I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
-Edgar Allan Poe
"It all seemed so real."
Ever try to relate an especially vivid dream to someone?
That which seemed so real, so true; that which I could almost taste, smell and feel, slips from my grasp; it becomes, well, dreamlike when I attempt to put into words what I experienced.
I have been struck by the dreamlike quality of life itself. I reflect upon my life's events, whether recent or long-past, and the reality fades. As though I were trying to relate to myself a dream I had dreamt.
Even this faith to which I cling.
Sometimes I try to meditate on all I know about my unseen God and ponder whether even this is but a figment of my fevered brain's imagining.
But you know, I cannot do this for very long or actually conjure up a real sense of unreality (!). I cannot escape this ingrained sense of God's realness. He surrounds me.
Everywhere I look I am reminded. Even in my addled thoughts, I am eventually returned to the foundational thought: He is.
A bold statement, I know, in an age when our fleeting (?) sense of unreality is exalted and proclaimed to be ultimate truth.
I suppose we could blame Descartes, who said, "I think, therefore I am." Reality grounded in self-awareness. But haven't we been over this ground already? As early as the Garden of Eden, it seems.
I would revise Descartes' proposition: "God is, therefore I am."
I once analyzed Poe's mental state for a psychology class. It occurs to me that I have wronged him. Perhaps he was not a poor deranged alcoholic. Perhaps, while admiring the beauty of his work, we must also deeply pity him.
He may have simply been the first postmodern man.