I no longer pay attention to fear mongers, they have never made my life better. My horse is a low horse, I have no power or wealth. You are my only audience. My home is one room, eleven by twelve. I don’t know how to eradicate fear, I’ve never been good enough at comforting others. So this is not advice, or a boast. This is just me trying to deflect some of it. This is me interacting with a piece of the world.
I’m fortunate to be able to say that fear, for whatever reason, hasn’t knocked at my door lately. No tears over that. And I don’t sympathize with those who profit by it. This has allowed me to enjoy walking off trail in bear country once or twice every week for years. Given me confidence in the face of abstractions. I find that a person’s wallet doesn’t put me off anymore, full or empty. I can work well with immigrants and transsexuals. Humans in general no longer worry me much. And while it’s true that particular individuals still DO have the potential to worry me in certain situations, it’s not because of their skin or accent, bumper stickers, or holy books. I automatically distrust strangers but enjoy their company, and that includes almost everybody, since I have very few friends.
As a child, I was no stranger to fear and its tactics. In catholic elementary school they had us hold our hands over a lit candle to give us a tiny taste of the torments of hell. We were taught that the real thing would be infinitely more painful and that it would never end. Eventually I came to view anything that never ends as a kind of hell. My own mortality is a fear I still cling to, even utilize: it’s part of my original motivation to have kids, it still makes me write— the chance that something of myself might outlast me.
Small comfort. But I’ve been neglecting my fears more and more lately. They aren’t so well watered or carefully tended anymore, even though the bears are real out there. My time has gotten too short for me to spend it guessing, or scared. My attitude these days is: we’ll see. That’s as sure as anything.