My eyes are often open, but it is rare that they see.
This morning, I saw fear. I thought I didn’t know fear, that I somehow lived bravely. The outcomes in my experience weren’t consistent with that analysis, but I brushed it off. I’m not afraid, it was just that simple.
But maybe I couldn’t see my fear because I was swimming in it. I’ve been floating through life, suspended in a scared world, held up and held back by what I thought I didn’t want.
I have rejected even the acknowledgement of my own desires because I was afraid they could never be fulfilled. I haven’t tried, or even admitted I wanted to.
But I want to live with integrity now. I want to be honest about and with myself.
So I’ll share a dream of mine with you, one that I’ve held for decades now, since I was a child.
As a young girl, my world was filled with books. Like Borges, my heaven was a library (and it still is). When people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I knew immediately: I wanted to be a writer.
I’ve pretended for years now that I don’t want that! Maybe it was right for others, but definitely not for me. Come on, didn’t I pretend I was an “epistemological nihilist”? What right I did I have to buy someone’s attention with counterfeit bills of “knowledge”?
Maybe there’s something to those ideas, I really don’t know. But I recognize today that the real reason was not disinterest, but fear.
And I’m still afraid, but I’m going to turn around and walk toward it.
Maybe I still don’t believe I have any Truth worth telling. But I would like to offer you a map, instead, a phenomenology of the territory inside I believe is my soul.
As I dream, images arise: a guiding star, a loving mirror, a bell that awakens. Objects of beauty and agents of change, I will keep you in mind with this first step forward.