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One-half of life is admitted by us to be passed in sleep, in which, however, it may appear otherwise, we have no perception of truth, and all our feelings are delusions; who knows but the other half of life, in which we think we are awake, is a sleep also, but in some respects different from the other, and from which we wake when we, as we call it, sleep. As a man dreams often that he is dreaming, crowding one dreamy delusion on another.
His youth seemed never so vanished as now in the contrast between the utter loneliness of this visit and that riotous, joyful party of four years before. Things that had been the merest commonplaces of his life then, deep sleep, the sense of beauty around him, all desire, had flown away and the gaps they left were filled only with the great listlessness of his disillusion.
When the first light dawned on the earth, and the birds awoke, and the brave river was heard rippling confidently seaward, and the nimble early rising wind rustled the oak leaves about our tent, all people, having reinforced their bodies and their souls with sleep, and cast aside doubt and fear, were invited to unattempted adventures.
Where the shadow of the bridge fell I could see down for a long way, but not as far as the bottom. When you leave a leaf in water a long time after awhile the tissue will be gone and the delicate fibres waving slow as the motion of sleep. They don't touch one another, no matter how knotted up they once were, no matter how close they lay once to the bones.
Denial gives way to acceptance; acceptance breeds dependence. Anyone who's ever cared for a terminal patient will tell you that, too. Sick people need someone who will bring them their pills and glasses of cold sweet juice to wash them down with. They need someone to soothe their aching joints with arnica gel. They need someone to sit with them when the night is dark and the hours stretch out. They need someone to say, Sleep now, it will be better in the morning. I'm here, so sleep. Sleep now. Sleep and let me take care of everything.