• Caren

why i stay in bed


i must learn not to put too much weight on dreams. as convincing as they are, i have to lie in bed for at least five minutes and rearrange my perceptions of what is real before i get up and start my day.

that's a pretty dangerous thing, to go out into the world without a set notion of reality. without an answer to the question,

if i place my feet on the carpet and straighten my knees, the following will happen: a) some kind of combination of gravity, mass, and muscle memory will allow me to balance and travel around on the "ground" with repeated motions of hip-to-knee-to-ankle-to-toe. in other words, stand up and walk. b) i will sink knee-deep in carpeting and floorboards and have to wade through it to get anywhere

you have to choose an answer or you might never get up. which one? that is why i lie awake in bed. to make a decision before i try it. most days i go with a). some days i go with b), and am either sorely disappointed or wake up again a few minutes later and go with a).

but what if, one day, b) actually happens? don't assume that i'll laugh and take it into stride, wade around and splash and explore. that's the stuff of kids' movies and books. think honestly. for us older folks, b) would open up an endless list of possibilities, and to accept that would mean to accept the unknown (what next? collapsing dimensions? that we're not alone in the universe?). and what else do we fear but the unknown? what else is more terrifying and thrilling than the universe opening itself before you?

is it too much of a stretch to say that this is the kind of fear i've been facing, paralyzed? if God ignores the fences we put around him, what have we left to do? make new assumptions that will inevitably fail us? or something else?

maybe i'm taking this out of context, but look. "perfect love drives out fear." this is not be-nice-to-each-other love. it's related to that, but that is not even close to the entire picture. this is terror, and vulnerability, and something that defies explanation.

I was questioning him on the subject--which he doesn't often allow--and had incautiously said, "Of course I realise it's all rather too vague for you to put into words," when he took me up rather sharply, for such a patient man, by saying, "On the contrary, it is words that are vague. The reason why the thing can't be expressed is that it's too definite for language." -C.S. Lewis, Perelandra