"I sometimes rise late in the night beset by anxieties, thinking that my heart is about to stop beating; that robbers lurk outside, seeking entry; or a terrible storm is about to send lightning down upon me. 1 am convinced my talent has withered, and I have grown old and foolish; that women laugh cruelly when they speak of me; and all my careful investments have collapsed, leaving me a pauper. 1 imagine that a terrible war has begun that will sweep away all we know, and silent lines of soldiers pass by in the night. I worry that lack of rest will bring my health to ruin.
And then, when I can bear it no more, the terrible, infinite depths of the night sky turn stone gray, and the sun rises again, lifting up above the horizon like a bright promise, and I realize the condition from which 1 suffer is but the human condition. Our solid lives are balanced on the edge of calamity, so much so that we do everything possible never to think of it, for contemplation drives one to despair. Despair that there is nothing we can do except promote the illusion that all is well, though we live with the secret knowledge that this is not so.
We wake in the grip of terror, the night telling us that we are utterly alone, our safe lives nothing but dreams. And our greatest fear of all—that we will be released from this world of anxiety and terror. The sun will not rise on the morrow."
Sean Russell, Sea Without a Shore (1996)