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More is needed.
Moving about is a product of the engine inside me. Well-fueled, and I have the energy to go from here to there.
But the opposite is sometimes true.
On days when the fog rolls in like it used to cover San Francisco when I still lived on those hills and valleys. I suppose it still does, even though I’m no longer there.
I like to breathe it in like pea soup and let it clog my pores and gouge out my eyes and fill the crevices with gray nothingness,
I know my enemy, and invading his space can keep him at bay for a while, though the fog will always subside, and then he will attack from the flanks, the brilliant little Napolean that he is.
Franklin Roosevelt sold Amercians on fear and filled his war chest and sent our grandfathers off to Europe and the South Pacific to fight a rising evil.
It’s a quaint story. And we’re a nostalgic race.
But fear is quite a thing and should not be used lightly for things like starting wars.
Roosevelt was wrong, of course. Fear is not the only thing we have to fear. No, there are many other things to fear, because fear, in and of itself, is so multifaceted. But if you’re going to convince a nation’s young mens’ mothers’ that their sons should die for something, then fear is a delightfully abstract concept when wielded by powerful men.
Coffee can keep fear away, coffee and a mind filled with other thoughts to crowd it out.
But fear is a bully to other thoughts.
Exhaustion is a two-way street. One way leads to paralyzingly fear, the other leads to mindless bliss.
There are no street signs. No apps to tell you you’re going the wrong way in a slightly pretentious computerized voice.
And so you play the chicken crossing the road, standing at the center line of your life waiting for the cars to speed by you.
Beauty keeps fear away. The way it bleeds all over everything in bright sunlight.
Even high places falling away to nothingness are beautiful from behind the protective ropes and warning signs. Your fear of heights assuaged by these liability releases.
A mountain in the distance or the ocean’s incessant wail upon hapless shores can serve as meditative mind filler. Crowding out fear with spatial cognition, sound, salt, power, majesty and perspective.
She can erase fear like laundry stains. When it comes crowding on you like so much ketchup on white clothing, she takes it away somewhere and magically disappears it like it never was.
Nuzzled against the back of her neck in bed on cold days when she lets you; breathe the tonic of her smell and feel slightly faint of heart but no trace of fear.
The anger in her eyes can do it too.
The whole hell hath no fury bit is overplayed but not entirely untrue. With a look, she’ll make you forget who you are, forget where you came from, forget the purpose of life.
But like a bore tide, it comes racing in along the fjord of your soul and drowns you while you look up at the beauty that recedes into the murky green and faltering light into the pressure, the heaviness of a body of water compressing the blood and gases inside you into chemicals that no longer keep you alive but in to pathogens hellbent on your destruction.
This is where you choose your own adventure.
Down here in the pressure. Down where it’s deeper and darker than anything you’ve ever experienced before.
This is the wrestling floor with no spectators, the arena with no audience, the collaseum with no crowd. Just you and your specially selected mind fuck going toe to toe for so many rounds you’ve lost count.
And when you emerge between rounds, freshly showered and shaved, because this is like no other sport in the world, the rules say you must look and act like everyone else, but you do it not to follow the rules but because fear imprints this message on the gray matter of your brain.
Your battle is not public knowledge. Your fight can have no spectators. It is your own little private hell, and you must keep it that way.
We all know what the first rule of Fight Club is.
So you emerge from the fighting pits blood stained and weary but clear headed for the time being. You cover the wounds with words like a salve. Like a battered woman covers her bruises the world cannot see, because the world does not understand her fight.
You emerge into sunlight, relentless and purifying sunlight. It burns away the sea water in your lungs, turning the putrid dank into steam that floats into the back of your throat where it forces you to cough it out and you finish crossing the road where you stick your thumb out into the open space looking for fellow travelers going whichever direction seems best today.
Here’s to the storytellers still weaving their tales. To the broken but not defeated. To the fighters who haven’t figured out how to quit. To the partners who don’t understand but who stay anyway.
To unfinished stories;