Posts tagged ‘fear’

Fine With That

**Published by Long Story Short in 2013**
by: Rebecca Taylor
You may have blue eyes or maybe they’re green
Or perhaps like mine, they’re brown
But I’m fine with that
We may speak with different accents
Or pronounce our words differently
But I’m fine with that
You may stand with your hands poised when you talk
And I tend to gesture from time to time 
But I’m fine with that
There are some questions I may not find the answers to today
Maybe the replies will come tomorrow or it may take a lifetime
But I’m fine with that 
You might never be a mathematician
And maybe I will never spell some words correctly
But I’m fine with that
Thunderstorms might always scare you
And I’ll probably never like heights
But I’m fine with that
The important thing is that we are people
All different but in some complex way all the same
All flesh and blood and bone                                               
As a world, we need to all be fine with that. 
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Truth in Love

by: Rebecca Taylor

How quickly perspectives change

Our minds tell us we belong with one sort of person

But heart’s reactions tell us otherwise

Then comes analyzing questions

Some based on fear

Others trying to find the logic

Truth is love is not analytical

But passionate

Based on trust and faith.

 

Moments of joy based on balance

Like two kayakers paddling in harmony to stay afloat

Pointed in the right direction

When things begin to go askew

They can be corrected.

 

Words said but not understood

Non comprehension at what was uttered

Sometimes we must look past the words to find the meaning

Protection comes in many forms

Hearts and minds have shields of armour

Sometimes it is the tongue, sharp witted like a blade

That slices the pain or shifts the blame.

View from a Cliff

by: Rebecca Taylor

I am a jutting overhang, twenty-five feet off the ground, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Price Edward Island. I’m a mixture of emotions, exhilarating and afraid all at once, often like the people who stand and overlook my edge at the beauty below. I am a cliff who just so happens to be scared of heights, what irony.
I am most surprised by the different people who stand on me. Some of them stand back against my protective wall, while others get close to my edge and peer over at the rushing waters below. The ones who stand against my wall, I sense that they wish they had the courage to approach my edge to get a better look at the sensational view below, but that they have enough common sense to know that my edge is more dangerous.
I am visited mostly during the summer, with a few travelers coming in the late spring and early autumn. In the winter, I am completely alone, with just the blankets of snow that become layered on me. Even most of the birds and other wild creatures do not venture out to see what I am up to, in Canada’s winter weather. Despite the isolation, I am not lonely; I take this time to reflect on the visitors who had previously come to see me. My memories of the laughter, the joyous and nervous smiles, the different energies that the humans who come to me possess.
If you touch my wall with your hands, you will feel weathered out crevices. Changes brought on by the weather – whipping winds because I am so high in the air. At the base of the rocky overhang I am on, the salt-water brushes against me when the tide comes in, waves uncovering seashells and other treasures that the tourists and locals alike enjoy gathering. The sounds up here are amazing. The birds voices are like music to my old ears, their melodies blending together to form a choir. The sound the water varying with the weather and the seasons is constant company. It is particularly loud during a storm. When the huge waves come in from the sea and roll over the rocks below, they sound like a jackhammer breaking cement. I love the way the air smells, so clean and perfect, the salt from the ocean washing over me making me feel alive.
My life can be a bit monotonous staying in the same place day after day, but I’m thousands of years old and accepted reality a long time ago. This is my life, where I was placed and I have a purpose, to provide a beautiful place for people to see the beauty of the land surrounding me. I hope to be here for many more years and get to meet a lot more incredible people, to watch more families join together and enjoy visiting me.

Dear Fear

April is poetry month! In honor of that, I’ll be posting two poems this month.  Hope you enjoy the first one. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

.

Dear Fear

 

You and I are best friends.

That is, if it’s even possible

for an antagonist and a protagonist to be BFF’s.

We crossed paths a few times before,

but that day I careened through the foggy air

and thumped on the hard ground of the riding arena

was the day we entered into something more.

Everything that followed –

that invisible hippo on my chest refusing me oxygen,

that blade twisting in my back

that dent in my helmet

and then the flashbacks:

nightmareish and jerky like a low-budget horror movie –

all of it was from your arsenal,

a shower of bullets meant to weaken me.

We stopped crossing paths,

for our paths became one and the same.

I’m digressing from our path because,

best friend, we are falling out.

