I am afraid of reduction. After a lifetime's independence- yes, selfish independence- I am terrified of being reduced to childhood once more, to helplessness, to seas of confusion from which the cruel lucid intervals poke up like rock shoals. I don't want to sit in my chair and be fed, much less do I want to be handed over to medical professionals.
- Every time someone cries out in prayer and I can't answer, I feel guilty about not being God.- That doesn't sound good.- I understand that I have a problem, and I know what I need to do to solve it, all right? I'm working on it.Of course, Harry hadn't said what the solution was.The solution, obviously, was to hurry up and become God.
And I ask myself what it is about me that makes this wonderful, beautiful woman return. Is it because I'm pathetic, helpless in my current state, completely dependent on her? Or is it my sense of humour, my willingness to tease her, to joke my way into painful, secret places? Do I help her understand herself? Do I make her happy? Do I do something for her that her husband and son can't do? Has she fallen in love with me?As the days pass and I continue to heal, my body knitting itself back together, I begin to allow myself to think that she has.
How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.
It's going to be a hard time; we can count on that. But with all the misery, what opportunities to show mercy and brotherly love in our land, which has sinned so greatly against love. And patience! For now is the time when the victors, in the blind triumph of their victory, are likely to make mistakes. But that's not our concern, for we shall only be the sufferers, not the agents of suffering. What a power for peace will lie in our own powerlessness if we can only glimpse in it the sign of grace!
The suspense: the fearful, acute suspense: of standing idly by while the life of one we dearly love, is trembling in the balance; the racking thoughts that crowd upon the mind, and make the heart beat violently, and the breath come thick, by the force of the images they conjure up before it; the desperate anxiety to relieve the pain, or lessen the danger, which we have no power to alleviate; the sinking of soul and spirit, which the sad remembrance of our helplessness produces; what tortures can equal these; what reflections of endeavours can, in the full tide and fever of the time, allay them!
The dog next-door had settled down, and the neighbourhood seemed stunned by this event occurring in our backyard. It was like it could sense it. It could sense some form of tragedy and helplessness being played out, and to tell you the truth, it all surprised me. I was so used to things just going on, oblivious and ignorant to all feeling.