The human condition is a frail one. We have difficulty separating reality from the phantoms of dreams and nightmares. There is an article in today’s Boston Globe about a man who strangled his sweetheart and wife of 40 years while he dreamed that intruders were attacking the couple in their camper. He was found not guilty because he was having a nightmare and was acting automatically, as if under a spell. Under the control of something he could not resist. I past times he would have been thought to be possessed by the devil.
Tragic, ironic beyond what anyone on earth could possibly bear, this story highlights our fragile grasp of reality. You see they had camped in a strange place and their sleep was disturbed by cars racing nearby. They where fearful. Frightened. Sleeping uneasily, he had a nightmare of the worst kind — the kind that doesn’t feature unreality but reality — it was a dream that seemed real. They were being attacked. So he defended himself — by strangling his beloved wife. Sad beyond comprehension.
Of course maybe this fellow is a master of deception and murdered his wife purposefully covering it with a bizarre story and getting away with an atrocity. But I don’t believe that. I think this is human nature biting once again.
I hope that we can guard against occurrences like this. How? By being aware of both our surroundings and our feelings. By thinking past the dark and the fear. By having faith in our destiny. This is my belief and hope but I’m not sure it will always work. In any case I continue to try not to be afraid of anything…..