Monday, June 17, 2013


Give me a ghost, a ghoul, a witch any day. Lonely evenings do not frighten me. Rats? Disgusting,yes, frightening? No. Spiders are fascinating, not frightening. There is only one being that elicits uncontrollable screaming from me, and that being is organic, mortal, and weighs a fraction of what I do; but the thought of this being on my hand is unbearable.

Fear amazes me. I realize that fear is the most primal feeling, undefinable as it is unmistakable; insubstantial like the wind, but solid like a typhoon. The world bows to it, yet it is often the axis mundi of our horizons, a compass. In fact, I have willingly circled my home with poisons, like spells, to keep away undesirable insects. One strong dream is enough to send me running around, checking bank balances, or shutting windows and doors, or plunge into boxes in quest of objects which MUST be found. I HATE to admit this, but Freud does have a point about fears defining who we become.

I see the cats learning, unlearning, and otherwise navigating fears as they step around with caution and deliberation, unwilling to explore terrain with hind legs, as they get used to sofas and shelves that form the landscape of my house.

My daughter, who is unafraid to speak her mind, can happily live on her own, and remains unfazed at prospect of harrowing journeys across time zones and date lines, even she holes up in the only place she feels safe, her room. If an unwelcome bug flies in the window, she believes that her closed door will keep it out. Likewise for all movie ghosts and ghouls that frighten her.

When I was young, I remember the best cure for all that frightened me: the voice of my father. I knew, then, that if I only called or screamed loud enough, he would speak, sometimes only a word, and the world would turn back to the recognizable familiar, everything in place, everything explained with a name.  Now, I have shlokas that calm whatever restlessness haunts.

I wonder, now, in times of fear, what my father's solace must have been. He often used to tell me to order myself to think of some happiness, plagued as I have always been with strong, concrete dreams. I suspect my father was not the only one to counsel their restless child thus; this might be the reason why the idea of a Patronus is so easily grasped!

My sincere gratitude goes out to my father for righting my topsy-turvy world with a mere word. I thank him for banishing and diminishing my fears, for giving my sword light in all manner of darknesses, for filling up  my dreams with the sound of his voice so they never bleed into my waking worlds.

Something scared me today, frightened me enough so I forgot myself momentarily, and behind a closed door, I ordered myself to hear my father's voice saying my name; I produced a corporeal Patronus and my Potterite readers will know what a big deal THAT is!

Happy Fathers' Day, Daddy!



  1. I admire how you can turn such a terrifying experience into something so inspiring and touching. Meanwhile, I'm still holed up in my room :P

  2. Spiders, no problem, roaches; well now that is a different story!
    I have such vivid memories of dread and panic over killing roaches (uhhhhh) that is even difficult to write about it without my arm hairs having a reaction.

  3. My fear of roaches is as strong as yours but I don't have the skills of expressing them and show the strength that fathers give their daughters in fighting all fears. I just loved it.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thank you, all, for visiting this! I relate to your fears, but you know that!


There was an error in this gadget