March 9 2017. Ok, I might be getting to that stage of the Lenten promise where this starts feeling wearisome instead of novel; this is the stage where commitment means more than inspiration or artistry or energy.
To wit, I just got home from curling. It was a long day before that, although it wouldn’t have felt so long if my head hadn’t been achy. And my juniors and I had our last day of class in the morning; I’ll miss this group. They worked with intention and with creativity and with deep generosity of thought… and they put up with my soapbox moments.
Today I asked them, at one point, while up on lord-knows-what-soapbox: what are you afraid of? By which I also meant, what holds you back? I asked this in part because, at the Women’s Day Rally on Bridge Square, a high school student performed her poem about what she was afraid of and she inspired me to think of my fears as well as how we–in general–think about fear. What are you afraid of?
Some things I’m afraid of are like spiders or ants, but they’re not that.
Rather, they’re creepy crawly spots on the edge of my consciousness that I can’t quite see,
sending shivers down my spine as I try to nail down what and where they are
before they scurry off to another dark site of my soul.
Some things I’m afraid of are like that upside down feeling you get when you jump
from somewhere high and think you will not land in the right safe way. These
things make my heart beat so hard that I need to breathe until
my body rearranges all its parts back into order.
Some things I’m afraid of convince me I must be dreaming, must
be delusional, must not understand the world anymore because they make no sense
and if they did, if the world were to follow through on this logic, then everything
I stand on, all this brown packed earth and its early spring smell, would crumble
Some things I’m afraid of are nothing be nothing smell say speak nothing.
that came out quite a bit more abstract than I started with…