There’s a powerful scene in one of C.S. Lewis’s classic stories from the Chronicles of Narnia. It happens in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which tells the story of Prince Caspian’s voyage into the distant reaches of the Great Eastern Ocean in search of the Lost Lords of Narnia. One day, they approach what appears to be an island of mist, floating on the sea. They soon realize it is not a mist at all, but pure darkness. Moving a little way into it, they hear cries for help. Soon they pull from the water a terrified swimmer who has been marooned on the dark island. His face filled with terror, he tells them that the darkness contains the Island where Dream Come True.
At first, the crew of the Dawn Treader thinks the man must be confused. Who wouldn’t want to live forever in the place where one’s fondest dreams become reality? But he quickly gives them the chilling explanation: he isn’t talking about wishes or daydreams. He’s talking about nightmares-about their worst, darkest fears. In a heartbeat, every hand on board is rowing madly, trying to escape the darkness. As they go, each of them is grappling with the terrifying sensation that his or her secret horror is about to begin.
Our fears sometimes manifest themselves in different ways. For most in one way or another it causes us to stay up.
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