Tag Archives: fear

THE XEROIC RESPONSE TO FEAR

THE XEROIC RESPONSE TO FEAR
(A conversation between Xero Aticus
and the Psychedelic Toad.)
Lee Broom

 

PSYCHO: So tell me Abner, what is it that you fear the most?

XERO: Nada, zilch, double zilch.

PSYCHO: What rhymes with zilch?

XERO: You’re changing the subject.

PSYCHO: It’s my subject. It was I who asked you what you fear; it                                 was I who asked you what rhymes with zilch. The answer                           is filch, which I believe is a word for theft, which is what                               you are doing when you beat around the bush.; you’re                                 stealing your own identity…
So tell me; what are the four things you fear the most?

XERO: Why four?

PSYCHO:(Silence.)

XERO: Okay, okay.

PSYCHO: (Silence)

XERO: Four things?

PSYCHO: (Silence.)

XERO: Okay I’ve got it.

PSYCHO: Ribbet

XERO: Toads don’t say “ribbet”; that’s the language of frogs.

PSYCHO: So…

XERO:  The four things are…

PSYCHO: (Silence)

XERO: Baptists, Muslims, Republicans and Democrats.

PSYCHO: Libertarians?

XERO: Them too.

PSYCHO:  Librarians?

XERO: Not afraid of Librarians.

PSYCHO: Why is that, Abner?

XERO: It’s okay with them if I think.

PSYCHO: Aren’t you a Lutheran?

XERO: I am.

PSYCHO: Why’s that?

XERO: Martin Luther was a Librarian in his spare time.

PSYCHO: Really?

XERO: Really.

 

SAFETY FIRST (among giants)

lafayette compound 012

 

SAFETY FIRST

 

Life among giants is tricky.

We begin by staying close to Mom.

We venture out.

We crawl.

We rise up on our hind legs and we stumble.

We cry out for Mom but before she reaches us we are up again and on the move.

From Birth till Ever we search for safety.

We measure that safety with terms of approval.

We shout to the horizon “I am not afraid”.

And even when disappointed beyond words we seek additional measures of approval.

We had begun one person at a time until one day we decided “more is better”.

More approval meant  more cooperation but less emphasis on being right.

We stopped experimenting.

We adopted the attitudes and belief systems of the  group.

We rebelled occasionally, unhappy with having opted to be less true to ourselves in favor of what? Safety? Fairness? Fairness? Why had we abdicated our Freedom?

We had a cup of coffee in the most popular coffee shop and thought about it.

This isn’t so bad… is it?

Is it?

bathroom 1 014
Lee Broom

I AM I DO

lee_broom

I AM I DO 
Lee Broom

Our first scream is an involuntary response to the first gasp. It occurs at the moment of our first sensation of fear; our first decision, our first affirmation and our initial attempt at managing our place in this new world.

This first noisy protest is interrupted with cradled arms and soft, cooing Mommy Words, which lend a hint that this dangerous world into which we have been thrust has an oasis of safety; ours for the price of a scream.

The calming voice, the gentle words are familiar to the newly initiated. The touch of Mother’s hands are a new sensation but it too is somehow, known.

Our first scientific experiment has begun.

This is our first experience at asking for and receiving Love, a sensation which will in future decades become confused with Approval.

Our  experiments will become more sophisticated if not necessarily objective; life and the events that greet us will be measured, examined, dissected and reassembled as we seek to secure Maximum Safety.

Life may be more difficult for those of us who have missed the touching and the softly spoken words of gentle parenting. Perhaps we ask for help.

Later, in the language of Mommy Words we may even ask another, untouched soul “May I lend a hand?”

And a Spark of The Spirit ignites the flame of LOVE.

I AM I DO 
Lee Broom

SPACE DUST DOOLIABBA

 

SPACE DUST DOOLIABBA

Everything in the universe is made from the crumbs of something else.

If everything in the material  universe was suddenly invulnerable, movement would stop  and the Universe would die.

The Memory of all Past and Future Events, the Source of all Love would Forget everything and in fact would never have Been.

In order for the Universe to thrive it must be in a constant state of change. in order to guarantee change the material life of everything must be limited.

And the tool that makes it so is what psychologists refer to as affirmation.

The birth of life brings with it the concept of fear. Fear drive us to seek safety,”Us” being everything from the lowest form of life to the greatest. A blade of grass does not “think” but domesticated plants react differently when one caretaker is replaced with another.

A large rock hurtling through space does not “think” but nevertheless  has been fleeing the worst danger of its life by taking the shortest possible route, a straight line.

In reality this rock is a mere fragment of a larger fragment of yet a larger rock and is not going in a straight line at all but is actually in orbit around a large ball of gas which also has been misled in the facts of its destiny, totally unaware of the hungry black hole blocking the path of its solar plane.

You and I and the cells within us emerged from our maternal safe place, encountered danger and began our lives in terror not knowing that each safe place we entered was a reminder of ultimate danger. It is this awareness that ultimately brings us to our knees.

For most or all of our lives the knowledge of our destiny with death is our greatest strength.

Yet there are others who realize that the safety they sought, expecting and hoping to be Love was actually extremely conditional.

We eventually surrendered as we stumbled unto the unconditional , timeless zone inhabited by the memory of all past and future events we now know as Love.

We accept The Love and Pass It On.


