Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Process By Which Fear Disintegrates

Bruised egos feel real. And I think we are all fighting this city, this world, to be real.

Pain soothes us into reality, and then we break with reality with our various drugs-of-choice: sex alcohol narcotics -- these things just release us from our silent prisons for a moment or two. But the hell of those prisons is our own creation. We coaxed ourselves behind the steel bars and we, ourselves, locked the door and took the keys and put them in our back pockets, forever forgetting where the keys were. Afraid to attempt escape, for fear we'll be caught.

I'm not afraid of being hurt anymore. And it's foolish to allow that fear guardianship of my prison. It's foolish that I choose to stay in prison, for that matter.

For many years, I was married to fear. As much as I hated it, I held on so tightly to it. Fear would curse me and keep me from my desires, my destiny. Opportunity would knock and I wasn't allowed the privilege to open the door, not even a crack to tell Opportunity to go away.

Fear was so irritated with me in those last few moments when I was divorcing it, standing but millimeters (which felt like chasms) from forever ending its tyranny.

Real adventure isn't found at DisneyLand. It isn't prepackaged cautious fun. It's spontaneous; it's wild; but most importantly, it's risky. Sure, you may find a crumpled empty soda can lying at the end of the rainbow, but that doesn't make the journey to the end any less. What makes us crave stories where the hero goes through trial and triumph for his/her noble goals? The pilgrimage is what makes us keep on reading -- how Frodo got through Mordor, how the Gunslinger traversed the planet as the world had moved on, how Skywalker got to the final battle with his father, how Harry met Voldomort -- those are the events that keep us holding on to the pages. It wasn't really the party in The Shire, or the Gunslinger meeting his destiny at the Dark Tower, or even the celebration at Endor (however, fond I am of Ewoks), and the jubilee of yet another victory for good in the battle versus evil.

These are the pages that influenced me, but yet there is more to life than comfort and contentment. There are those of us who may not crave the nature of a knight, but given a justifiable purpose, we too will forge ahead into a dark forest of unknown, sometimes it takes a little push.

So what makes these characters real? Did you smell the roasting of an alien animal as you recollected your experience with the above sequences? I know I did. And now I'm on the road to creating those memorable experiences in life. Those ones our grandparents tell us: how they first met, what the Great Depression was really like, their first scent of Europe. I want to be able to one day pass those same images, scents, tickles, sounds, and savory tastes on to my great grandchildren as they wonder why grandma's blasting dance music. But that future is just a fantasy of mine, until then I enjoy being young because old folks tell me it doesn't last . . .

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