Friday, August 31, 2012

in my life, I have been afraid

In my life, I have been afraid.

Afraid I might be wrong.
Afraid I might be right.
Afraid I might fail.
Afraid I might succeed.
Afraid I might not be loved.
Afraid to love.
Afraid of death.
Afraid of life.
Afraid I was not good enough.
Afraid I was too good.
Afraid to lose control.
Afraid to assert control.
Afraid I might get blind-sided.
Afraid that not getting blind-sided was no sort of life.
Afraid to know.
Afraid not to know.
Afraid of being swept up in bias, whether another's or my own.
Afraid of not being at home in bias.
Afraid that life is sacrosanct.
Afraid of my own sanctity.
Afraid of my inability to line up my ducks.
Afraid of my ability to imagine my ducks might be lined up.

I could sit here all morning and deep into the night listing the circumstances and aspects of this life that had been touched by fear.

In my life, I have been afraid.

Fear is such a diaphanous imp. In one moment, it is just a whisper and a suspicion while in another it is as huge and consuming as an angry bear not six inches from my nose -- huge or thimble-sized according to its wants. Rip my guts out or irritate like a fruit fly.

There is no way to be kool about fear, despite the soothing ministries that life and self-help books may serve up. Fear is fear -- as clear as a bell and as smooth and unyielding as a cue ball ... read 'em and weep. It is love wearing brand new clothes. It cannot be out-thought, out-fought, out-flanked, embraced or dismissed.

But one thing you have to say for fear: It's utterly personal. In-your-face and intimate. And it is this aspect that I would call important. It is not frivolous. Anything that scares the shit out of you cannot be called frivolous because, of course, I am not frivolous.

If nothing can be done about fear or uncertainty -- no two-aspirins-and-call-me-in-the-morning solution -- then I think the best anyone might do is to watch and watch and watch some more. Watch and keep watching. Set aside hope. Set aside answers. Just watch. Somehow, this intimate imp deserves that much consideration ... really watch, really pay attention, really stand firm as the fires of hell blister the skin.


If you want a good-news punchline on this blog post, I'm afraid you will have to write it yourself.