Monday, April 15, 2013

Thank you, Mrs. Roosevelt

"What are you?" I rasped.
It smiled. 
"Whatever scares you."
                                                       -- Kim Harrison, Dead Witch Walking

Magazine face with eyes and a lizard 4-15-13

 "I must not fear. 
Fear is the mind-killer. 
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. 
I will face my fear. 
I will permit it to pass over me and through me. 
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. 
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. 
Only I will remain."
                                                                       -- Frank Herbert, Dune

Magazine face (2) with eyes and a lizard 4-15-13

Eleanor Roosevelt famously once said: "Do one thing every day that scares you." 
She was basically saying "face your fear," but with an important twist.
Notice that Mrs. Roosevelt didn't say, "Look at one thing that scares you." 
Because you can look all damn day at something you fear. But fear doesn't blink. It just looks back. Like those staring contests when you were a kid. Eyes wide open, watering. Waiting for the other guy to blink first. Trying like heck not to. But that's just a standoff, really, a deadlock where nobody ever emerges a clear winner. And if someone wins, who really cares? What do you get? Dry eyes, that's all.

Mrs. Roosevelt also didn't say, "Talk about one thing that scares you."
Because you can talk all damn day about what scares you. Blah, blah, blah-dee, blah. Fear just gets off on the attention.

That's why the girl in today's face is speechless. There's a void where her mouth should be. Cuz that lizard is in no mood for chit chat. And nothing she could say will make it go away anyway.
Because fear doesn't discuss.
Fear doesn't "dialogue."
Fear doesn't  give-and-take.
Fear just takes.
Fear takes a lot.
Fear takes a lot of time.
Fear takes a lot of energy.

Mrs. Roosevelt said "Do."
She said "Do one thing every day that scares you." Because doing something is powerful.
Once you look at something, it's looked at.
Once you talk about something, it's talked about.
But once you do something, it's done
It's done, even if the doing simply means waiting for the fear to pass -- to skitter away on it's little lizard feet and go stalk someone else.

I'm not going to list my fears here because:
A: The list is too long, and 
2: Listing them won't make my fears go away. They'll just be all like, "Hey! Check it out! We're on a list!" Like they got their damn name in the paper pr something. I don't want to give them the satisfaction.

But I will say that doing this blog every day scares me. It scares me because it bumps up so hard against so many of the fears that are on my list. 
And that's exactly why I do it.
Every day.
Because it scares me.
Every day.
This project, these faces -- this is how I "do" something about my fears.
Every day.

Thank you, Mrs. Roosevelt.