Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Night Watch

3 am. Pain wakes me from my sleep. I've slowly weaned myself off of the most toxic of the medications, and I feel it. I feel so stiff I don't want to move. The pain burns. Even sleep isn't a refuge any more.

The boy is sick. Kamau sounds like his lungs are going to come right out of his mouth. My poor boy. A good boy. He's always been the sick one.

I go to him with an expectorant, and still he isn't wellan hour later. I put the vaporizor in his room, with Vick vapors! I think about Mrs. Valiant.

She's a character in Hinds Feet. The first time we see her, she is rescuing Much Afraid after her cousin's have ambushed her. Her family wants her to marry her cousin Craven Fear, but of course, she loves The Shepherd.

Mrs. Valiant comes in and powerfully dispels all those Fearings who'd suffocated Much Afraid until she was incapacitated. She calls them a pack of idle Fears, who knows the Shepherd owns that cottage Much Afraid lives in. A wonderful scene.

I had to be Mrs. Valiant tonight. I guess the devil didn't like me talking to Betty, a Mrs. Valiant if there ever were one. Tonight after screaming with the girl, the big one, I had to leave the house. That's how much she frustrated me. Ken tried to calm me, but I needed air! I took a walk, and decided to send whatever the devil had dished out right back to him. I walked in the rain. In the night. Casting out devils, and talking to Jesus. Sometimes you have to be Mrs. Valiant, and not allow the devil to beat up your family, keep your kids sick. Sometimes you have to understand that the Kingdom allows violence, and the righteous take it by force.

I had to go lay hands on the boy, and command the devil to loose his health. He is going to get better. I asked God to give his suffering to me.

Instead of turning on the television, I kept the Night Watch. I'd gotten Phyllis Tickle's book The Night Offices. I highly recommend it to all insomniacs. I wish I had kept watch instead of prowled my inner landscape so many nights, because the Night Watch is powerful. It's comforting. It may have been my peace.

I take an antidepressant. I was afraid for the Night. And it's helped, but just a little. A part of me is Much Afraid. The Fearings come and tell me that I'll go insane. They tell me I'll kill myself. And the Shepherd is saying, "Let me take you to the Kingdom."

I don't think that means I'll die this winter--not physically, but something is going to die this winter. What it will be in me only the Shepherd knows. I'm so glad to have this powerful comfort in the night. Phyllis made it easy for me to keep watch tonight, praying when others sleep.

4:37 as I type these words. The boy now sleeps peacefully. The house is quiet except for the soft singular breath of my laptop, and the rain falling against the house.

All is well.

"I say unto you all, watch and pray."

From the Final Petition, Night Watch, Thursday in November:

"Now guide me waking O Lord, and guard me sleeping; that awake I may watch with Christ, and asleep, I may rest in peace."


Coming soon (I hope), Phyllis Tickle to Ragamuffin Diva.

1 comment:

shanna said...

David Garrick, the famous 18th C. actor, is claimed to have said on his deathbed, "Dying is easy; it is comedy that is hard."

It's a pithy thought, and well-suited to an artist, but as a practical point of everyday life, I disagree. I think dying is very, very hard for most. And until we reach that tipping point that drops us onto the downslope and into our new selves, the hurt is too painful and most give up on the fight.

But perhaps Garrick is right. After all, comedy is about regeneration--the righting of the wrong and the birth of a renewed world. And those things don't happen easily. But it is much easier to simply give up, accept things as they are and 'die'. To envision transformation, to seek the best and to fight for it is The Comedy to which we all submit.

{{Embrace The Comedy.}}