This morning NPR reported on an air craft carrier sized asteroid that will pass by our blue planet. Did you catch that? An asteroid the size of a military air craft carrier will pass closer than the moon and has an orbit of approximately 100 years. So, if it misses us today, it will get another chance in 100 years or so. And they tell us this today? No time to really worry, right?
Fear is that shadowy area on the margins, in the corners and under beds. Illumination disintegrates fear. Even when light exposes a genuine boogie man, finally having a foe with a face is far easier than not knowing what is out there. Exposure levels the field of play.
But we fear all manner of things large and miniscule. I listen to people every day who cultivate fear, make a companion of it, try and house train it as if a wild thing can ever be trusted inside our homes. Yet, people do it and they do it with a naivete. They do it with a sense of assurance that they are immune. There is not immunity to the ‘Gotcha’. All of us have the soundtrack for creepy music in our heads. All of us know that prickly feeling when we sense we are being stalked but our predator is just beyond view, lurking in the shadows, hiding in our hall closets. Fear is not befriended. It is not tamed. It is not conquered or even caged. J K Rowling masterfully captured the true nature of fear in the boggart, it manifests as our greatest, deepest most well hidden dread, it mimics our true terror. And then it torments us, mocks us. Oh to have a contemporary patronus, that charging, illumnated stag that bounds after and destroys our fear.
And I realize I do have a patronus. It resides within me. All I must do is turn and face this fear. The light in my eyes, the knowledge in my mind and the faith in my heart are better than any high beam flashlight or overhead fixture. Just looking upon what I fear shrinks it. Fear is a long cast shadow stretching behind you, inescapable unless you lie down or move the light source directly overhead. Fear never leaves because it is stitched to your heels, but it can be diminished.
Once I know where everything sits, once the arrangement of the room is visualized, I can navigate in total darkness. I don’t need to sleep with the lights because fear is outside of my house and cannot enter my sanctuary unless I invite it inside.