Last week, we were arguing about the nature of experiences of the intellectus, or in layman's terms those timess when we feel a connection with the Beyond, such as we may receive when watching a sunrise or looking into the night sky (or my favorite, patrolling the parking lot of a mall!). The discussion soon darted to an important consideration: are these experiences the highest point of human life? One among us objected that man is a social animal, and hence it cannot be so since these are individual experiences. I posited that the best of these experiences is communion with God in the Eucharist, and mention was made of lovers gazing into each-other's eyes, an example from Leisure, the Basis of Culture, the book we were discussing. Still, we did not reach a satisfactory conclusion. Two days ago, though, the objection was set aside forevermore: I had one of those experiences as I listened to another's words.
Some individuals are saints. Some people are such saints that they walk the world like immutable suns. During the usual late night in the lounge (2 AM), I heard out one such soul. A self-described go-to person, she has saved lives by hearing stories and, like a priest bound by the seal of confession, securing them unconditionally. A consolation in dire moments, great-souled for her boundless compassion, she professes the helping of others- unto the saving of the world even, and I believe her- as her vocation. And almost one of necessity. As she said it, she lives with a severe insomnia and a tendency toward immoderate lengths of sleep- the only time she ever got to sleep as long as she wanted and wake up naturally, she slept 18 hours! For that reason, she invariably remains awake late into the night, awakening after only the briefest rest. Understandably the condition frustrates her, but as I pointed out, if she weren't up so late, she couldn't be the go-to girl. Ergo, the condition points to the authenticity of her vocation. Only in death will she be a beauty who has (having heard those in need out unto her last breath) fallen asleep, as we Christians say it.
Inspired, I wrote her a sonnet, which she simply adored. The title is a play on her name and a variation of a joke I made off of it: "You're pretty in lieu of... getting any sleep!"
Sonnet CXXVII- Bellelieu
Her soul is pretty in the lieu of sleep.
A two s'd Ulysses, she hears sweet songs,
Enticing stories of dramatic wrongs.
No hours close her eyes, no ropes can keep
Her from the sides of those who have a thing
To say, or still her lust to do the good.
The tempest sprays on every side, and would
Subsume her, and some others, were the swing
Of captainacy missing at the wheel.
Told everything, and trusted not to tell,
The secrets given this artesian well,
In time, are pacified by Jesus' heal.
His Blood absolves them, readying the balm,
That she may slumber, ocean dead, and calm.
She especially enjoyed the presence of Jesus, which I thought a stock reference, since she was working on a Bible paper! Moral of the story: if you are trustworthy to man, God will trust you with His goods as well.