Last Updated On September 4, 2014

 

Brave

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I’m afraid all the time. Don’t get me wrong. I love the world. I think it’s an amazing, beautiful place. I have love and laughter and comfort in abundant amounts. I think people are basically good. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than this universe at this little tiny moment in time. But the fear is always there. I’ve fought that fight as long as I can remember. I know that fear is the mind killer. I know that the only thing to fear is fear itself. I know that being afraid can narrow my world and keep me from tasting joy. I know that I’m just being silly. ”Look at those people. They do the things you fear without a second thought. They’re fine. Nothing bad happens to them. Why can’t you do that too?” The problem is that for me, the answer to “Do you feel safe?” is almost always “No”.

I’m sitting alone. There are quite a few people here but we’re each unassailably alone. This waiting room probably looked beautiful in the architectural drawings. There is light and airiness. The chairs are in discrete little groupings of 2 and 3. The colors are muted but not institutional. The artwork is abstractly beautiful. We claim our chairs and we wait. We cross and uncross our legs and stand upright and we smile. We ask each other simple questions. “Do you know where the restroom is?” “Why does every waiting room have the same magazines?” “Do you know what time it is?” We all watch the clock. We pretend to read the magazines. Some have brought books. One lady is knitting. We pace while pretending to be looking out the window or getting another magazine or trying to get a cup of coffee.

There is a coffee machine here in the waiting area but its controls are incomprehensible. There are racks of drinks with tempting names: Peaceful Sunrise, Breakfast in Bed, Wild Mountain Blueberry. We are all adults. We are cold with tension. We need something to do to pass the time. We should be able to make ourselves a cup of something hot but we can’t figure out what to do. I read the instructions over and over. It has become my one purpose on earth to get a cup of coffee out of this machine. I will not let this machine make me a failure. I manage to produce a cup of Toasted Amaretto. The other women notice. They cluster around me and I reproduce the magic again and again. I take orders and dispense warmth in paper cups. It’s a five minute party in this waiting room where we don’t know each others’ names. We don’t share our stories. It isn’t a time for sharing.

A nurse comes in and calls out a name. A woman steps forward. We all pretend not to listen. “Your husband hasn’t been taken into the OR yet. His surgeon was delayed.” “But I said goodbye to him 6 hours ago! I thought he would be done by now.” she hugs her red sweater tighter around her, buttoning and unbuttoning the top button. “Can I stay with him while he waits?” “No, he’s sedated. We will let you know when his surgeon starts the operation.” Her coffee is forgotten now. We drift back to the seats we’ve claimed. We look down at magazines. We watch the clock.

The day wears on. Names are called. There is no hiding. I’m standing and following the shoes. Usually I smile at people but today I can only see shoes. They are quiet shoes, shoes with a job to be done. I follow the shoes and sit in the room. Blue vinyl chairs and tissues. This room has real tissues. It’s not the standard industrial grade green and white box with the badly torn opening. These are the kind of tissues with lotion in them and flowers on the box. They are the kind you need when the crying is real.

The surgeon is there. I see that across his forehead someone has written with a bold black marker “I hate this part of my job.” I think the words are probably in my imagination but I can’t look away from them. He maybe tries to shake my hand. I am not going to touch him until he tells me what I need to know. I watch his shoes while his voice pours words that walk across the floor in subtitle. “Things went very well… Heart stopped for a little over 6 hours… ICU at the moment.” I think I am reading too slowly to catch it all. I want to rewind. The shoes stand up. I shake hands this time. The other shoes are waiting to take me back to where I started. I am grateful to not be lost. I call people. I think I sound fine. The lady in the red sweater doesn’t look at me when I leave.

I go up to the ICU. I can’t remember how to turn off my cell phone. I break it open and take out the battery. I walk past other people’s stories. He is there and I watch his eyes. He smiles around his tubes. I hold his hand.

I’m afraid all the time. That’s just what being here is for me. But things are different now. I don’t expect to not be afraid. I don’t fight the fear. I don’t reason with it. I’m rarely embarrassed by it. It’s a part of me like freckles and flat feet. I am afraid and I do things anyway. I ride Rockin’ Roller Coaster and by the 5th time I open my eyes. I cross the Golden Gate Bridge on the top of a double decker bus four times and I only cry once. I get massages, massages where I have to get undressed, massages in a big room full of people. I eat fish, even the weird kinds. I tell the truth to the best of my ability. I go on the Tower of Terror and even though I hate it I will not say no if asked to do it again. I write things and I let people read them. It may not sound like much. I don’t run with the bulls in Pamplona. I’m not a correspondent in a war zone. I don’t climb K2.

