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Posts Tagged ‘fear’

The News

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Just as I had settled into doom,

I heard the wild call of the first geese of spring

come screeching through the window.

 

I leapt up like a woman desperate

for good news—leapt up and ran to the window

in time to see a pair land on the pond,

 

splashing against the water. They quieted

immediately after alighting. And then,

there was only the sound  of me watching them.

 

How graceful they were in the pond,

the water wrinkled behind them, as if their arrival

were the only news, the only news worth telling.

 

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And when fear comes to the door bringing flowers

acting as if it’s a friend,

it’s okay to not want to let it in.

It’s okay to lock the door—

it’ll make you feel as if you’re doing something.

Fear will enter anyway.

At least it won’t expect a hug.

It won’t wash its hands,

not even when you ask nicely.

And it is more contagious than any virus—

spreads without sneezes or coughs.

It won’t leave when you ask, but

there are ways to make it quieter—

like inviting a few others to join you,

preferably gratitude, compassion, love,

kindness, vulnerability. These friends

always come when asked, wearing

the loveliest perfume. They change

the conversation, the way lemon

and honey change the bitter tea.

They remind you who you are,

invite you to look out the window

and see how beautiful the world

when the shadows are long.

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Grace

 

 

 

After all these years of falling, falling,

terrified of my own weight, terrified

of gravity, after all these years of dropping

through the sky, through all these fears

of not good enough, certain I will crash,

I will die, I find myself now wearing

a great white parachute that appeared

as if I were dreaming, to save me.

 

After all these years harnessed only to fear,

I land gently, as if on a flat green lawn.

And I’m not just safe, I’m smiling.

I try to reason it logically: Air resistance

with a chute is greater than gravity.

But there is no logic here. How

did the parachute appear? I

didn’t even ask to be saved. Here I am,

good enough, two feet on the ground.

After years and years of falling,

I’m okay. I’m wildly okay.

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It’s not adrenaline after all,

but the bones that tell the body

to fight, to freeze, to flee.

The bones send the hormone

that tells the heart to beat faster,

tells lungs to breathe quicker, tells glucose

to pump through the body as fuel.

The odd gift: the same bones

that tell us to run away

help us stand and see it through.

 

 

 

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Check it out: https://phys.org/news/2019-09-bone-adrenaline-flight-response.html?fbclid=IwAR1FsGbaAaoLL5jB1esEouhf7E0SMLnSWwQDjh3hANvvqRNbXmhKGtDPmFw

 

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One for the Hospital

 

 

 

like a child hiding

in plain view with her hand

over her eyes,

fear tiptoes into the room,

a bomb ticking in her pocket

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The Worrier Goes for a Ride

 

 

 

And then, as I was walking the dirt road,

it hit me like a school bus: people

might not like me. I felt the rush of air before

the bumper connected with my butt, and knew

in that moment I could choose to be flattened or

choose to somehow crawl into that bus

and ride along with the jeers and snarls and sneers.

Okay, I said, as I clawed my way around the yellow fender

to the open door, a stowaway on my fear.

I climbed the green stairs and felt their stares:

icy, cruel, fierce. Others indifferent, bored.

I stared back, prepared to feel small.

Hello, I said, waiting for shame. But

that’s not what I felt at all. Instead,

some seed of awareness that I was not splattered

by fear but alive, and now moving in one direction

with this busload of what frightened me so,

And I was not flattened nor crushed nor bruised.

I took my seat. Felt their eyes on my back.

And the bus kept driving along. When it stopped,

I stepped off, surprisingly whole.

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The bear is in no hurry

as he moves toward you.

He does not turn away.

Though you yell. Though

you wave your arms above

your head. Though

you plant your legs wide.

He just ambles up the steep

dirt road and focuses on you.

 

At first, it’s not unnerving.

You’ve seen bears before.

But this bear is interested.

This bear keeps you near.

You walk backwards up the hill.

The bear matches your pace.

You lose sight around the curve.

A few steps later, it’s still there.

 

You shout until your voice is hoarse.

The bear is undeterred.

The moment loves and hates itself.

You think it could be worse.

You think it could be better.

You shout and wave and walk.

 

It is only later, after the man

in the old black pickup truck

has rescued you

that you let yourself wonder

how else the story could bend.

And your heart emerges,

something big and wild,

surprising you with its ferocity,

its unswerving strides.

 

 

 

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My child, I say, you need not fear the night—

its unlit corners, rooms of dim unknown—

the darkness helps us learn beyond the light.

 

But mom, how do I know that you’re alright

if I can’t see you? I feel so alone.

My child, I say, there’s goodness in the night.

 

The dark erases any lines we might

have drawn, makes all the world appear as one.

The dark helps us to see beyond the light.

 

But mom, I don’t feel safe without my sight.

What if there’s monsters, spiders, things that groan?

My child, I say, there’s kindness in the night.

 

You feel how darkness holds the whole world tight?

Embracing every human, creature, stone—

the darkness helps us reach beyond the light.

 

It hugs us all, despite our wrongs, our rights,

inviting everyone into its home.

My child, I say, you need not fear the night—

the darkness helps us love beyond the light.

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On a Difficult Day

 

 

Because I don’t know how to pray,

I do what I know to do,

which is to sit very quietly

and let myself feel. To hold you

without holding you.

To imagine your fear

and breathe into it.

To feel my own fear

and walk the edges of its cliffs.

To lean on hope with its flimsy

net and feel how little it takes

to catch us, to save us.

 

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The pre-dawn light has already

claimed the stars so that anything

I might try to name in the sky

has disappeared—though there

is still one planet dazzling and white

just above the horizon. Perhaps

it’s better that I don’t know

how to name it, know only

to praise it, it’s small insistence

on light the only thing

I need to know.

 

 

 

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