at the risk of seeming ridiculous…


Posted in written thoughts by Charles on October 5, 2010

i go through each day fearful of many things.  it can be something as basic as making eye contact with the fellow pedestrian.  it can be as complex as having to determine the next 10 years of my life… in one given moment (the absurdity of such a task is even more telling as i type).  fear, of course, rests on a continuum.  or perhaps even more deeply, fear itself is a continuum.  if one lives with such a belief that one state of being rests in relation to another… that one feeling interweaves with another… then we have a hard task in examining fear.  fear of what?  fear about what.. whom?

we live life in widening circles, don’t we?  circles because life seems to return to certain seasons.  that one promise, one problem, one notion is often returned to, whether sooner or later.  and widening because i wish to live life with a peculiar hope of expansion, of growth, of warmth.  yes, the very same kind of warmth that causes molecular structures to slowly let go of one another.  the kind of warmth that calms, soothes an environment… that allows free movement of that which was held so tightly.  or to be simple, the warmth of a hug… that evolves into another.. onto another.. unto another.

but already, something cascades within myself.  something that soars with elation.. into the depths of constraint.  it’s that thing we feel the moment we realize we want something.  it’s that barrier that surrounds desire.  the fear?  fear of grasping that which i desire?  fear of clasping that which amazes?  yes, fear.  the fear that lies self-imposed.

why are we so afraid?  why do we fear what we do not know?  what we cannot foresee?  and yes… what we create ourselves: illusions.

we have good reasons.  i have good reasons.  i have been hurt.  you have been hurt.  i have failed.  and you have failed.  and yes, to protect ourselves, we create what we imagine so that we won’t have to get close again.

i often have these moments when i play music.  there are moments where i feel that i am standing before a cliff.  the descent is endless.  i cannot see the end, nor see safety.  these moments always rest at a crux: they make demands.  they ask you to let go and follow.  they ask you to trust.  and they ask you to jump.  what you don’t know, of course, is just where it’ll lead you.  you don’t know what memories might be invoked.  you don’t know what emotions will rise.  and you don’t know what you may have to be honest about.  there are angels and demons within… and you don’t know which ones will be called.  such is the nature of human authenticity.  but there is also that hope isn’t there?  there is that lovely whisper that helps you believe… helps you foresee that with such a plunge, there is ascent.  that with a jump, you can fly.  the fall: a precursor to the rise.

ah but yes, i’m not really talking about music am i?  i’m talking about life.  that precious, fragile thing that all structures and expressions of existence rush from.  that feeling in your chest that tells you that you’re alive.  the reminder that you are breathing.. sensing.

why do we fear?  why do we stop when we haven’t even taken a step?  why… why do we believe our own illusions?

uncertainty.  isn’t it?

we fear what we do not know.  we fear what we haven’t felt.  we fear what we haven’t contained.  as kids, we didn’t really have a choice since everything was new.  wonder was the default state of being.  but as adults, we’ve replaced that with our own versions of life… some more visionary, most self-contained.  we’ve lost our ability to gaze.  to see beyond and into the possible.  to become what’s possible.  to be free.  to be human.

these moments are battlefields.  it is a war between what always has been and what could be.  the choice is whether we want what we don’t know.  whether we want what we cannot perceive.  and there is fear there.  of course.  in the pursuit of the wonders of science, we’ve intensified our capability of ending our existence.  with the journey into the soul, we magnify the potential of losing ourselves.  risk.  most definitely.

but is not the other end.. possible?  is not love available?  is not wonder on the fringe?

as much as we fear, can we not also love?

as much as we dread, can we not also hope?

yes, this is our juncture… this is our everyday moment.  this is our quotidian ledge from which we can choose to gaze into the face of our brothers and sisters, to act with warmth towards those who have known cold, to think with diligence in intensifying our care and our expressions.  i am, quite simply, talking about the ordinary.  that very simple question: how then shall we live?



4 Responses

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  1. pen said, on October 5, 2010 at 15:03

    i needed this. thanks.

  2. Scalia said, on October 5, 2010 at 18:07

    fear is the original sin.

  3. sahrasaurus said, on October 18, 2010 at 01:44

    people fear the unknown, like aliens and rustling leaves in the dark. also like our own potential, because we’ve yet to see everything we can accomplish. they say seeing is believing, yet sometimes we have to believe before we can see.

    thanks for the post chucky!

    • chuckim said, on October 18, 2010 at 19:01

      i feel ya. we need vision, not just a stare.

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