I’m not brave. But I don’t let that stop me.
© Pamela Willett

Find out more about Pamela here: http://www.illuminousflux.com/?page_id=76

 

Last Updated On September 4, 2014

 

Brave

 

I’m afraid all the time. Don’t get me wrong. I love the world. I think it’s an amazing, beautiful place. I have love and laughter and comfort in abundant amounts. I think people are basically good. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than this universe at this little tiny moment in time. But the fear is always there. I’ve fought that fight as long as I can remember. I know that fear is the mind killer. I know that the only thing to fear is fear itself. I know that being afraid can narrow my world and keep me from tasting joy. I know that I’m just being silly. ”Look at those people. They do the things you fear without a second thought. They’re fine. Nothing bad happens to them. Why can’t you do that too?” The problem is that for me, the answer to “Do you feel safe?” is almost always “No”.

I’m sitting alone. There are quite a few people here but we’re each unassailably alone. This waiting room probably looked beautiful in the architectural drawings. There is light and airiness. The chairs are in discrete little groupings of 2 and 3. The colors are muted but not institutional. The artwork is abstractly beautiful. We claim our chairs and we wait. We cross and uncross our legs and stand upright and we smile. We ask each other simple questions. “Do you know where the restroom is?” “Why does every waiting room have the same magazines?” “Do you know what time it is?” We all watch the clock. We pretend to read the magazines. Some have brought books. One lady is knitting. We pace while pretending to be looking out the window or getting another magazine or trying to get a cup of coffee.

There is a coffee machine here in the waiting area but its controls are incomprehensible. There are racks of drinks with tempting names: Peaceful Sunrise, Breakfast in Bed, Wild Mountain Blueberry. We are all adults. We are cold with tension. We need something to do to pass the time. We should be able to make ourselves a cup of something hot but we can’t figure out what to do. I read the instructions over and over. It has become my one purpose on earth to get a cup of coffee out of this machine. I will not let this machine make me a failure. I manage to produce a cup of Toasted Amaretto. The other women notice. They cluster around me and I reproduce the magic again and again. I take orders and dispense warmth in paper cups. It’s a five minute party in this waiting room where we don’t know each others’ names. We don’t share our stories. It isn’t a time for sharing.

A nurse comes in and calls out a name. A woman steps forward. We all pretend not to listen. “Your husband hasn’t been taken into the OR yet. His surgeon was delayed.” “But I said goodbye to him 6 hours ago! I thought he would be done by now.” she hugs her red sweater tighter around her, buttoning and unbuttoning the top button. “Can I stay with him while he waits?” “No, he’s sedated. We will let you know when his surgeon starts the operation.” Her coffee is forgotten now. We drift back to the seats we’ve claimed. We look down at magazines. We watch the clock.

The day wears on. Names are called. There is no hiding. I’m standing and following the shoes. Usually I smile at people but today I can only see shoes. They are quiet shoes, shoes with a job to be done. I follow the shoes and sit in the room. Blue vinyl chairs and tissues. This room has real tissues. It’s not the standard industrial grade green and white box with the badly torn opening. These are the kind of tissues with lotion in them and flowers on the box. They are the kind you need when the crying is real.

The surgeon is there. I see that across his forehead someone has written with a bold black marker “I hate this part of my job.” I think the words are probably in my imagination but I can’t look away from them. He maybe tries to shake my hand. I am not going to touch him until he tells me what I need to know. I watch his shoes while his voice pours words that walk across the floor in subtitle. “Things went very well… Heart stopped for a little over 6 hours… ICU at the moment.” I think I am reading too slowly to catch it all. I want to rewind. The shoes stand up. I shake hands this time. The other shoes are waiting to take me back to where I started. I am grateful to not be lost. I call people. I think I sound fine. The lady in the red sweater doesn’t look at me when I leave.

I go up to the ICU. I can’t remember how to turn off my cell phone. I break it open and take out the battery. I walk past other people’s stories. He is there and I watch his eyes. He smiles around his tubes. I hold his hand.

I’m afraid all the time. That’s just what being here is for me. But things are different now. I don’t expect to not be afraid. I don’t fight the fear. I don’t reason with it. I’m rarely embarrassed by it. It’s a part of me like freckles and flat feet. I am afraid and I do things anyway. I ride Rockin’ Roller Coaster and by the 5th time I open my eyes. I cross the Golden Gate Bridge on the top of a double decker bus four times and I only cry once. I get massages, massages where I have to get undressed, massages in a big room full of people. I eat fish, even the weird kinds. I tell the truth to the best of my ability. I go on the Tower of Terror and even though I hate it I will not say no if asked to do it again. I write things and I let people read them. It may not sound like much. I don’t run with the bulls in Pamplona. I’m not a correspondent in a war zone. I don’t climb K2.

