Sunday, October 26, 2008

Psalm 6:6

Yet again this morning I woke up drenched and shivering, a pool of tears everywhere.

After days of this -- or more accurately, nights of this -- the floorboards have warped from the moisture, and a quarter-inch layer of salt is caked clear across our bedroom floor.

Bathsheba has been, by any estimation, gracious. So far she has not sent me out to sleep on the couch. Granted, that could very well be because we just bought the couch and love seat six months ago. They came as a set.

I'm amazed that my weeping doesn't keep Sheba up, but she seems generally unphased. Usually, when the wailing is at its worst and the tears really start gushing, she just gently rolls me over on my side so that I face my end of the bed. Below the mattress we've put down cookie sheets -- the kind with a good three-quarter inch lip -- to catch some of the overflow.

We're not really sure what else to do. It's not like snoring. You can't just use breathing strips or anything.

And we've tried everything else. One day, in an attempt to be more proactive about the whole situation, I cut down my fluid intake to virtually nothing all day, with the thought that maybe later that night I'd have less reserves for tears. It didn't work. At 2am I woke up drenched yet again, so thirsty I thought I would die.

I'm not sure what all the crying is about. I've never really been the crying type. And during the day, I don't feel that bad. A little sad, maybe, but I tend to just attribute that to overwork, or to those occasional awkward moments at the post office or during dinners with friends, which, afterward, I replay over and over in my mind, wondering if I should've done something differently, or should've stopped talking about myself, or should've resisted playing the harp like some attention craving six year-old. Sometimes -- and I haven't told anyone this -- I still feel awful about what I did to Goliath, nasty man that he was. His daughter was only six, and she saw the whole thing.

But that's the worst of it. Nothing serious. God, I feel like a basketcase.

And frankly, I feel kind of spoiled being so glum. I think: what right do I have be sad when so much of the world -- billions of people, maybe -- live in shit storms of violence, hunger and loneliness, while I take three squares a day for granted, have a loving wife and the statistical 2.3 dogs, a big backyard, a fairly stable kingdom? So what if I feel "ineffectual"?

Anyway, if you can keep a secret, I'll tell you one. I've got this theory. And I'm being serious here, so don't laugh.

The theory is this: perhaps it's not me crying at all. Perhaps it's the earth itself.

What I mean is, perhaps the whole world chooses us at random to be its eyes. Perhaps, then, I should see all this crying as an honor: even if my sole contribution is in channeling great geisers of tears, at least I still get to do something vital and alive, something that means something.

I know it sounds stupid, but just let me believe it for a while. And while I'm believing it, let me pray that whoever gets the honor next will be less tear duct, more vision.


Two Dishes said...

Men weeping in the Bible always get my attention (e.g. Paul writing in Phillipians 3:18).) I like your references to nasal strips and cake pans.

thewhethergirl said...

Very clever, Nate! :-) Gets at the ironic underbelly of things! The voice and feel of it reminds me of a fave and very funny poem called, "Not My Best Side" by U.A. Fanthorpe, based on the painting of "St. George and the Dragon" by Paolo Uccello. Keep on writing, my friend!

fred said...

Your CD lecturer NT Wright says something like this with which I agree--that God allows some of us some of the time to see (or feel or smell?) through the veil, the singularity that separates earth from heaven.

And through that contact we are blessed (it may seem a curse) with an fragmentary understanding of the true nature of things. REAL-ity, as it were.

For me it is contact with NATURE that brings me close to the plane of division that separates us barely from heaven. For others, it is poverty. Or violence. Or bigotry. Or music. Or... We are brought to tears. Or beyond. Perhaps we have too few men crying in our times.