Saturday, November 19, 2005


I’ve often thought of telling you my fear but always I hesitate. I begin to think –‘best not’. Some things are better left alone. And if this fear is so rational to me it might be rational to others. That could create needless fear for others and I don’t want to create fear.

But still I long to discuss fear because it is never discussed—at least not by regular people. Granted ‘fear’ is discussed by politicians in order to win elections. You may have noticed that this is their favored approach. But in normal conversations, fear is seldom discussed. And perhaps that is because it takes a brave soul to talk about what they most fear. But today I am going to talk about my big fear.

Now first off, I am not superstitious. At least I don’t think I am. I don’t fear the dark, spirit creatures, black cats, or walking under ladders. But still I have fear. But if you are superstitious, if you live in fear and the fear of discussing your fear, please go and read another blog. This one is not for you.


So now that my two loyal readers have left, I want to get on with discussion of my fear.

My fear, the fear that has been resident in my mind since I was a very young child is something that I refer to as ‘the evil eye’. I honestly don’t know who introduced me to this fear or if perhaps I was born with it. I have no idea where it stems from or how it came to be named ‘the evil eye’. But nevertheless it has been there in my mind for as far back as I can remember.

Maybe the ‘evil eye’ is a primordial concept that has existed in all human species since the beginning of time. Maybe it is part of our original DNA. After all it was common in every ancient culture, although the concept of its work and presence may have been widely diverse. And its nomenclature may have also been different. Instead of ‘evil eye’ maybe a sun god, or moon god, or white-eyed fish. Who knows? But the Egyptians feared it, the Aztecs feared it, the Incas feared it, African tribes fear it. It is a common fear. But in the same way that species have evolved through time this primitive fear has evolved. But despite its evolutionary changes, I harbor that same fear, though granted, it is within a different context then that of early civilizations.

But prior to any knowledge of ancient cultures and their fear, within my own mind, the ‘evil eye’ has existed. And my perception has always been that it is an unseen force that starts hanging out and closing in when life is too good. When the stars and planets are all lined up. When I get the raise, the promotion, the accolades, the applause, and a sense of total comfort and security. When life is as good as life can get. That’s when I sense the ‘evil eye’ is headed my way. And when it strikes, it will shake my wonderful world and turn it upside-down. Shred my dreams and rip my heart to shreds.

But at the same time, with life being so unfair, what should I fear? After all, life is not flat, it is multi-layered. And when things in one area are the best, there is always some other thing bubbling in one of those layers that causes misery or painful anxiety. So, more often than not, the ‘evil eye’ belief brings comfort rather than fear. Because although things in one area of life couldn’t be better, I am grateful that in the midst of this gay roller-coaster ride I still have those moments when I feel lonely, discouraged, and unappreciated. A sad bit of business, but it has its advantages. The advantage is I can sail through another day, another week, another year, with an unshakable confidence that the ‘evil eye’ is distant and impotent. With no reason to hang out. With no work, or nothing to attend to in my environment.

So being unlucky is not so bad. Not winning the lottery is good. No one reading my blog – that’s okay too. Comforting in a weird way. And it is also good that I’ve finally told you the thing I fear. That’s comforting as well.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband is occasionally impatient with me because I worry. We have been astonishingly lucky in our life together. It seems that almost everything Dear Husband touches turns out well. True, a number of things have come up on the horizon that looked rather bleak, but they never materialized. His philosophy is "Don't worry until there is something to worry about." My mother says "Don't borrow trouble." I really try to listen to them, but I can't help feeling that just around the corner there is something waiting.

In the future I plan to enjoy myself one day at a time, and should anything happen, I'll face it squarely. I don't want to be a hostage to worry any longer.

Good for you for speaking up about your fear.


6:30 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

And Buffy, good for you for speaking up so bravely about your own and facing the future with a much more positive expectation.

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I call this the "last few steps" fear, as in a monster movie, when the monster is apparently vanquished, just when you think you're safe, that you have only a few steps to take to reach safety -- WHAM! The monster gets one last chance at you.

On a more personal level, I find myself becoming more cautious the closer I get to home when driving, aware that most auto accidents occur within a mile of the person's home -- you're almost there, you start to relax, and CRASH! I don't want to become another statistic like that.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Bee said...

I believe what you are describing here is not actually "The Evil Eye" but rather the affect of having experienced "Murphy's Law" for most of one's life.

I call it being prepared for the worse that can happen in any situation...and then...when the worse scenario doesn't happen...all the better.

It does seem to be a sad truth in life...Whatever can go wrong, WILL go wrong. That's Murphy's Law and it's enforced with much prejudice.

2:58 AM  
Blogger plumleigh said...

I'm glad you shared this fear. I think many people share the very same one. I know I do... that's the way it always is. When everything is "too right" I know it will not last. For a long time, I always expected things to go wrong- when they were going right. Because they always do. I was lamenting this fact to a holy man in India once. He said to try to think of bicycle pedals. To go up, they also have to go down, and that's how the cycle moves forward. He said that in life, the same is true. The downs are necessary for things to move up again, in in that way, we are always moving forward. I TRY to remember that, and find some comfort in it. It also allows me to enjoy the ups more than I did in the past (though I still worry). That being said, I know I am coasting right now... stopped peddling for awhile. I guess that means my journey has slowed, but that's okay for now.

Your observation about people not talking about fear in daily life is an interesting one. I often used to wonder whether it was because others were fearless, or at least less fearful than me. Now I tend to think that it is because our personal fears are just that- very personal. Saying them out loud can make them either more or less real. I think people also worry that their fears are weaknesses, and that sharing them makes them vulnerable. And they are not shared because of trust. Trust that our weaknesses will not be used against us. But that's the subject of another post, I suppose.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Mike, glad you're being cautious and you're right. I have also heard that this is the case so it is well to keep it in mind.

mr. bee, thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting. Whatever causes life's ups and downs you really hit the nail on the head when you said it is "enforced with much prejudice".

plumleigh, your comments were absolutely fascinating. I am so appreciative that you gave me an understanding why others seem so much braver and more confident than I. Your explanation narrows that gape a goodly amount. Very perceptive insights.

12:45 AM  

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