Monday, October 28, 2002

Waking Up in the Dark

Day in and out, my toddler nephew takes his afternoon nap in the bedroom. He would wake up at dusk, when the sunlight streaking in the thinly curtained window is almost no more. He wakes with a start, and wails miserably, as if the end of the world was here. He would scream and scream despite there being light beyond the open door, which he can walk towards... till my babysittting Mum comes to scoop him up, and comfort him. And when that is done, he stops crying as suddenly as he started.

I think it is an existential crisis kind of thing. I can imagine his recurrent "nightmare" of waking up in the dark, not remembering how he got there, smack in the middle of the the "dark night of the soul", of life itself, not knowing where is refuge. He will grow out of it in time, this I know. But is it good news or not? I think we have forgotten this form of early existential crisis, which many of us inevitably went through. In getting used to it, we stopped questioning. We accept the coming of night just like we accept the "promise" of a new day. We even manage to fool ourselves that impending death is no big deal, shelving it at the back of our mind. We become blind to the horror that is to come. Is our spiritual quest, which we hardly embarked upon since we were toddlers, already ended?

I did not laugh at his silliness when I heard him cry, I frowned empatically. Let us rediscover our original existential crisis- What are we doing here, experiencing life day in and day out, night in and night out? What should we really do before the day of life finally fades out? JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

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