I've been thinking about Robin Williams and the demons he had to have to drive him to end his life as he did. I suspect we all have some thoughts that wake us up in the middle of the night. The worries about what might be or the regrets of the past, but depression so grave as to result in a tragedy like this is beyond sad. Robin Williams talked  about worry In the movie Jack where his character said:

"“Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day, make a wish, and think of me. Make your life spectacular.”

WorryThere is much in our literature, poetry and music about the things that wake us at night. I've been reading some and thought I'd share a few examples.   There is passage in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner that reads: 

"Like one that on a lonesome road doth walk in fear and dread, and having once turned around walks on, and turns no more his head, because he knows, a frightful fiend doth close behind him tread."

Gary Burr has written a wonderful song A Thousand Wild Horses. The lyrics have the great line about a thousand wild horses hell bent on running him down:  


I thought I was fast
But the sins of my past
They're faster still
And I'm wasting my time
Trying to leave them behind
Cause I never will

One drink too many
One kiss to deep
And I feel that old shacking the ground

That's a thousand wild horses
Thundering behind me
Hellbent on running me down

Each one is branded
Each one is mine
Each one's a darkness
I cannot deny
I know they are coming
There's no place to hide
I'm gonna get runned down
Or I'm gonna ride

I got a thousand wild horses
Thundering behind me
Hellbent on running me down

John Hall Wheelock has written a poem The Black Panther which talks  about the things that haunt us and which has these lines:

There is a panther caged within my breast,

But what his name, there is no breast shall know
Save mine, nor what it is that drives him so,
Backward and forward, in relentless quest—
That silent rage, baffled but unsuppressed,
The soft pad of the stealthy feet that go
Over my body's prison to and fro,
Trying the walls forever without rest.


My friend Dennis Donnelly sent me this work, The Layers by Stanley kunitz which speaks to the burden of concern, worry and anxiety:

"I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides, from which I struggled not to stray. When I look behind, as I am compelled to look before I can gather strength to proceed on my journey, I see the milestones dwindling toward the horizon and the slow fires trailing from the abandoned campsites, over which scavenger Angels wheel on heavy wings. Oh, I have made myself a tribe out of my true affections, and my tribe is scattered! How shall my heart be reconciled to its feast of losses? In a rising wind the manic dust of my friends, those who fell along the way, bitterly stings my face. Yet I turn, I turn, exulting somewhat, with my will intact to go wherever I need to go, and every stone on the road precious to me. In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I rolled through the wreckage, a Nimbus-clouded voice directed me: "live in the layers, not on the litter." Though I lack the art to decipher it, no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. I am not done with my changes."

It was the modern Italian saint and Catholic priest Padre Pio who often advised:""Pray, hope and don't worry" What better advice could we have about it?

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