Nothing like a good earthquake to implant the feeling of being a visitor on your own planet.
Sorry. Just stopping here for a bit. I’ll be on my way.
Because we’re living on a molten rock, all the particles blistering away inside a lump of smelting iron, suspended in god-space. But we forget this, because of a little thing called perspective, until the room begins to lurch. Or at least I do. Can’t speak for you.
I woke up right before it happened, no idea why. Then I lay perfectly still in the violence, a soft part of me hopeful for a long one, a memorable one. But it grumbled itself back into the earth and left me awake and discontented.
I’ve been watching Christopher Hitchens debates all day, and I continued to do so in my sleeplessness. I have such an urge to kiss him in that place between the temple and the eye socket, an urge I recognize within me as admiration and, in a way, self-recognition. Identification. And a bit of my own melancholy.
I watched him debate the existence of god with a Christian man at Biola, and couldn’t help but recognize that he had much more godstuff behind his eyes than his opponent, who seemed a pale shell of a human in comparison, with a solid mind but little complexity, turmoil, fight, or strength of passion. He, the Christian, clearly wins the debate, but it’s secondary to the storm brewing inside Hitchens. That’s the most human. And to me, the most godlike.
The loss of him was a heavy one.
I’ve done things in reverse since childhood, but nothing has stayed more consistent than my urge to be awake at night. The quiet is an absolute, the stillness makes me alert, the darkness makes me brave.