The Wolf

My friend Chris calls it The Hour of the Wolf. This is roughly 2:00 AM, and you are awake in the loneliness of your insomniac’s bed. You are alone with nothing to distract you from all those thoughts of your worthlessness or impending doom. In his song “Rock and Roll Suicide,” David Bowie writes: The night seems to lacerate your brain I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain. You’re not alone.

Whether the bed you are sleeping in is shared by another or not, you feel alone in your fear and desperation. You feel alone with a question you believe you must absolutely answer before you can rest. How can you rest when you hear the wolf howling at your door? Will he not devour you in your sleep?

And yet the very feelings you call loneliness are an expression of that which accompanies you in every moment. You have summoned a storm of thought, wandered into it, and become lost. Every storm has an eye, and the eye of this storm is you. Not the Little You who becomes afraid, but the Greater You who is never afraid, who is instead aware that fear has come knocking.

The pain we feel in the Hour of the Wolf is only the Greater You saying, “Come back. Come back from the future where you imagine your demise, come back from the past where you are reliving that which you now call failure, come back to right now where you are always safe.” The further into the storm you wander, the louder the Greater You will speak, for this is the only way to be heard above the din of thought in which you are lost.

How like us to mistake our own voice for a hungry wolf. How like us to mistake that which we seek for that which will destroy us.

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