Ὄρθρου, ὅταν δυσόκνως ἐξεγείρῃ, πρόχειρον ἔστω ὅτι ἐπὶ ἀνθρώπου ἔργον ἐγείρομαι: τί οὖν δυσκολαίνω, εἰ πορεύομαι ἐπὶ τὸ ποιεῖν ὧν ἕνεκεν γέγονα καὶ ὧν χάριν προῆγμαι εἰς τὸν κόσμον; ἢ ἐπὶ τοῦτο κατεσκεύασμαι, ἵνα κατακείμενος ἐν στρωματίοις ἐμαυτὸν θάλπω;
-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 5.1
“Early in the morning, when you find it so hard to rouse yourself from your sleep, have these thoughts ready at hand: ‘I am rising to do the work of a human being. Why, then, am I so irritable if I am going out to do what I was born to do and what I was brought into this world for? Or was I created for this, to lie in bed and warm myself under the blankets?’”
This section of Meditations inspired me to write the following passage. I have not really used this site for creative writing, but since it is related to ancient history I think that it has a place here. :3
I wake up each morning with torpor, feeling pleasant warmth radiating around my body. The sun cuts through the slits of the windows and illuminates the dwelling. The place where one rests is sacred and should be dark and quiet like a sealed sarcophagus. The light causes me to stir inside my cocoon, angrily.
This cocoon is the temple of rejuvenation, it is a brilliant canvas for the imagination, and is sacred to many ancient deities.
And thus to be dragged out against your will and taken across the most holy pomerium, the lines that demarcate the boundary of this glorious place within and the world without, is the most vile deed known to mankind.
This cocoon is made entirely of blankets, shielding its singular oneironaut1 from the light and chilly air, and must be bravely set aside. The journey of the previous night is over and although its warmth beckons for surely what would be another amusing jaunt, one must get up and resist such strong opiate.
Every morning, now and hereafter I must metamorphose by bursting violently forth from my warm fibrous cocoon and face the day boldly. For today I am still alive, this is what one is brought into this world for. There still remains much knowledge to be gained, wonders to be seen and a life to live outside this cocoon of bedclothes. Mors aurem vellens: “vivite,” ait, “venio.”2
1 A person who travels in dreams.
2 “Death is plucking at your ear: ‘Go on and live,’ he says ‘I’m coming.'” – Copa, Appendix Virgiliana