Epihanies about Fear and a Poem


I was in the studio today working on a performance of a poem about accepting fear and giving it its place in my life. I had written most of this blog yesterday, but in moving it, singing it, speaking it out loud, I realized I had papered over my relationship. I had put a big fat bow on it. I may have had some of the bones, but I was missing the basic relationship. I had two epiphanies: 1. When I am the most afraid of fear I try to control it by pretending that I am not afraid. 2. The many different parts of myself have different relationships to fear. And the relationships are constantly changing dependent on the situation, the stakes, and what it calls out in me.

I can ride fear, run from it, overthink it, laugh at it, let its adrenaline move me to act NOW, get overwhelmed by it, freeze it, give it too much power, make it bigger than it is, drag the past into it, make it more real than every other part of myself, get it confused with excitement. The list goes on.  All of this has impact. And I think it is important to know what the impact is.

But, the meat of the day-to-day relationship is just Feeling. It is a feeling after all. Just letting myself feel its uncomfortableness and let it shape shift and move in my body. Let me listen. Let the serpent tell its truth. Breathe, feel.( If it is too overwhelming I make the time short). There is a gift in this: almost always I end up feeling lighter and more fluid. And that’s it. There is no mastery, no finish line, no bow.

And now the poem:


Black petals taste bitter
On the lips
Long fingers smudge my cheeks
While ashes keep
To their own circle.
Can bring the gentlest things.
And Fear is a thread through life.