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  • Paul D. Wilke

An Age of Sleepwalkers?




Is this an age of sleepwalkers?


It is for many of us.


Yet, every now and then, we wake up, rub our eyes, look around, and panic a little bit.


"Wait...where am I?"

"Where did all the time go?"


Maybe the death of a loved one does it.

Maybe the kids growing up and leaving the nest breaks the spell.

Maybe falling in love after years of bland emotional equilibrium is what jolts us from our slumber.


Who knows?


Anything can wake us up, if only for a brief moment.


But then...back to sleep,

back to routine,

back to settling,

back to existential numbness,

back to feeding our fat faces,

back to that bland equilibrium,

back to the catatonic in-between.


Yet the in-between is where life happens, even if it is here where we pay the least attention. Sleepwalking through our days tosses away the wonderfully ambivalent and ambiguous gift of consciousness.


How?


By living lives on autopilot,

drab as our eggshell-white walls,

staring glazed at our opiate electric gods,

all while safe and snug inside our cages.


Wake up!


Live awake!


Feel awake!

Feel something!


And then get out and wander, you luminous spirits, as the rest of the world slumbers! Look around! Live the in-between fully aware, if you dare.


It's life!


It's everything! Before and after are nothing!


You'll have ample time for no time in eternity. Why make life a simulacrum of that eternal nothing?


"What is this you say?"

"Tell me more!"


Choose again.


"But what are the answers?"


Choose again.


"I want to know."


You already know. You have always known.

Shhh...quiet now, go back to sleep. You're having a bad dream, that's all.


"But...wait...more!"

"But...why...?"

"But...how..."

"But...but..."


zzz


...

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