Saturday, September 1, 2012


You can stare at the shapes for days and days and it will never make any sense until the night time, when the monsters appear from the the sponge painted brown blobs that inhabit your thoughts and fears. When you're a kid, light and dark are everything. The noises heard in the day time go completely unnoticed until the sun sets and falls and the same sounds ring violence and terror from the basement into the hearts of little kids all over the world.

Fear is universal, so I guess it should be respected. Old wooden things creak and crumble in the night in China, just like in our own homes. People always fear what they cannot see. They fear the dark because nothing can be seen in front of them. They fear the unknown because the unknown has been known to cause great harm to us. Fear is both a motivator and a killer of potential. It can be used to overcome and to be overcome.

Fear is easy to overcome in theory, but in life practice, we find a beast that cannot and will not be tamed. A couple of weeks ago, I was on a high ropes course. I have always known about my fear of unstable heights, so I was a little reluctant to go up there in the first place, but if my kid, who is afraid of so many things can do it, so can I. I got to the first level, which is about 50 feet in the air and begun my walk across a very bendy 2x4 plank hanging over what I imagined were hungry sharks and a pool full of razors and black widow spiders. I got to the middle and froze with fear...paralyzed. I was connected to a steel ring which was attached to a steel pulley which was attached to a tweed rope? Really? This little rope. Ropes scream when you put weight on them. I couldn't move for a moment, until I saw my son two levels above me (about 150 feet up) walking across the same 2x4 without even holding the rope like it was the sidewalk. I then took a breath and walked across and made myself finish the course. I tell this story because I think fear has always meant to be a test that you should really try to pass. Some fear is good obviously, because if you don't respect death, you will get yourself killed acting a fool. But the things we fear in life can be very temporary and meaningless. Sometimes, we have to take a deep breath and walk across that rope despite your heart stopping desire to be somewhere or someone else.

One foot in front of the other until you forget the sequence and are just rhythmically moving forward.


Thanks for reading...Z