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Monday, November 2, 2009

the thing itself

Lately sleep has been somewhat of a white rabbit for me. And I'm tired of chasing it. Heck, I'm even tired of laying down in a bed, waiting for that stupid little rabbit to stop it's incessant running.


Bottom line, I'm just plain tired.

It seems that I am no better at fighting off the demons now than when I was twelve years old.True, these demons have changed drastically over the years. I think I'd almost welcome one of the green, garish looking little fellows I'd imagined to be lurking just under the bed, or if not there than definitely in my closet, instead of what I am battling now. In comparison, the demons of my childhood look almost friendly.

Almost.

And then there's that other difference.

The one that had everything to do with just running up to my parents' bedroom, blanket trailing behind me like some kind of hobo's bridal train, and snuggling as close to my parents' bed as humanly possible. I'm talking feeling the box spring. Taking in the smell of their bed clothes, the smell of safety.

And if it wasn't there, it was most certainly ending up in the same room as one of my brother's, probably Jonathan. I'd let him think that I was the scared one, being the younger of us and the girl, but really, both of us were relieved to have the comfort of each other. The demons faded quickly once we glimpsed the shape of the other one, huddled on the floor of whichever room we'd park ourselves for the long night.

I like the simplicity of that.
The tangibleness of it.
I was alone, now I am not.
I was afraid, now I am not.

And yes, I know that I am not alone now, but Over the Rhine says it so well:

This is lonely, but never alone.

And yes, I know there is God who I can run to, but if he has a bed, I've yet to find it and I've certainly never mashed myself up against his box spring. I've never seen him huddled on the floor beside my bed, inexplicably drawing comfort from my presence while from his, I find the courage to face the night.

I guess sometimes I miss the physicality of running, truly running, away from what I fear and into a safe place. I miss things being as simple as moving away from the window that you're pretty sure you just glimpsed someone or something glimpsing you.

I love the metaphor, true; and I believe in it. I have to, really.

But I miss the thing itself sometimes.

31 comments:

jason said...

Ha, yes, I remember too how wonderful it would be to trek upstairs and sleep on mom and pop's floor. Until that one night where my dream was that Magnum PI was hiding under that hideous ugly green couch chair they had in their room – with a gun trying to shoot me. Then I had no where to go anymore.

Sorry about the demons. But you'll emerge from your battle with them stronger, I know it for sure.

Mom said...

You fought your demons back then as a little girl and you will fight these demons too because both times you fought them with the grace and strength of a God who cares. He is the true enabler---and it's right that He is so.

Remember my T shirt......this too shall pass!

And just for the record, I wish you could still run up into our bedroom and sleep near us. Although I don't want you scared, there is something comforting about children running to us for safety. Wish we could be that for you now!

Jessica Latshaw said...

for some reason I find the line, "sorry about the demons" to be really funny. I guess because they are so paranormal and weird, and to say it so nonchalantly--like you'd say sorry about the wet socks or something--makes me smile.

and sorry about Magnum PI hiding under the green chair, shooting at you.

and mom, running to your room from canada would be a very very long run! And do you still have that t-shirt?

merry said...

Wait, Jase, the demons will be stronger after their battle? I'm confused. Sorry,too, Jess.

jawd said...

i can say i never slept on mom and pop's floor. I was too scared to take the long walk upstairs...

Michele said...

I'm sorry you're not sleeping well Jess - I will stand in the gap for you and claim the promise that God has for a restful sleep for you.

Christina said...

I just found your blog, and this was a great post to read. It resonated.

Bookmarking and coming back, hopefully to read that demons skulked off... chased by God, parents, and Magnum P.I. ;-)

Jessica Latshaw said...

Hey Christina-welcome and you know what? No demons last night. Not one. Of course that might have had a little something to do with the muscle relaxer I took right before bed, but still, I'll take it!

Christina said...

Well, whatever it takes! ;-)

Glad you had a good night of rest.

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