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[T]he moment of waking is always a moment of loss. We are not displaced from dream so much as placed, returned to the condition of place; for at that moment the spaciousness of dream, its infinite filamentation within a mental space, is suddenly contracted, The containedness of place that both Levinas and Blanchot saw as an asset to sleep, a security within which one can let one’s self rest, can also be seen as a limitedness. We awake into a body that is indeed the definitive place, a continuous “here” that we can never transform into a “there.” It is the condition of our fated placement in the world—fated because we do not choose this place, which is not like any other because it is us. We are thrown into the body, into the world, into time. And this primordial fatality is repeated every morning. We are cast upon the shores of our bed linens from out of the infinite ocean of night, left like debris as the dream recedes from us. We then must take up the burden of the mystery: one’s condition as an embodied being in a world that is other than that being, that is in so many ways inert, sluggish, unresponsive to our thoughts and desires.

It is not surprising then, that we can often detect an undertone of melancholy in the moment of waking—and precisely melancholy rather than some other shade of regret.

Peter Schwenger, At the Borders of Sleep: On Liminal Literature


I’ve been reading this book before sleep the past few nights and I’ve experienced the strangest dreams of my life.

(via heteroglossia)

We must learn how to walk through the stages of dying. We have to grieve over lost friends, relatives, and loves. Death cannot be dealt with through quick answers, religious platitudes, or a stiff upper lip. Dying must be allowed to happen over time, in predictable and necessary stages, both in those who die graciously and in those who love them. Grief, believe it or not, is a liminal space where God can fill the tragic gap with something new and totally unexpected. Yet the process cannot be rushed. I would say that being present at live birth and conscious death are probably the supreme catechism classes and Sunday schools that we have available to humanity. And yet we have turned them largely into medical events instead of the inherently spiritual events that they are.

It is not only the loss of persons that leads to grief, but also the loss of ideals, visions, plans, places, relationships, and our youth itself. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross helped us name the necessary stages of grief as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance (They are the same as the stages of dying itself). Grief work might be one of the most redemptive, and yet still unappreciated, ministries in the church. Some call it bereavement ministry. Thank God, it is being discovered as perhaps the paramount time of both spacious grace and painful gift.

Richard Rohr, adapted from Near Occasions of Grace, p. 99

(via denisehess)
When I am enchanted with a landscape, I know very well that it is not I who create it, but I also know that without me the relations which are established before my eyes among the trees, the foliage, the earth, and the grass would not exist at all. I know that I can give no reason for the appearance of finality which I discover in the assortment of hues and in the harmony of the forms and movements created by the wind. Yet, it exists; there it is before my eyes, and I can make something more out of what is already there.
Jean-Paul Sartre, “What is Literature?” (via heteroglossia)
When he was young, there had been only one reality, and the future had seemed to stretch before him, swelling with immense possibilities. But as he grew older, reality seemed to take many forms, and it was the past that seemed refracted into innumerable possibilities. Since each of these was linked with its own reality, the line distinguishing dream and reality became all the more obscure. His memories were in constant flux, and had taken on the aspect of a dream.
三島 由紀夫 (via naezekra)

(Source: jueki)

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