I’m not brave. But I don’t let that stop me.
© Pamela Willett

Find out more about Pamela here: http://www.illuminousflux.com/?page_id=76

Last Updated On September 4, 2014

Brave

I’m afraid all the time. Don’t get me wrong. I love the world. I think it’s an amazing, beautiful place. I have love and laughter and comfort in abundant amounts. I think people are basically good. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than this universe at this little tiny moment in time. But the fear is always there. I’ve fought that fight as long as I can remember. I know that fear is the mind killer. I know that the only thing to fear is fear itself. I know that being afraid can narrow my world and keep me from tasting joy. I know that I’m just being silly. ”Look at those people. They do the things you fear without a second thought. They’re fine. Nothing bad happens to them. Why can’t you do that too?” The problem is that for me, the answer to “Do you feel safe?” is almost always “No”.

I’m sitting alone. There are quite a few people here but we’re each unassailably alone. This waiting room probably looked beautiful in the architectural drawings. There is light and airiness. The chairs are in discrete little groupings of 2 and 3. The colors are muted but not institutional. The artwork is abstractly beautiful. We claim our chairs and we wait. We cross and uncross our legs and stand upright and we smile. We ask each other simple questions. “Do you know where the restroom is?” “Why does every waiting room have the same magazines?” “Do you know what time it is?” We all watch the clock. We pretend to read the magazines. Some have brought books. One lady is knitting. We pace while pretending to be looking out the window or getting another magazine or trying to get a cup of coffee.

There is a coffee machine here in the waiting area but its controls are incomprehensible. There are racks of drinks with tempting names: Peaceful Sunrise, Breakfast in Bed, Wild Mountain Blueberry. We are all adults. We are cold with tension. We need something to do to pass the time. We should be able to make ourselves a cup of something hot but we can’t figure out what to do. I read the instructions over and over. It has become my one purpose on earth to get a cup of coffee out of this machine. I will not let this machine make me a failure. I manage to produce a cup of Toasted Amaretto. The other women notice. They cluster around me and I reproduce the magic again and again. I take orders and dispense warmth in paper cups. It’s a five minute party in this waiting room where we don’t know each others’ names. We don’t share our stories. It isn’t a time for sharing.

A nurse comes in and calls out a name. A woman steps forward. We all pretend not to listen. “Your husband hasn’t been taken into the OR yet. His surgeon was delayed.” “But I said goodbye to him 6 hours ago! I thought he would be done by now.” she hugs her red sweater tighter around her, buttoning and unbuttoning the top button. “Can I stay with him while he waits?” “No, he’s sedated. We will let you know when his surgeon starts the operation.” Her coffee is forgotten now. We drift back to the seats we’ve claimed. We look down at magazines. We watch the clock.

The day wears on. Names are called. There is no hiding. I’m standing and following the shoes. Usually I smile at people but today I can only see shoes. They are quiet shoes, shoes with a job to be done. I follow the shoes and sit in the room. Blue vinyl chairs and tissues. This room has real tissues. It’s not the standard industrial grade green and white box with the badly torn opening. These are the kind of tissues with lotion in them and flowers on the box. They are the kind you need when the crying is real.

The surgeon is there. I see that across his forehead someone has written with a bold black marker “I hate this part of my job.” I think the words are probably in my imagination but I can’t look away from them. He maybe tries to shake my hand. I am not going to touch him until he tells me what I need to know. I watch his shoes while his voice pours words that walk across the floor in subtitle. “Things went very well… Heart stopped for a little over 6 hours… ICU at the moment.” I think I am reading too slowly to catch it all. I want to rewind. The shoes stand up. I shake hands this time. The other shoes are waiting to take me back to where I started. I am grateful to not be lost. I call people. I think I sound fine. The lady in the red sweater doesn’t look at me when I leave.

I go up to the ICU. I can’t remember how to turn off my cell phone. I break it open and take out the battery. I walk past other people’s stories. He is there and I watch his eyes. He smiles around his tubes. I hold his hand.

I’m afraid all the time. That’s just what being here is for me. But things are different now. I don’t expect to not be afraid. I don’t fight the fear. I don’t reason with it. I’m rarely embarrassed by it. It’s a part of me like freckles and flat feet. I am afraid and I do things anyway. I ride Rockin’ Roller Coaster and by the 5th time I open my eyes. I cross the Golden Gate Bridge on the top of a double decker bus four times and I only cry once. I get massages, massages where I have to get undressed, massages in a big room full of people. I eat fish, even the weird kinds. I tell the truth to the best of my ability. I go on the Tower of Terror and even though I hate it I will not say no if asked to do it again. I write things and I let people read them. It may not sound like much. I don’t run with the bulls in Pamplona. I’m not a correspondent in a war zone. I don’t climb K2.

I’m not brave. But I don’t let that stop me.
© Pamela Willett

Find out more about Pamela here: http://www.illuminousflux.com/?page_id=76