of early. Getting out of bed at 4am feels backwards, like I’m supposed to be trying to sleep like I’ve been surviving some some insomniatic episode. One does not get out of bed at 4am. You can still get a solid 3 hours before work. Maybe 2 solid hours, if I fall asleep right now...

Getting out of bed at 4am feels like puinshment, like giving in to someone’s blackmail of sexy apes and overdue library books. 4am is incongruous. Everything is much bigger and much smaller, concurrently, and your brain just accepts that. Getting up at 4am is getting up to catch a red eye flight to a place that only exists in theory. Places have no substance at 4am. They are just on the map but all have become a catrographer’s decoy city. It is just fog and birdsong on a dark sepia backdrop. It’s a trap.

I was awake at 4 and felt pretty good but didn’t get up. Erri, our little poopomancer, is summoning poop golems again. She builds her little brown armies outside the boxes and leaves them to guard her squared cat thrones. We aren’t sure why. She wasn’t doing this a week ago and not much has changed since then.

But we do know that she likes a snack at 4:30 before her early morning summoning rituals. Me being cognizant, but skeptical of the solidity of the room around me, laid there listening to her walking around to the food dish, to the bathroom, to the spare room, under the bed, to the catnip fish, and wondered when she would start.

4am is for clandestine deals where both parties have traveled from far away, all night, with 16 knives hidden on their bodies. They meet to exchange small packages, large sums of money, and nefarious purpose. I shouldn’t be getting out of bed at 4am. I should be back in bed with my nose pressed into the crook of Alyska’s neck and trying to suppress the myoclonic spasms I tend to get when dozing with the weight of another person on my arm.

When I did finally get up at 5am, a much more reasonable time, there were no poop golems to be found. It is possible that I, heading to the bathroom bright-eyed and bespectacled, they retreated to regroup the next night, probably at 4am. After all, any cat caretaker knows that you only find poop golems when you can’t see and it is with your feet. Erri did stop, momentarily, to contemplate the shag rug outside the cat box - it is her favorite summoning space - and I stopped her up and put her in the box which she used with no problem like the many hundreds of times she has used them before in the last 3 years, the last 3 months of that in this very house.

So I’m up writing this, as is my constant desire for a perfect daily ritual, and struggling with the “correct” motivation to keep going. Once up, staying up is no issue. I just need the proper motivation. It seems, potentially, that, for now, dispelling the golem summoning is reason enough to stay awake with the alarm.

Eventually try the draw of the 1st cup of coffee will always win and I’ll find myself with it and some ritualistic morning device be it a book or a keyboard and blank page. I think it was the coffee that helped me write a book last year. I’m hoping it won’t be the poop golems that help me write the next one.

 Even poopomancers can be cute, like a necromancer in a pink tutu.

Even poopomancers can be cute, like a necromancer in a pink tutu.

4am is for clandestine deals where both parties have traveled from illusory distances, all night, with 16 knives hidden on their bodies. They meet to exchange small packages, large sums of money, and nefarious purpose. I shouldn’t be getting out of bed at 4am. I should be back in bed with my nose pressed into the crook of Alyska’s neck and trying to suppress the myoclonic spasms I get when the weight of love rests on my arm.

When I did finally get up at 5am, a time with edges... a time that actually exists on a nearby plane of reality, there were no poop golems to be found. It is possible that I, heading to the bathroom bright-eyed and bespectacled, they retreated to regroup for the next night, probably at 4am and with more knives. Any cat caretaker knows that you only find poop golems when you can’t see and it is with your feet.

After breaking the cats’ fast, Erri did stop, momentarily, to contemplate the shag rug outside the cat box - it is her favorite summoning space of green, nylon, twists that look like grass. I scooped her up and put her in the box which she used with like the many hundreds of times she has used them before in the last 3 years, the last 3 months of which were in this very house.

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So I’m up writing this, as is my constant desire for a perfect daily ritual, and struggling with the “correct” motivation to keep it going. Once up, staying up is no issue. It seems, potentially, that, for now, dispelling the golem summoning is reason enough to stay awake with my alarm.

Eventually, the draw of the 1st cup of coffee will always win and I’ll find myself with it and some ritualistic morning device be it a book or a keyboard and blank page. I think it was the coffee that helped me write a book last year. I’m hoping it won’t be the poop golems that help me write the next one.

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Sometimes, just a staircase. by Will Ringland

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West staircase, Capitol Building. Madison, Wisconsin.

One of my favorite, and most obnoxious, photography challenges is to take an interesting photograph of a mundane thing. It helps improve your fundamentals - composition, lighting, angle, lines.

So, given a staircase, what can you take?

An Ominous Package arrives. 📦⁉️ by Will Ringland

First, context!

A podcast I listen to - Invisible Office Hours - did a thing with their latest season. It would release on a scheduled date but listeners could pay a little money to move the release date.

So I've been following these dudes for a while and get a ton of value from their blogs, podcasts, and courses. I opted to throw them a bunch of money and ended up topping the leaderboard. 😱

Which resulted in me getting an ominous package from Jason and Paul... 🎁📦⁉️

Second, hedge your confidence in case everyone hates it!

Rather than my normal photo posts, I stepped WAAAAAAAAY out of my comfort zome. So, have an unboxing video!