Wednesday, January 9, 2013

To Live in Fear

Giorgio De Chirico -
Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it. 
That's what it is to be a slave. 

Rutger Hauer - Blade Runner  

If you type "Dear" on your cell phone, the T9 will immediately and automatically translate it as "Fear".
A momentary mental lapse or an inaccurate proofreading will add a sinister hue to the text to your beloved.

We all live in Fear.
Fear stands by, lurking, sometimes unexpected, catching us unawares, whenever we deal with the unknown, with the dark, the void; feelings are unknown. Unknown and unpredictable are the twists and changes that feelings are subjected to. These transcend promises cast in steel and sealed with fire. Only blind faith is safe from Fear, and blind faith is rare, thank goodness. 

It wakes you up at night, Fear, but it won't make you scream and sweat; it's subtle, stealth: it keeps you awake, Fear, and blends with the night lights from the window. It creaks through the wooden floor as you sleep and is quiet, discreet. Silent.

It is the awareness, sometimes a paradoxically unconscious one, that you might lose what you have, fail all attempts, and face your fate alone. It is the realization that once things change, they cannot go back to what they were and that time is the most inexorable of enemies.
Fear is indeed to be a slave. It subsides once you resign, but that doesn't make you less of a slave.
It is knowing that we have little control over what is important to us.

The suicidal determination of Vangelis's music, here from the soundtrack to Blade Runner, best depicts my idea of fear.

I fear losing the beautiful things I have.

What is your greatest fear?



  1. As a Psych major I have gotten very good at using defense mechanisms to block out everyday fears, but I have a terrible fear of roller coasters. Does that count?

  2. Alex,
    It is indeed.

    No, fear of roller coasters doesn't count; you only have not to get on a roller coaster. Doesn't real fear involve what is dearest to you, what you cannot help dealing with and struggling against?

    1. True. Those are the very things that I try to push away and not think about. Unhealthy maybe, but it works.

  3. Hi Jay,
    I don't really think "fear is to be a slave". I think is a temporary feelings any live being feels. You could be a slave to fear if it becomes part of you. A lot of mental patients, especially schizophrenics can be slave to fear, but in the end they're slaves to their mental illness not fear itself. We humans are generally afraid of the unknown. We elaborate stories or lies to rid of the fear, thus, it's a temporary feeling. My biggest fear is to lose my mind. I don't want to get dementia or Alzheimer's. Now that's terrifying!

    1. I agree, Claudia. I actually find sometimes that I can use my fears to push me toward achieving my goals. I suppose it depends on how one uses fear, or as you say, if it becomes a part of you.

  4. Claudia,
    It's true, we often elaborate stories to keep ourselves away from it, but sometimes it's just not possible. Sometimes we just can't tell ourselves stories anymore.
    If I lose my mind, I hope to have a friend like Chief in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".

    Yes, we all fear losing our children.

  5. I used to suffer from angoraphobia, which lead to panic attacks I'd experience daily. I know what it is to live with fear-- and I also know what it is to conquer it. I feel as though that experience has made me stronger.

    I still have many fears, mainly of the irrational sort. Losing my loved ones is probably the biggest, most rational one.

  6. I love the way you put words together, Jay. It's so lovely! But with fear? Well, I have different categories of course. Fear for family is first---but then there's personal fear. Fear of not succeeding, fear of not being able to stretch myself far enough, etc. Oh, I could go on, LOL!

  7. Hmmm... I have to agree that everywhere we turn in this world Fear is there, waiting for us. It doesn't look us straight in the eye ~ instead it lurks, looms, and creeps behind us. Which makes me think... I don't usually spend time with creepy things so why would I want to hang out with Fear.

    I like the company of Gratitude so much better. It brightens my days and helps me feel not so alone in this world. I think Gratitude is something you befriend over time. It finds it's way into your life after you've been down on your knees so many times you can't imagine getting back up again - and yet you do. Having all of your dreams ripped away from you - and yet finding new ones to cherish. Loosing all hope (truly our greatest treasure) - only to regain it in a new way. Yes, Gratitude is a true friend indeed.

    Fear will always be there, like an insidious monster under the bed, but we can choose to spend time with other company, and that's the best part.
    So what's my greatest fear? It would be not having that choice ~ now that's a scary thought.

  8. I am mostly afraid of not living fully, of missing vital chances, because of being afraid—afraid to take risks.

    I also fear for the planet, which is being squandered every day.

  9. Raquel,
    Agoraphobia must be some pain.
    I fear losing my dear ones too.

    Maybe it's all in the breathing, at least for certain fears. I also fear I'll end up being nobody. Then I breathe deeply, and I don't give a, well, anymore.

    Gratitude to fight Fear back; well, we all have our ways I guess. What if we stop fighting our fears back instead and plunge right into them? What happens then? What happens?

    Our planet is a dead planet spinning. I've given up hoping things changed although I do my best to keep it a decent place.

  10. Powerful post Jay! And one I can so relate to. Lately I have felt paralyzed by fear. It can be so very crippling if we let it. It is a daily battle I wage.

    I have faced a huge fear, when I became a widow, my greatest loss. However life after cancer is and has been over the past 11 years is full of fear. It is something I was not prepared for. That ugly disease finding me again is my greatest fear.

    And that quote is exactly how I feel sometimes. Like a slave!