You’re delusional, illogical, and emotionally illiterate.

You thought my first fall

would cause me to break up with my first love?

I’ve known the risks ever since I fell in love.

Thus I vowed to get back on after every fall

no matter the amount of grit it would take.

You didn’t know about my vow

and you hadn’t tested me before –

that’s why you didn’t see my strength.

Overcoming the Fear in Writing

by: Rebecca Taylor

I personally find sending out my work frightening and between blogging, monthly newspaper articles and calls for writing, I have probably sent out over eight hundred different texts and had most of them returned with a form letter. Still, I continue to write because sometimes, people like what I write, sometimes I get an acceptance and that is an amazing feeling.  So, for this month’s writing topic, I’ve decided to tell you some things you need to remember when sending out your work:

 

  • The most important thing is that no matter how many rejection notices we receive, we remember why we write – because we love it, because it is a part of us and we know that somewhere out there someone is going to like what we wrote.
  • We must be proud of our work. We took the time to sit down and put the words to paper/keyboard and after we’ve edited it, we’ve come up with something we want to share with the world.
  • We need to know that when we send our work out, and it comes back, it doesn’t mean we cannot write. It just means that our work didn’t fit the present need or wasn’t what that editor/panel of editors or judges was looking for. When you have only so many pages to fill in a specific time period and lots of talent, tough decisions must be made.
  • We need to get in the habit of sharing our work. If we do it infrequently, it is more frightening but the more I send out my work, the easier I find it to receive those rejection letters and I just type them into my Excel file and move on. I accept it and move on, knowing that someday that rejected piece of writing could make a lot of people happy or might even make me a lot of money. There are lots of famous authors who started out just like us. Were they frightened by the writing process, maybe but they found a way to get their work into our hands.
  • Use writing websites to share your work with other writers. The other writers will be in the same boat as you when it comes to you reading their writing.
  • While our writing is personal, we have to know that when it comes to sending it to publishing companies, it is a business deal and we must understand that while our hearts and numerous hours were poured into the writing, for the editor, it’s their business, whether it is a volunteer or paid position.
  • Know that when it comes to feedback, the ultimate decision on whether or not to make changes is yours but we must at least consider what the reader is saying. We can become too easily attached to our writing, to the words we spent so much time writing to know what we should change, what parts drag down the stories or what lines inhibit the flow of the writing.

 

I hope you find this advice helpful. Whether you’re just starting to write or have been writing for a long time, we are still going to have to go through the writing, sending and waiting processes. It might take a while but our writing has potential to find a niche somewhere or you could decide to self-publish, but that is a topic for another time.

The Blaze

by: Rebecca Taylor

The sound of splintering wood was unbearable. April Gleason wanted to switch off the television but she couldn’t, she had to know what was happening. She turned down the volume but that didn’t change the horror she felt inside. She wished her husband were home. But he wasn’t, he was at the scene of the horrible blaze. He was there and as she sat in front of her television screen, she could feel herself getting hotter and hotter as if the heat was coming at her.  It was around midnight; there weren’t any lights on inside the house but the scene of the blaze in front of her lit up the house like they were all on. The flames shot up like cannons into the dark moonless sky and April watched as the inhabitants of the house were led away from the scene of the fire towards a waiting ambulance.

 The reporter was standing across the street telling how the Meunier family had been lucky they had all escaped with their lives. Mr. Meunier had sustained some burns and there had been some smoke inhalation for other members of the family but nothing life threatening. This good news did nothing to calm April’s fears. She wasn’t an unfeeling woman, just worried about her husband and the father to her two children who were sleeping through the horror she was watching. She didn’t know why she did it to herself, always sitting up and watching the news when her husband was called away in the middle of the night. He worked shifts but this didn’t usually bother her, the worst was when he was on call and rushed out of bed, dressed quickly and drove to the fire hall two blocks away. Tom was her soul mate and when he was in danger, she knew it; she got a feeling inside like her heart was going to explode just like the burning building and sometimes she had to force herself to relax and breath. She knew that Tom had the best fire training that there was available and that he worked with an experienced bunch of firefighters but she couldn’t help being afraid. She knew that life held uncertainties for everyone but with his job placing him in harm’s way all the time she didn’t know how she managed to get through it but somehow he always came home.

