Monday, December 14, 2009

I Fear

A lot of my artwork deals with trying to understand vulnerability. I think part of understanding what it means to be vulnerable is admitting what you are afraid of. I've tried my best to list these things below. But this is only a very small part of finding what it means to be vulnerable (which, ya know, we all are).

Vulnerability is the capability of being wounded. Understanding that means understanding that there are a lot of things that could hurt you very badly at any time for no reason at all.

I'm not there--I don't understand and I'm not fully able to let go of my invincible, endless, bodiless self. Articulating things that I'm afraid of can only do so much. I still don't actually realize just how wound-able I am. In other words, doing what I'm doing now isn't actually allowing myself be vulnerable, it's saying things that make me feel vulnerable, or, better, remind me that I am vulnerable when I think about them. Admitting that I have dreams that maybe won't come true, actually loving somebody a lot who then breaks my heart--now those are real fears, and it comes closer to accepting one's vulnerability. Pursuing those things without knowing, without caring about being pulverized by the world--that's scary. As far as I'm concerned, I think that may be the closest thing to truly coming into one's own vulnerability.

In other words, letting myself be what I am, un-armoured and unassuming, loving things that or people that I love regardless of the potential consequences, now that's accepting my own vulnerability. (Do you understand where I'm going here? I'm trying to understand how fear is different from vulnerability; how understanding fear is different than understanding vulnerability, though they aren't un-connected).

Ok? Ok, good.

As I was kind of saying, in many ways, my greatest fear is allowing myself to experience glimmers of real true hope, letting my soft body "love what it loves," and opening myself to this possibility of being trampled in the process. But you know what? Without trying for those things, without allowing myself the opportunity to really lose everything, then I'm not sure I'd be really allowing myself to live.

And I want to. I want to live and feel things and be hurt and try, and fail, and maybe be squished like a bug in the process. Bring it on, cause this is it. And I mean that exactly how I say it.

Food for thought.

Below, I've listed some of my fears (I'm sure there are more that I haven't thought of yet, but here's a quick taste.) Again, things that make me feel vulnerable, or that I think would make me feel vulnerable are different than understanding that I just am vulnerable. That said, I don't think it's is un-interesting to think about, and gather into a tidy little list on one's blog.


- spiders
- the dark
- basements (I still run up the stairs)
- being home alone/being alone in general*
- skiing
- sharks and big fish (they are quiet and have very big teeth).
- the ocean at night (one, solid black, black plane; thick, oily ocean; things below silently eating other things)

- becoming crippled (really--my feet and back hurt all the time)
- being really fat
- getting disfigured
- not being able to have babies if I want to
- being deaf (no dancing?)
- developing halitosis (it would be terrible)
- locked-in syndrome (also, terrible)

- being bitter or not enjoying myself because I'm very poor or in debt (which should be distinguished from debt or poverty, because I'm not afraid of those things--I am afraid of being a bitter, miserly jerk because I'm poor or in debt)

- getting really depressed again (the lethargic kind, not the kind I probably have now that keeps me awake too much. the kind i'm afraid of is the kind that keeps you in bed, and makes waking up feel like trudging through thick muddy swamps, and sucks the joy out of the things that give you joy--)
- being too serious/not enjoying myself in the moment
- the death of somebody close to me, or seeing/hearing a person who is close to me die (this I fear more than my own death; I've had many horrible dreams in this regard)
- not saying something important to somebody when I need to, and then never being able to (you know, like big things, like "I love you, you mean so much to me, I miss you, I need you" and then the person who I needed to say it to can't hear it anymore--because they die, because they marry somebody else, because they move away, because they have alzheimers and forget who you are)
- not allowing myself to love somebody 100% (romantically--I feel like I could do the 100% love thing, no problem, to most important people in my life --family [biological and surrogate], friends, unborn children, etc. everybody except somebody who I love and want to be with forever and ever and ever; maybe they hurt me, abuse my trust and then I can't bring myself to love them the same way again...or maybe I just can't let myself admit to them or to myself just how much I love them. That kind of thing, that's scary.)
- marrying somebody and then realizing that I'm in love with somebody else (I could never, ever be unfaithful; it isn't in my nature. But I can feel real unrequited love; and I can want things that I can't have--bad combo when it comes to already being married or something)

- waking up one day and realizing that I gave up on the one thing or person that I shouldn't have (e.g. the big ones: regret & failure).
- dementia / decreased cognitive functioning (not memory loss--I don't think I'd mind that--I would mind always just not understanding things--like, if everything felt like college calculus, every day...that would be awful).
- loss of integrity (having people not believe me, not trust things that I say or do)
- being totally delusional--not seeing things clearly; I like to see things as they are (even though I have a vivid imagination)

Well, that's all for now; hope to balance out the rant about unwanted hair with some things I've been tossing around in my head for a while now. What do you fear?

* it should be distinguished that I don't fear loneliness or "ending up alone," which is different from being alone in the present sense. I just get scared when I'm by myself sometimes.


emily said...

I have this recurring nightmare where I am a HarryPotter-esque wizard and it's really important that I do the "Avada Kedavra" curse to kill some real baddies and I can never, NEVER do it. It's awful. Hmm...

L said...

Hm--is that really true? What does it look like? Real life, the HP movie or how you imagined the book?

Chris said...

clip of relevance:

this is my fav entry. see you on thurs!

Elizabeth said...

As you know, I used to be terrified I'd end up as a bag lady, walking down the streets of Berkeley, dragging a shopping cart full of my gleanings....

L said...

Ooh did I mention I was afraid of losing my mind? Am I losing my mind?


the bag lady bit is one of my favorites. you know, you do have a lot of bags, but in the best kind of (shopaholic) way.

L said...

And Chris: I watched that video. The song was pretty cute, except those guys kind of gave me the creeps playing those tiny instruments all crisply with their cropped 1962 haircuts and tight-ass was like...we're cute because we have to be, but inside we ARE creeps. why did that piano thing have to be SO damned tiny!? and the expression on the tambourine man's face was priceless...