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No Fear. (Well, some fear.)
may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if its sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young.   - e.e. cummings
Our word today is "fearless".

I've been thinking about fear lately.  Not 9/11, government sponsored, Eat-your-Wheaties American fear; not fear of God, or the devil, or his many fun drunken soldiers; and not fear of fear itself, not conceptual fear.  I'm talking about dagger to the heart, punch in the stomach, every day idiot fear.  You know, real fear.

Here is a list of some of the things I'm afraid of.

1. Crowded buses and streetcars.  (In my defense, this is sort of a rational fear.  Standing on a bus as it slowly jerks towards your destination while dozens of dirty unknowns climb past you is arguably Worth Avoiding.)

2.  Winged-creatures of the night.  Like this piece of shit.    June bugs make me cry.

3.  Heights, falling from.

4.  Enclosed spaces.  (Also see, crowded buses; relationships)

5.  Public Speaking.  Actually, performing, on any level.  Stop looking at me!

6.  Moving quickly.  I cannot drive a car.  I do not ride a bike.  I cannot skate, ski, or surf, and I assume I would be very nervous on a Segway.  Like her.

7. Relationships.  (Also see, enclosed spaces; moving quickly.)  More specifically, the fear of marrying an asshole, or a bore.

8.  Dying alone.

9.  Working too hard.  (See, Wasting Life.)

10.  Wasting Life.  (See, working too hard.)

As you can see from this excerpt (i assure you there is much more. the encyclopedia of my fears is not worth subscribing to.), these fears tend to exist in a fine balance.  My fear of relationships is tempered by my fear of dying alone, so I am forced to exist on a tightrope between them, which of course is terrifying (see: Fear of Heights).  

I offer you these fears because I do not need them anymore.  They are cobwebs left over from childhood nightmares.  They are a series of imaginary problems that have been woven together to construct my cozy little cocoon, which I hotbox in my jammies and assure myself that life is good.  Life is good.  But it could be better.  And this list is seriously slowing me down (see: Fear of Moving Quickly).

So today's objective is to be fearless.  But not too fearless.  After all, our fears make us up.  They define us.  They protect us.  I don't want to wake up and find myself segwaying to work as a motivational speaker who works 12 hours a day just to avoid my idiot husband.   No one wants that.

Today's objective is to be fearless, but self-aware.  Not to deny my fears but to embrace them.  To act in spite of them. 

I have begun to look for ways to act, for moments to seize.  I read a poem at my grandmother's funeral a few weeks ago, conquering my fears of Public Speaking, Death, and Church all at once.  I thought I owed her that much, considering that I would never once play piano for her in my 13 years of Conservatory schooling.  I would not play, in my living room, for my grandmother.  Don't look at me!  Sorry about that, Nanny.  Hope you liked the poem.

I also conquered a deep-seeded fear of food.  When I was 4, my Pre-school class went to Harvey's for a field trip (that's right), and the manager said, "Everyone who pushes this button gets a free hamburger at the end of the tour!"  And I don't remember what the button did, but I remember thinking, I don't want a hamburger. I don't like hamburgers.  If I push that button, they're going to make me eat a hamburger.  And so I hid among the other children and avoided my turn to push the button.  And wasn't I devastated when I learned that I could have a hot dog at the end!  But I didn't push the button.  Now they won't let me eat.  (They did, by the way.  I got my hot dog.)  Such was the anxiety of my 4-year-old self, who struggled daily with a distaste for all things foody.  I have only recently learned that I can train myself to eat whatever I want.  And this morning at the grocery store, I bought carrots, my Arch Nemesis of foods.  Today, I eat in spite of carrots.

So perhaps the goal is not to be fearless at all; but to be fear-driven. 

Oh, but that sounds fast, doesn't it?  Driven.  Perhaps just a fear-jog, to start.

I will cook my carrots in a soup until they taste like chicken.

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All of your fears are in perfect balance.

That means you're invincible.

(See "Burns, Montgomery".)


I somehow do not believe that you are scared of public speaking.


I see myself. hilda

Can we chat? Go Here

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