Thinking About Fear

Fear was a poem written by Kahlil Gibran and published in 1923 in his widely acclaimed book The Prophet. One of my WordPress ‘friends/followers’ recently posted it as inspiration. Well, Gibran got it wrong. But, don’t get me wrong – I loved Gibran’s book of poems. It was all the rage back in the day. However, he was both wrong and right, Okay? Because writing is thinking. And I think I’m afraid.

Analogy and Metaphor

almost always fall short. Because, well, that which is now never existed before. Because things change. Or rather some things do and some things don’t. Let’s get into it.

The Bridge

How many people have stood on a bridge and thought of falling. Only to be restrained by fear?
Bridge over troubled water

One Year Later

I’m moving again. For five years back from now (2011, March) I have moved – meaning packed up my possessions and relocated to another place – every year. The four prior moves were to escape. The pain of the proximity of Sunshine. I couldn’t bear to be close to, and watch, as she engaged with that man. A man I thought would harm her. In other words, I couldn’t stand it – where I was in time and space.

How ironic. I was running away and I knew it. But I was powerless. The nerves in my heart had been pinched. Strangely, Sunshine would always help me move. She was, after all, my best friend and I hers.

She hadn’t changed. I moved because I hadn’t seen her in seven months and was far enough away that we couldn’t have one of those weird Law Of Attraction meet-ups. I wasn’t moving far. Less than a mile, but I felt I needed a change of space.

Rearranging the furniture wasn’t enough.

The View

I now have is of majestic Longs Peak, 14,259 feet above sea level. It’s a good distraction. As is the boulevard sixty yards west with its relentless roar of rubber on the road. Which, by the way, doesn’t sound like the ocean, or a river. In addition there was the sunshine. And sunsets. The beauty was too much.

My Thinking

was: If I move to a smaller apartment, sheltered and shielded from the sights and sounds that distracted me from my memories of Sunshine – with large Ponderosa pines and its odd cant from the compass points … and if I unplugged the TV and internet … maybe I could forget about her? Moreover, write more.


was part of my thinking, too. I was thirty days into not drinking. Absent a sober mind, who knows if I would have thought what I did?

This wasn’t the first time I’d used that technique. Twenty-four years before I did the same. Again, of course, the impetus was a woman. It didn’t work then, but nevertheless, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not done what I did.

Had I not: I never would have met Sunshine. And then never had the most fun I’ve ever had. I might have died. I might have jumped. However, if not for Bobbie (my therapist) I might have killed myself years before that. So there is that.

Water Under the Bridge

is what it is. Of course, water under the bridge keeps on moving. In fact, it flows, all the way to the ocean. (Notwithstanding some detours forced upon it by people.) However, it will, eventually, find its way to the ocean. Wherein it is warmed by the sun and rises up into the sky. Therein it rides clouds and flies fast, or drifts slowly, toward the land. Once over land it might bump into something, like a mountain; or swing down or around  and come at the range from the other side. Either of which causes the moisture to rain down. As water, sleet, or ice.

Once the water lands it begins the journey again. Just as before – maybe in the same place! Hence it might flow under the same bridge. Just as before.

And there I stand – thinking. Only fear is holding me back.

How can you say with any certainly that what goes around comes around. Or, have we all been here before?


we start all over agin. Except that we don’t.

[Abridged from Overcast: The Unauthorized Biography of Sunshine Rodriguez. (2014)


4 thoughts on “Thinking About Fear

  1. Fear is a survival mechanism, as is “common sense”. However both are subject to processing in that black box of the mind. Most of the time. Sometimes you just react without thinking. Also a survival mechanism. Like ducking when an object comes at you unexpectedly.
    Fear can save your life, and change it (my point); but also inhibit joy, pleasure, success, etc. (Gibran’s point?)
    Seeing Gibran’s poem reminded me that I’d once given that subject (river water flowing toward the sea) a good deal of thought. The water really has no say, or choice in the matter. Poetic license I suppose.

    1. Gibran’s poem just reminded me of what I had thought, and wrote, about fear, and water flowing to the sea. [My novel is unavailable at present.] However, YES fear seems to be the dominant emotion now. Because of COVID and how certain people used fear to frightened people into obedience. I guess there is nothing new in that.

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