Fear is worse for you than cigarettes. It is worse for you than a daily diet of fast food. It is worse, even, than the mainstream media and the ghastly spectre of celebrity.
Fear is the opposite of soul. It is anti-soul. It sucks you of all your power, tells you don’t know, can’t do, shouldn’t bother. It whispers the little deaths of jealously and deceit into existence, tells you that you have been offended, that your goodness is being taken advantage of, that you only have so much of it to go around.
Fear tells you there is time, that one day you will be great, or that you didn’t try because you had so much on your plate. It arrives in moments of silence, as soon as a group goes quiet, saying you should speak up or risk facing the reality that you can never know what’s on another’s mind. And it tells you that what those others may be thinking eclipses what you feel inside, that your breath needs to quicken and your palms need to sweat before simply speaking in front of a number of them. It is the voice that tells you that one mistake is a worse fate than one success.
Fear wants you to look aside, away from the people you find occupying the forefront of your vision, and climb to the vistas that exist beyond the horizon, where the finest wine is always but a matter of time, sure to be served if only you follow your earthly desires in the direction of the succulent scent it’s emitting.
Fear puts lines at the corner of your mouth and furrows your brow. It discolours the hair on your head before it’s time, popping your belly over your belt line and then telling you that you should really put aside some time to slow down and exercise. It tells you that this is all that others see, as if you yourself were seeing anything more in them.
Fear is your best friend, your kindest companion, the mother that tucks you in at night and kisses your forehead. It gives you hope, that greatest of weaknesses, and it does so in the name of strength. What have you learned? What have you sought? What did they teach you in school today?
How all structures are made safely. How earthquakes take place. How the grave awaits.