Oddments

In search of story


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The balloon

Yesterday I wrote about my history with dogs. My fear of dogs bubbles up when any dog is unleashed and near me; that is true. However, writing about my fear of dogs yesterday was a way of keeping a lid on all the other fears that are bubbling up.

I try to control the power of those fears by writing about part of it, like letting the air out of the balloon a little at a time instead of letting it go and watching it tear through the air in mad random loops until it falls, limp and useless. I hold tight to that opening. I will not let that balloon — me — fly off in mad random loops.

My stomach and head join with stomachs and heads everywhere today. Nausea, insomnia, gut pain, jagged breathing, weariness of body and soul — they are etched in faces and sculpted in postures. Grieving and bleeding bend us. Fear swaddles the globe.

Then there are our private fears, yours and mine. Some are constant, some change with living. They wrap us in our own personal swaddling.

And fears beget anger. God knows it is a time for anger. Anger, not violence. Constructive, articulate anger. Where will it come from and who will shape it?

I find myself on the verge of tears. I am shaken by what I read and see, and I’m shaking with a sense of helplessness. So I write about my fear of dogs. I keep the tight grip on that balloon. Still, little by little, I’m letting the air out.