Sunday, October 31, 2010

writing fear

Right now, I'm feeling like thoughts are batting about in my mind, attaching themselves nowhere. I'm resisting the urge to edit them down. Focus them. I'm trying to write meditatively.

Ah. Take a breath.

The prompt for this post is provided by Kate, of Heartwork. It's about fear. So here goes. Her prompt is beautiful and provocative and I'm appreciative of this opportunity. Go read it and you'll see what I'm doing here.

I could be fully myself, unafraid and open, if only I wasn't afraid of losing something in the process. I could be whatever I wanted if only I was not afraid that by taking a risk, I'd lose out. I'd have to trade one good thing for one not so good thing. Or even that I'd have to trade one good thing for another. I guess I'm afraid of losing the status quo, because at least I know what the status quo is. At least now, I know what pain I feel, I know what hope I have, and I know the parameters I'm working in. I know the edges of this current existence, and so I know what I've got going on. I guess all this means that I'm afraid of the unknown.

The problem with this, if I may self-diagnose a bit, is that by being afraid of the unknown, I'm also afraid of the beauty of possibility. The beauty of the unexpected. And yes, this is true. As I sit trying to write meditatively, I felt a nod just now. Not of my head, but of something inside of me. Yes. I am afraid of change.

What a crazy thing. I know intellectually that change is okay. That life is change. I know that change is often wonderous. My life changed forever the day that W was born, and I have no doubt that it was a change I'll always be grateful for. My life is better--harder, more painful sometimes, but better on the whole. Change results in something beautiful in my life all the time. Even the change of seasons right now is amazing. We have a tree out back--I heard someone say it's a crepe myrtle, whatever that is--and the fall has made its leaves start to turn bright orange. It's as though the sun it shining right on it at all times, and it's mostly in the backyard shade. It is wonderous and beautiful. It was a lovely purple, a soft and peaceful color, just a few weeks ago. And now: it's shifting into this fiery warm thing.

So that's it, huh? I'm afraid of change even as I see it as beautiful. Even though I know it to be the essence of life. It's like I'm holding two things in my hands, one of which cancels the other out, and my goal is to keep these two hands balanced. Like I don't want to give over to change altogether, because then I lose the balance that keeps me feeling like I can handle the status quo. The moment I'm in. And I don't want to give over to just living in the status quo because I know there is possibility out there. Could it be that this balance is actually what life--my life, at least--is? Is there more than this? Is there less? Does it matter....

I won't edit this down, and maybe I'll even revisit this prompt. I'm curious, more curious than I was before starting this journaling exercise, about this fear of change. And actually, I'm going to sit and look at that tree for a bit (how can I find out if it's a crepe myrtle? I'll have to do some goo.gling!).

1 comment:

  1. I think, instead of canceling each other out, the beauty and the fear often coexist-- I think it is amazing insight to be able to see both (when it is so easy to get caught up fixating on one or the other).
    Most change has beauty in it- sometimes buried deep like seeds waiting to take hold after a wildfire.

    Thank you again for bravely putting this out there in the world.
    I nodded my way through your whole piece: yes, me too, me too.

    Wondrous and beautiful indeed.

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