I...cannot sleep - I have tried, and when I sleep, I dream, and the dream is always the
same. When I sleep, the nightmare I just survived above continues, so...I write to you.
It is early morning. The children will begin gathering at the Mirror Pool to watch a new day dawn. I'm home, and I'm alive. I am - back in my world, surrounded by friends, people I love. The nightmare I have just lived is over. But it haunts me. Not the proximity to death or, though I have never been so close, not the terror of being lost and trapped above. What plagues me is the utter hatred, the evil I saw in the eyes of those who hunted me.
I have often looked on the world Below, this world beneath the streets, as my prison. Now I see it as the extraordinary sanctuary that it is. Yes, it is a place apart; apart from the cruelty, and brutality that seems to live in the air above. Our world below offers something precious. It offers safety. It offers compassion, and trust. In the - newness and wonder of seeing your world through your eyes, I forgot why I had been isolated for so long. I forgot the danger that waits for me above. I forgot such a thing as evil exists. Or, perhaps I was never aware.
Much of what I know I know from books. There is much for me that is new. And there are things that books can never teach us. I will never understand how people can gain sustenance through cruelty. I struggle, but it is something I cannot grasp - and yet, I saw it - in the eyes of those men. I felt it, in the eyes of those men. And that is what haunts me. I know there is goodness in your world. You are in it. There are others, too, who reach out with kindness and generosity, and yet for every good soul, there is another waiting to annihilate it.
In every fiber of my being I refuse to believe that darkness can envelop the light, or that evil can mock what is good. Perhaps I...cannot allow myself to believe it. Perhaps, what haunts me is not what I saw in the eyes of the others, but in their eyes, I saw myself. Have I been too quick to judge? Has the sanctuary of my world shielded me from...some terrible truth. I've always feared the...darkness within me. And now your world forces me to confront it. Do I have the courage to look in the mirror? Do I have the courage to look into your eyes? In your eyes, Catherine, I see myself. Not only as I am. In your eyes I see the truth of what can be. All that is possible - and now I am learning that the truth can be as terrifying as it is wondrous.
The first day's night has come, And grateful is the thing, So terrible had been endured. I told my soul to sing.*
Sleep well, dearest Catherine, sleep well.
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