The Hour From Night to Day…The Hollow Hour…

There’s a playlist I sometimes forget about that I made on YouTube…

I recently watched what I now consider to be my favorite Ted Talk to date.  It is titled “Rives: The Museum of Four in the Morning” and it’s about our fascination with this obscure moment of time when all should be quietly asleep and the general absurdity of someone being up and about at this “ungodly” hour.  It is the perfect embodiment of storytelling at it’s finest, I highly recommend that anybody watch it. (Fair warning, it’s 14 minutes. But I guarantee you won’t notice a second of the time go by.)  Afterward I kinda looked around a little for personal references to this “4 a.m.” in my life and was somewhat disappointed to not find any.

This playlist I have on YouTube is the only one I have marked to private.  It’s a collection of songs roughly 2 hours long that will rip your heart out while cradling the back of your head and whispering in your ear as you lie on your back in the middle of the floor.

There’s a comfort in the familiarity of sadness and sorrow.  A place to look forward to.  Where everything is soft and dreamy.  I used to drink, a lot.  I would drink until I found this state of sleepiness and consciousness.  This place in the dark with the stars glittering overhead, some margin of not quite in the ocean but not fully on dry sand.  Soft warm waves would roll in one at a time and wrap you in them, lifting you up as if to carry you out to sea.  And then just as gently as they rolled in they softly lay you back down in the bubbling sand, only to return to rock you blissfully in that dreamy state of comfortable sorrow.  It’s as if the moon was looking down from above at you in the middle of the night, tucking you in to sleep, pulling the covers over you, over and over again while rocking you to sleep in the ebb of her tides.

Sometimes when I’m looking for some preferred music to listen to, be it to entertain or just as some background noise while I go about my chores, I scroll past this old playlist.  It makes me yearn for those moments of security and comfort and I want to go back there to wrap myself up and hide.

In the city I live in on any given day, there’s a good million or so people coming and going from the surrounding areas.  Either for work or school or shopping, leisure, recreation, what have you.  A large portion of those people traverse the road out in-front of my house.  It’s a busy road even at night.  Except between the hours of 3 and 5 a.m.  It can get down to dead silent during those two hours.  And there it is, right in the middle, 4 in the morning.  How does one get to that perfect moment of silence, that calm of peace and quiet between 3 and 5 in the morning?

Tonight I scrolled past that playlist again.  That 2 hour playlist I started so many years ago.  The name I gave that playlist, what I filed it under, it’s titled 2:00 a.m.”   Named thus for the time of night I felt I could slip away to hide by myself in the surf of that sea of solitude, sorrow and safety.  Two hours of soul caressing, heart dripping music to take me by the hand and lead me to that magical hour of Four in the Morning. 

That hour where if I could pause time I would.

That hour where I didn’t care if I lived or died.

That hour where I could leave this world behind.

That hour where I have lived a thousand lifetimes of pain.

That hour where in the hollow oblivion of emotions and memories, the Moon could cradle me forever and ferry me to the other side of the river,

to sleep,


sound and secure.

Oh how I long for that hour…..



this is the last song at the bottom of that playlist, “2:00 a.m.” 

9 thoughts on “The Hour From Night to Day…The Hollow Hour…

  1. Your words and story and music and descriptions about the “4:00 hour” just gave me chills. I am so sorry that I’ve been away for so long. I had forgotten how soothing and calming your words make me feel.
    Thank you for taking the time to startle me out of my own 2 a.m. foggy haze and lead me back to your site. Gorgeous reading for a Saturday morning.

  2. Thank you very much, it was just something that kinda hit me the other day when I did the math and realized that the playlist was 2 hours long. After watching Rives it made me realize after looking for my own connections to 4 a.m. and finding none that I had been sitting on one for years. It’s just a little of my own story, tidying up the ends of what he started.

  3. I listened to the Ted talk this morning (not a 4, no). Fascinating stuff. Makes me want to dig more. The 4 am wake up is relatively new for me. Used to be 5 and then shifted earlier because I feel like I have more to do and less time to squeeze it in. 4am-5:30am is the only time to be alone with thoughts and projects with no interruption. It is a special time.

  4. I think it is a spellbinding story, such a long time that pasted trying to figure out how he knew the poem. Hits me right in the heart every time. The poem is linked at the end of the last paragraph by the way. Thank you for visiting.

  5. I first of all love TEDTalks, and secondly… For some reason I’ve been waking up at 4 AM or so, the last couple weeks. Thank you for the Ted talk and the thoughts!

  6. Of course, and thank you for the visit. I am crazy about this story, I never heard of Rives until I stumbled onto this talk. It took awhile for the post to come together, like I said I thought I was missing out on the whole 4 o’clock thing, then it just hit me when I did the math on my playlist. Kind of a little eerie but I like how it fell together. I pop in intermittently here so I must apologize for the delay in getting back to you.

  7. Hello there! Stopping by after reading your intriguing comment on my About page. 4 a.m. is like a witching hour for me, I guess, it’s the only way I can explain it. Even if I am not waking up to write, I have very strange dreams around this time, strange enough that I am forced to wake up because I just can’t handle it.

    Thank you so much for directing me to your post and onto the YouTube TED Talks segment. I was unfamiliar with all of it, so I really enjoyed these new encounters. And thank you ever so much for stopping by my blog. Love meeting new bloggers!

  8. Thank you for coming by, I’m so glad you enjoyed the crossovers and happy to meet you. You can see now why I just had to come by and drop the link to you. I think there’s something kindred in those who can feel when wind blows from extinguished stars.

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