Lee Broom

Overheard in an Alley

color029_sJPG_950_2000_0_75_0_50_50 Boy building a model airplane as girl watches. Robstown, Texas, January 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Arthur Rothstein. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Voice One: The guy with the hair; what’s his name again?

Voice Two: I forget.

Voice One: They say he’s guilty.

Voice Two: Who says he’s guilty?

Voice One: Everybody.

Voice Two: Really?

Voice One: Yeah, really. So Whaddaya think?

Voice Two: About what?

Voice One: Is he guilty?

Voice Two: Who? The guy with the hair?

Voice One: Yeah.

Voice Two: Guilty of what?

Voice One: I don’t know, actually. It must be something awful.

Voice Two: Why do you think that?

Voice One: Well, because; He won’t defend himself.

Voice Two: Did he say why?

Voice One: It didn’t make much sense, come to think of it.

Voice Two: Okay, but what was it; what’d he say?

Voice One: Something about turning his head or something like that?

Voice Two: Could it have been about turning the other cheek?

Voice One: Cheeks, yeah. Turn the other cheek. That was it. Whaddaya think he
meant?

Voice Two: Well you were there. What did you think?

Voice One: Beats me.

Voice Two: Then why do you think he’s guilty? You don’t know what he’s guilty
of but you think he’s guilty. He doesn’t defend himself and you seem
to think that this is evidence of his guilt. And now that you’ve heard
his reason for not defending himself, you don’t know what he means
but you still think he’s guilty?

Voice One: Everybody else does.

Voice Two: What he said was that when someone wrongs us or metaphorically
slaps us across the cheek that it is better to turn our cheek and let
the offender slap the other cheek than to have our revenge with him.
His reason appears to be that it is better for only one person to suffer
than two.
And you know yourself that when you argue with someone it is rare
for anyone to come out on top.

Voice One: Well, I still think he’s guilty.

Voice Two: Why’s that.

Voice One: Because, Silly; everybody knows he’s guilty.

Voice Two: And that’s it?

Voice One: What can you expect from a guy like that?

Voice Two: A guy like what?

Voice One: Well ask anyone; everybody knows he was born in a barn.

Overheard in an Alley

color029_sJPG_950_2000_0_75_0_50_50 Boy building a model airplane as girl watches. Robstown, Texas, January 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Arthur Rothstein. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Voice One: The guy with the hair; what’s his name again?

Voice Two: I forget.

Voice One: They say he’s guilty.

Voice Two: Who says he’s guilty?

Voice One: Everybody.

Voice Two: Really?

Voice One: Yeah, really. So Whaddaya think?

Voice Two: About what?

Voice One: Is he guilty?

Voice Two: Who? The guy with the hair?

Voice One: Yeah.

Voice Two: Guilty of what?

Voice One: I don’t know, actually. It must be something awful.

Voice Two: Why do you think that?

Voice One: Well, because; He won’t defend himself.

Voice Two: Did he say why?

Voice One: It didn’t make much sense, come to think of it.

Voice Two: Okay, but what was it; what’d he say?

Voice One: Something about turning his head or something like that?

Voice Two: Could it have been about turning the other cheek?

Voice One: Cheeks, yeah. Turn the other cheek. That was it. Whaddaya think he
meant?

Voice Two: Well you were there. What did you think?

Voice One: Beats me.

Voice Two: Then why do you think he’s guilty? You don’t know what he’s guilty
of but you think he’s guilty. He doesn’t defend himself and you seem
to think that this is evidence of his guilt. And now that you’ve heard
his reason for not defending himself, you don’t know what he means
but you still think he’s guilty?

Voice One: Everybody else does.

Voice Two: What he said was that when someone wrongs us or metaphorically
slaps us across the cheek that it is better to turn our cheek and let
the offender slap the other cheek than to have our revenge with him.
His reason appears to be that it is better for only one person to suffer
than two.
And you know yourself that when you argue with someone it is rare
for anyone to come out on top.

Voice One: Well, I still think he’s guilty.

Voice Two: Why’s that.

Voice One: Because, Silly; everybody knows he’s guilty.

Voice Two: And that’s it?

Voice One: What can you expect from a guy like that?

Voice Two: A guy like what?

Voice One: Well ask anyone; everybody knows he was born in a barn.

THE LIE

 

THE LIE

In the early stages of our lifelong search for safety we discover THE LIE. For most of us THE LIE is the result of constant experimentation and as the leading edge of our life plan will remain so until the time comes to say goodbye.

We tell THE LIE with body language, vocabulary and countless mini-lies as life flies past.

Some of us become quite animated, our faces, punctuated by giggles and grins. Perhaps our arms are folded; others will want their jeans creased, insisting on a world of NEAT.

As life goes on we will be known by the reputations which have resulted from these decisions,  ready to greet the world as such, well before the end of our second year.

Later in their teens the Big Strong  football star with folded arms and even disposition will be cheered by the giggly gal who leads the cheer leader squad and he’ll say to his quiet self, “I’m gonna marry that girl  one day and we’ll have strong, happy children who will grow up and do the same.” He pauses for a moment longer to feel the love in his heart; he starts to fold his arms but he felt the Love in his heart and dropped his arms at his side.

“I accept the Love”, he thought…

“I accept the Love and I’ll pass it on...
and that ain’t NO LIE.”

 

Lee Broom 4 4 2017