Well, what a day and a post make. Last Wednesday I wrote a blog about fear and writing.
The next thing I knew I had over 5000 hits.
Turns out WordPress featured it on Freshly Pressed.
Of course, the perfect photo from flickr helped. (Thank you, p!o—I’ve added another one from the same photo stream)
That’s one five followed by three zeros. (Yes, I am doing lots of math homework with my son.)
And over 130 comments.
That’s one hundred and thirty people who took the time to write nice, encouraging comments. I clicked onto as many of them as I could and found so many writers/bloggers/artists out there in cyberspace thinking and writing and painting interesting and wonderful things. All ages, all nationalities. All positive.
Blew my mind.
And yet they all related in some way to fear.
It reminded me of what Tara Brach discusses in one of her online seminars: THE fear.
Not mine. Not yours. But THE fear. The one that stalks us all.
Because I think that’s what’s so difficult about fear. We take it so personally. We think everyone else is just humming along, eating their Wheeties in the morning and then doing their thing without a sliver of fear ruining their day.
While we wake up, glued to the bed, terrified of failure before we’ve even moved a muscle.
Well, it’s helpful to know we are not alone.
So what should we do with THE fear?
Besides caging it, starving it, pummeling it to within an inch of its despicable life?
We could try (and I know this is hard) ignoring it. Not give it the time of day. Let fear breathe its rancid breath down the back of our necks. Let it sit its fat gluteus maximus on our laps. Let it worm its way into our stomachs.
And just look the other way. Yawn with boredom. Eat a brownie or two (or three) if we have to.
But just get on with whatever we’re doing.
Trying to be terribly literary about the whole thing I thought I’d gather a few quotes on fear:
The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. Joseph Campbell
There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid. Wizard of Oz
Fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream. William Golding
Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed. Michael Pritchard
The funny thing was, I couldn’t for the life of me find a humorous quote about fear.
Which leads me to believe we’re taking fear a little too seriously.
So lets laugh at it.
That will really get its goat.
photo by p!o (flickr)