On Day 377: Free-floating, re-sticking anxiety (The _ Metaphor), I asked my readers for help with a metaphor about fear. In the following day’s post — The Lint Metaphor — I described the help I got in return, for which I am still grateful.
Back then, I used the word anxiety rather than fear. In my mind, those two are closely related.
Are they related closely, in your mind?
I’m already gathering my typical post elements here, including
- referring to past posts I think are relevant or helpful,
- focusing on the title,
- examining language,
- asking questions, in an attempt to engage, and
But what the heck (as my son might say) is today’s post about?
We know this, so far: this post is about (1) fear* and (2) metaphors.
What else is it about? Let’s find out, together, shall we?
I’ll start with this: I considered several different post titles this morning, and this is the one that stuck, like lint.
Moving to today’s metaphor: What does “gathering fear*” remind you of?
Personally, I’m reminded of a gathering storm.
I don’t tend to take pictures of storms, so the above image is my favorite, from the ones Google Images just gathered for me. You may notice I’m not including any attribution or credit for the use of that photo. Here’s why: that photo turned up in several websites without attribution, so … I’m letting go of any gathering fear* about that.
Now I’m wondering: what else gathers (besides fear*, storms and Google Images)?
I know! Groups of people. Such as, WordPress readers and people in therapy groups (two of my favorite types of gathering groups).
But before I focus any more on other things that gather … let’s go back to fear*.
Yes, I need to gather myself, to go back to fear, because I can avoid or hide from fear*.
Speaking of hiding …
Geesh! I’m really going off-topic*** here. Let’s gather this post back in, pronto!
Okay, so what exactly is gathering for me, today, regarding fear*?
I am conscious, right now, of fear* relating to:
- hurting people’s feelings or doing damage in some way (a common, automatic fear,* which I’m working on),
- spending a lot of time at hospitals (another automatic fear* for me, from my childhood), and
- my son — the one who says “What the heck?” — becoming more independent, and spending more time away from home.
I think the last item on that list is … not least, this morning. It’s the opposite of least. In other words, that fear* — which commonly and automatically gathers for parents of adolescents — is the one that really inspired this post.
So I shall ask myself this question: Is there anything to really be afraid of?
Well, I’m looking outside the window, and I see no storm. Actually, it’s a wonderful day.
I am looking inside, as my son prepares to leave for school, and I see no cause for fear* there, either. Actually, he’s a wonderful guy.
I interrupt this post for my conversation, just now, with my son, Aaron:
Me: I’m writing about you.
Aaron: You’re always writing about me.
Me: I AM always writing about you. And me. And the world …
Aaron: All right, that’s enough.
And, as usual, Aaron is correct.
Thanks to those who deal with fear* (in any magnitude), people who have helped with my posts here (in any way), to creatures that hide (for whatever reason), to things that gather (anywhere in the world), to Aaron, and — of course! — to you, for gathering here today.
* and/or anxiety.**
** Yes, I’ve decided to gather footnotes down here, today. Here’s some gathering anxiety regarding footnotes: I’m not sure if the asterisk should go before or after the punctuation mark. Here’s my answer: so what?
*** WordPresser Swarn Gill has communicated with me via email about judgment, and I’ve asked if I could share some of that discussion here. One possible topic is “Off-Topic.” Stay tuned for a future post, gathering his thoughts and mine.
I think anxiety and fear are closely related. I did think that the word anxiety derived from anxious, which can sometimes be related to an intense sense of excitement/mixed with impatience which is not really fear. Or maybe it is and you fear the time will never come and thus get anxious!
Fear is a tricky thing, because I think it is the intensity of fear that is what is relevant. A healthy fear of storms is a good thing. But too much of a fear can actually have you make poor decisions like freezing up, panicking, etc. I can imagine somebody who suddenly finds a storm on top of them while they are driving, panicking and driving faster to get out of it. That would be a mistake. I saw a video once of these storm chasers who panicked because large softball sized hail was pounding their vehicle and cracked their windshield. Their fear made them pull up to a farm house to try and run under their porch. In the 20 yards they had to run they found themselves pelted with hailstones falling at 70 mph and had to be taken to the hospital for numerous lacerations. They were actually safer in the car. By the way, in case you don’t know I am an atmospheric scientist, which is why I am getting so nerdy about storms. 🙂
I have a fear of wasps. It’s getting better thanks to my wife. I told her that if I was driving and a wasp was in the car, I’d freak out. My wife said “that’s a phobia, that’s not good. You could get into an accident and die. I love you and I’m not going to let you break my heart because a wasp is in your car”. I think I’m to the point where I can slowly pull over…roll down all the windows before I run from the vehicle. Compromise achieved. 🙂
Here is my fear metaphor since I didn’t get to participate before. Actually this is a simile I think technically. Like anxiety and fear they are quite similar. 🙂
Fear is like water. You need a certain amount to keep you alive, but too much and you’ll drown.