Always that little caveat, that little appeal to relevance: And the time of death is every moment. Let me tell you, it is qualitatively different when death leans over to sniff you, when massive unmetaphorical pain goes crawling through your bones, when fear—goddamn fear, you can’t get rid of it—ices your spine. St. Teresa of Ávila, describing the entry into one of the innermost rooms of the “interior castle,” into the domain of mystical experience, says, “It’s necessary that he who gives everything else give the courage also.” She means God. And God has given me courage in the past—I have felt palpably lifted beyond my own ability to respond or react. But this most recent time in the hospital, when the cancer had become so much more aggressive and it seemed for a time as if I’d reached the end of my options, I felt only death. In retrospect it seems like a large and ominous failure.
Monday, October 29, 2012
… both terrifying and consoling: The American Scholar: Mortify Our Wolves - Christian Wiman. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)