I feel I should speak to the absence… My last post was on August 4th – a full 4 months ago – and one may assume that there is a reason for the break, an incident, a disaster, something to explain why it’s been so long, but that is not the case… nothing overly dramatic anyway.
The simple truth – which is anything but simple – is that it boils down to one thing. The thing that binds me, the thing that creates this enormous wall of inaction, procrastination and feigned indifference, the thing that pounces from the recesses of my mind, strikes like cold lightning and renders me mute, is fear.
Ah, fear, my dichotomous friend…
You have been with me for most of my life. You have kept me safe in times of trouble, protected me from monsters (both real and imagined) and held my hand while I pretended to walk unafraid. You have been a faithful companion, a staunch and loyal ally when the world was suddenly filled with enemies, a brother, a confidant and a safe place to hide. You have been a warm blanket, a familiar voice and – above all else – a constant.
You are too, the snake coiled about my brain, the pounding of my heart and the endless river of self-deprecation. You are my reflection, my mask, and my albatross. You are quicksand and blindness, a poisonous fog. You have taken the best years of my life and laid them barren, destroyed friendships, sabotaged successes and interred my soul in darkness. You are a master of disguises and a web of lies, a wall where there should be a window.
You are endless. You are relentless.
As I attempt to navigate this impossible puzzle of love and hate I see my years slipping away. I see chances missed and opportunities lost. I see my dreams and hopes fading. I feel warm tears well in my eyes and hear their cries as gravity slowly drags them to their death.
If I knew how to stop, I would stop. It must be that this fraudulent truth is part of my DNA. It is chemicals and carbon, muscle and bone and breath. It is thought and reaction and run, run, run. It is a wall and that is my head going bang, bang, bang…
I have tried medication, meditation and mediation. I have tried invisible Gods and the arms of man. I have opened the door and found nothing on the other side. I have wallowed in self-pity and danced in the light of pure joy. I have muttered “just keep walking” so many times… I have eaten my fear, drugged it, faced and embraced it, ignored it and studied it. I have tried to “just get over it,” and to “just let it go.” I have stayed and I have gone, I have dug and I have buried and I am tired.
Fear is a many-headed hydra. It is a spinning carnival ride, a roulette wheel and a single bullet in the chamber of a gun. It is movement and motion. It is fleeting and flowing, whirring and winding and waiting…
Every once in a while, always on the exhale, when the world tilts to the left ever so slightly, and the tightness lifts just a fraction, I can see it. I can touch it. I can run my finger gingerly down its back and whisper, “it’s ok. I’ve got you…”
In these rare moments of clarity and quiet and perfect stillness, I know that I am not my fear. I am not defined. I am free.
I am fearless.