Fear would keep the squirrel from going to the feeder. “Bigger squirrels may run me off. People hurt squirrels. A cat lives here. It’s not the food I’m used to.”
Fear would have me frozen. “Be safe,” it says. “I’ve kept you in one piece so far.”
Fear points out failures, losers. “Look what happened when they tried. Look what happened when you tried.”
Fear holds back. Love, kindness, compassion.
Fear is a blanket full of holes.
Fear is cold soup.
Fear is a lumpy mattress swathed in silk sheets.
Fear is a broken umbrella.
Fear is an enemy with a friendly voice.
Fear is the sweet smell of ketoacidosis.
Fear is an invisible undertow with no warning sign.
Fear would keep the canary from singing. “Your cagemate sings sweeter. They may like your singing better, and your cagemate will be sad. All the singing in the world won’t open that cage door.”
Fear is a cork in a bottle of botulinum toxin. A toxin that grows anaerobically until the vessel explodes.
Fear would keep sailors on the shore. Or on the ship. Either way, it wins.
Fear keeps lovers from loving and haters hating.
Fear is a formless black cloud on a sunny day.
Fear is a cold sun.
Fear is never satisfied. Feeding and growing, it moves and consumes. Fear is curtailed only by hope and courage.
But it’s never gone. It lays in wait. Never dead. Always waiting for the light of hope and the warmth of courage to retreat, to rest. Then it will raise itself up with spindly fingers to reclaim what it has lost.
Fear would keep the humpback whale from breeching. “You are too big, too clumsy. How foolish. What a spectacle.”
Fear would keep the tortoise from burying her eggs in the sand. “Only three of 100s will make it”, Fear whispers. “Why bother? They are doomed. You are doomed.”
Fear would stop the Monarch from migrating. “Birds, bats, storms. You’ll never make it. Consider all that have perished in the attempt.”
Fear would freeze me. “Look at the failure around you. Who are you? What are you? What you have is enough.”
Fear is in our friends, our enemies, our hearts, our minds, our selves. Our DNA.
Stare into its red eyes glowing with false compassion and real hunger.
Say these words – I hope. I can. I will.
Fear will slink into the shadows. Ever waiting, ever watching.
Fear would keep the fir tree from reaching to the sun. “You’ll never reach it. No matter how old and thick you become. The wind may break you. Lightning hits the tallest trees. Birds and squirrels will use you. Woodpeckers will break your bark, break through your skin. And when you fall you will become home to bugs and rodents. Until you crumble back into the dust of the earth. It’s not worth it. Stay small.”
But the fir tree answers. “Then I will reach and grow and fall and be a sustainer of life. All who live will depend on me. I will be the earth. And the earth does not fear.”
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