Friday, February 19, 2010
Chapter Two: Fear & Gripping Grendel. (In part, 3)
-When an aircraft is stalling, flying too slow to create a low-pressure zone above the wing, two things are required immediately in order to avoid a fatal crash. The pilot must apply full power and push the stick forward, directing the nose of the aircraft at the ground. Now, this sound moronic, “We are ‘crashing’ by stalling, and you want to add power and fly straight at the ground?” “Yes, that is exactly what I want to do; it is our only way to survive. We need to gain speed in order for the wing to respond as it is designed to. Once we speed up, we will pull up and pull out, theoretically.” An awkward conversation one hopes to never find them self in, yet does on a daily basis in choices that are a bit lower stakes.
-I was not willing to obey to my doctor’s orders, not fearful of the stall-warning, willfully disobedient to the instructor’s directions to add power and nose over. My life was stalling out, with all my efforts I was trying to nurse it along, but I was unwilling to take the measures necessary to recover from an impending doom. I was too afraid to nose over at full throttle, “What if I can’t pull up in time? I will die!” I knew the stall-warning would not lie, buzzing and blinking away on the dashboard, but I also knew I did not have to obey it; after all, “I was the master of my own destiny. I was in control.” I had proven that over and over.
-There was a pendulum in my spirit that cyclically swung through anger, sadness, peace and questions; rinse and repeat. There was one underlying, pervasive monster in the early season of grief, Fear. Fear is a living, breathing, personal Grendel.
-“The joyless creature…The fiend’s temper was aroused; from his eyes came an unlovely light, like a hellish flame…The horrible monster intended to tear the life from the body of every one of them before day came. He hoped for his fill of feasting.” –Beowulf, Chapter 13.
-My fear was paralyzing. It is nearly humorous, in a sick British humor sort of way; the fearful paralytic is really in a tight spot for he is a self-defeating person, bent on doing nothing detrimental, therefore doing nothing at all. The fear grows so great that all of his life grinds to a halt. I saw it in minor ways within myself; the fear of make bad decisions on very basic levels, “Should I go home now or later?” to which I could rationalize myself is circles with justifiable reasons to do both or neither.
-The rationalizing created a bigger tear in the fabric of ability; after all, rationalizing had in part landed me in this jam in the first place. The powers, my powers, of rationalization allowed and facilitated me in compromising much of my supposed ‘belief system’ with ‘perfectly legitimate’ reasons for nearly everything. What could not be rationalized away was out right disobeyed resulting in the aforementioned stall-warning condition.
-As with any insatiable monster, fear was not satisfied to devour only the appetizers, it wanted the meal, he “Hoped for his fill of feasting.” Fear had a taste for my ability to create and write as well as my ability to engage in normal human relationships, particularly with women. The “What if I mess-up?” monster is far more dangerous than any multi-armed, well-fanged and smelly creature under one’s bed.
-My journal provides another telling and substantially humiliating truth about a person subscribing to this fear. It was a long time in the making, many quite hours of reading and thinking before I lifted a pen. “I am so afraid of having nothing profound to say. That I will read this in years to come and feel foolish about myself…at least feeling foolish is something, to ignore the present will erase it as I go forward. So, what will I have then? Nothing because pride kept me from it now.” To learn from the lessons granted us is one of the brilliantly defining elements mankind possesses over beast; that and the eternal soul. At this point I believe Grendel started to realize that my grip was strong. I hadn’t need of a blade to take his arm off.
-“Now the ghoul found that never in the world, anywhere on earth, had he met a man with a mightier handgrip. He became afraid in his heart, but he could not get away any the sooner. He was eager to be off; he wanted to flee to his hiding place and seek out the company of devils,” -Beowulf
-It must have proved a terrific blow to the façade, and the man behind the curtain with the PA who we are to “Pay no attention!” Realizing that my pride was blinding me started to allow some amount of melt, I began the slow process of trading my inky blackness, for the whisper of a brownish-burgundy smudge.
-Fear, or the Devil as I see it, has no interest in letting one’s mind out of itself. Freedom is the enemy of fear, for all freedom is bound in fear if allowed, and the Devil is the enemy of Freedom therefore by the transitive property of 9th grade geometry, the Devil is Fear incarnate. Hey, look at that, a formula! A mind inside of itself is the safest place for disintegration; living death to take place.
-Fear had explained to me, “Look, what ability have you in sorting through any of this? You put your best foot forward, so to speak, and look at the shape of things! Just give up, give in, and enjoy the read for the sake of it, that is the best we can offer you!” While bogged down in the trenches of Grendel, I found only one place where I was safe, or reasonably safe; or so I thought.