Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

On My Bed I Remember You

 By 2AM everything had finally kicked in: the Mucinex for the drip and the cough and the Sudafed for the pressure and the breathing, and, mercifully, the Ibuprofen for the stabbing behind my eye. My pillow was finally comfortable, for the most part, and the blankets tucked in just so behind my back and under my rib cage. And freed from the fitful drowsing of the afflicted, my mind has taken flight despite all my weary efforts to recall it to sleep. 

On my bed I remember you, says the Psalmist. On you I muse through the night. He must have known, laying on his cot, the long mental gymnastics between first and second sleep. Last night, as I thought I was reading myself to sleep, I came across this line by St. Pope John Paul II in Love and Responsibility: "Man is a being condemned, so to speak, to create". Yes, I almost sobbed. Who will free me from this life of condemnation? To always be mentally creating: crafting snippets of dialogue into lapidary scenes that will never be played; developing lectures that will never be delivered, imagining futures that will never be lived and pasts that never were, editing blog posts that never make it to the page. When I wrote, I wrote this way, rewriting as I went, always finding a better way to phrase something or a new beat to explore, developing and redeveloping. Does everyone's mind not work this way? Always chipping away at some idea until it's mentally perfected, then setting it aside for the next thought to be tumbled and polished and set on the shelf?

God's very word creates; he speaks, and it is. In his mercy, he has not bestowed this power on us, who are too mentally fickle to always create what is good. Our thoughts are sometimes rich, sometimes petty; full of happy fantasy one moment and cruel speculation the next. But we are condemned, so to speak to create, and when we are most like God our creations are grounded in his reality. The most divine things we co-create are children: stubbornly real things who resist our efforts to mold them into our own image and likeness, being themselves made in the image and likeness of God. Our thoughts, not being humans, are not so graced, and must always be submitted to God. Take this thought from me, Jesus, I have often prayed, and give it back to me perfected in heaven. 

He gives gifts to his beloved in their sleep. How often a problem has yielded an unexpected solution after a night's sleep! And so as morning breaks I settle back down and fluff the pillow and tuck the blankets around me again, and trust that God will send sleep as he sends all blessings. On my bed I remember you. On you I muse through the night.

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