Making the most of morning’s predawn hours can be the best way to start the day, whether it’s for reading, ruminating or romanticizing.
The early winter mornings are dark and quiet. Although your warm bed beckons you to climb back inside, starting your day before the day can leave you enlightened and ready to meet life’s later requirements that rise with the sun. It’s not a time to get ahead at work or skim your social media feed—those can wait, as can the laundry, the shopping list and the call to your mother. These things will get done, but the predawn hours offer you the chance to do something for yourself and should therefore be protected.
Hans Ulrich Obrist, renowned critic, art historian and curator at the Serpentine Galleries in London, tells us how he assembles the objects next to his bed and shares a few of his early-bird rituals.
I like morning rituals: They’re a way of liberating time when you’re not online yet. The artist Paul Chan calls it “delinking,” which is super-important in an ever-connected world. Every morning when I wake up I read the late French Martinican writer Édouard Glissant for 15 minutes. He is a great inspiration. The morning hours and the moments before sleeping are the best moments to read.