I've crossed some kind of invisible line. I feel as if I've come to a place I never thought I'd have to come to. And I don't know how I got here. It's a strange place. It's a place where a little harmless dreaming and then some sleepy, early-morning talk has led me into considerations of death and annihilation.
There are worse things than having behaved foolishly in public. There are worse things than these miniature betrayals, committed or endured or suspected; there are worse thingsthan not being able to sleep for thinking about them. It is 5 a.m. All the worse things come stalking inand stand icily about the bed looking worse and worse and worse.
Women can go mad with insomnia. The sleep-deprived roam houses that have lost their familiarity. With tea mugs in hand, we wander rooms, looking on shelves for something we will recognize: a book title, a photograph, the teak-carved bird -- a souvenir from what place? A memory almost rises when our eyes rest on a painting's grey sweep of cloud, or the curve of a wooden leg in a corner. Fingertips faintly recall the raised pattern on a chair cushion, but we wonder how these things have come to be here, in this stranger's home. Lost women drift in places where time has collapsed. We look into our thoughts and hearts for what has been forgotten, for what has gone missing. What did we once care about? Whom did we love? We are emptied. We are remote. Like night lilies, we open in the dark, breathe in the shadowy world. Our soliloquies are heard by no one.
I am strongly of the opinion that, after the age of twenty-one, a man ought not to be out of bed and awake at four in the morning. The hour breeds thought. At twenty-one, life being all future, it may be examined with impunity. But, at thirty, having become an uncomfortable mixture of future and past, it is a thing to be looked at only when the sun is high and the world full of warmth and optimism.
Like Sylvia Plath, Natalie Jeanne Champagne invites you so close to the pain and agony of her life of mental illness and addiction, which leaves you gasping from shock and laughing moments later: this is both the beauty and unique nature of her storytelling. With brilliance and courage, the author's brave and candid chronicle travels where no other memoir about mental illness and addiction has gone before. The Third Sunrise is an incredible triumph and Natalie Jeanne Champagne is without a doubt the most important new voice in this genre.