What to be afraid of or by…

hush-hush-sweet-charlotte-bette-davisSome things I’m frightened of, other things I’ve been frightened by; the difference is subtle, but important. Frightened by is an actual experience – something real that happened, an event, an accident. Frightened of is more of a phobia or irrational fear; it hasn’t happened but I still don’t want to have it happen.

I think I’m afraid of being frightened by being frightened of anything. That’ll do for now…

Knowing and Spiders and Snakes

Of all the things to be frightened by – spiders and snakes,
the dark, those higher than high heights, and what’s
under the bed at night to a child or the dark of a closet,
and spiders and snakes, I’ve learned of two which I fear
and will never be anything but: the fear of missing out
is the first – it even has an acronym: FOMO, but that
doesn’t make it 
less fearful; it’s still the paranoia of an
ideal life which 
must be out there and I’m missing it,
always missing it, 
the greener grass, the rose-colored glasses
ruining life; the second is the double unknown – not knowing
what I don’t know – is worse than can be imagined;
some will think it’s what the oracle of Delphi said
about Socrates being the wisest of Greeks, just because
he knew he didn’t know everything, but he knew
and he was confident enough to die, not me; Socrates
said he knew nothing, I wish to know what cannot be known
and therefore I’ll never be ready to die, 
never happy to sleep,
never unafraid enough to 
enjoy being frightened
by spiders and snakes.

 

Object Permanence

Imagine the memories of pain and hurt,
discomfort, disappointment and sorrow
didn’t just dissolve as they tend to, but
were stored-up, like a single collection
which stayed with you – a pool of tears,
embarrassments, losses, frustrations
and fears teaming with every dread,
every haunt of what has ever happened
and harmed the hope of comfort and
confidence that all’s well with the world
or at least tolerable; sure, some do
linger but the sting eases away somehow
and recollections fade, or else the
assemblage of broken bones, cuts
and bruises, stubbed toes and loves
lost would crush you, as poverty ruins
through an abundance of nothing;
there’d be no hauntless nights, not a
single pleasant day, courage would be
ridiculed and driven to despair by the
burden of history repeating itself
because our crimes against humanity
are as simple as living through it all;
so consider it a mercy to lack a sense
of permanence like an infant puzzled
by an object hidden, taunted with the
Where did it go? game we all play
and bless the benevolent omneity for
the freedom to forget, if not forgive.

 

 

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