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Nightmares upon nightmares

I am obsessed with death. I think of it every day, if only as a passing blip. Certain types of death, of meeting death, seem more horrifying to me than others. One of these is execution. I don't spend my life in fear but thoughts of executions tend to stick with me when they somehow get into my head.

So now that I am reading Eleni, the story of the Greek mountain woman who was executed by the communist guerillas who were controlling her little village, I keep thinking ahead. While the story takes me through her life in the years before her death I keep thinking ahead, knowing of her end. Each chapter takes me closer and I can't wait to get to that awful moment so I can get past it.

For the last two nights I have had nightmares. The first was about me, about to be executed. Different circumstances than Eleni's but clearly the same result. Last night I dreamed I was with my daughters when they were small, perhaps eight and six, and the two of them were going to be executed. Needless to say, when I awake from such nightmares I can't sleep again.

Now I am obsessed with finishing the book, or at least getting past the execution. It's close but the details, the details, are so thick that I wonder how long, how long. But I can't stop reading.

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Judith Lautner
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