She watched the black smoke on the television spiral upward as her husband’s crew continued to battle the blaze. Then the screen switched off pitching the room into darkness. She tried a light, nothing. They must have had to shut off the power because of the blaze, she thought. She made her way feeling to a drawer where there was a flashlight and extra batteries. She turned on the flashlight, made her way back to the sofa, and set the light down on the coffee table. She could have lit some candles but she could never bring herself to do. She was afraid the cats would knock them over and they would get out of control and start a fire in her home. She huddled under a blanket on the sofa and tried to think happy thoughts but fear shook her to the core, at least when she watched the horror on the television screen the media would tell her if something happened to her husband. She had been married five years and although she took life in strides and tried not to dwell on the dangers of her husband’s job the harsh realities behind it were always there. After a while, she got up and started pacing the room, she felt like a caged animal. She knew her husband loved his job but sometimes she wished he had a nice safe job selling nails in a hardware store or something where he worked nine to five and was always home at a certain time.

 

“He wouldn’t be happy,” she told the shadows in the corner of the room. “He’s good at what he does and as much as I don’t like it, I wouldn’t ask him to change. It’s this living with fear of losing him that I hate. The sleeplessness on nights like this, waking up when he works night shift because I know that he’s at a fire or the feeling I get in the day and evenings. Not every fire touches me; it’s the ones like tonight with the billowing clouds of smoke, the noise, and the ugly red flames. The loss of a house for that family has to be devastating but this town will rally around them like they always do. Sometimes he has to go to other counties and help them out too because there aren’t enough firefighters. The volunteers and first responders are great but it’s the equipment and the expert training that men and women like my husband have that make the big difference. “Come home safely,” she prayed putting her head in her hands.

            It was just starting to get light out when the power came back on. April flicked back on the television but the news wasn’t on, it was too early. She hadn’t had any word from the fire station and hoped that meant Tom was safe. She started the coffee, took a shower, and got dressed. Just as she’d finished her first cup, the door opened and Tom walked in. She jumped up from the table and went over to meet him. He met her in an embrace and kissed her peach scented hair.

            “I’m safe,” he whispered, “everyone made out okay. You didn’t get any sleep after I left did you?”

            “No, but there’s a few hours before the kids get up, come on.”

April sighed, relieved to have her husband home. Together they walked up the stairs, arms linked to get a few hours of precious sleep before the chaos of family life began for the day.

Froid Snowflake’s Journal

by: Rebecca Taylor

(this was a contest entry to a Perspectives Magazine challenge a few years ago).

*************

Dear Reader,

 

            What a day this has been, a true test of my fate, you can read my journal entry to find out more.

 

March 19th, xxxx

 

Dear Journal,

 

            Here we are the day before spring, what a day it has been. This morning I awoke as my alarm clock started playing Anne Murray’s “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” the sunshine was gleaming on the snow outside my window in Winterland. When I first woke up, I could not believe that I had spent the night having a terrifying yet fulfilling experience. I spent the night dreaming about a couple that needed my assistance in getting back together, so with a group of snowflake friends, we knocked out electric and telephone wires and brought them back together. It was very romantic. I was just sitting up in bed this morning, when out of nowhere the Spirit of Spring appeared, a frightening experience, his dark eyes were like sketch pads and his heart was aflame with powerful emotions. He was dressed all in grass green and on his head was a straw hat that was topped with a bird’s nest figurine. He was opaque yet you could see the flames in his heart, the sight of him made me shudder. I had a difficult time identifying his odor; it was a mixture of flowers, rain and mud. He stood there at the foot of my bed for several minutes before speaking.

            “I am the Spirit of Spring; I am here because you need to learn the real meaning of appreciation.”

            “But I already know about appreciation,” I answered, “I just had a dream about it. It has made everything a lot clearer.”

            “You may understand some of your life better now, because of what you did in that dream, but dreams don’t take away fears, only make you face them if you’re strong enough to try.”

            “The dream must prove what is going to happen on hopefully my last trip to Earth.”

            “It only proves what you want to happen. Do you have enough courage to go to Earth and face the crowds and the cold and the unknown?”

            “Why are you here? This has nothing to do with Spring; it’s Dr. Frost who gave me the assignment.”

            “There are many different reasons why a Spirit like me could come to you. Let me tell you why I’m here, you’re feeling guilty because you don’t really care about what happens to Craig and Jolene Freshman, you just want to be able to retire. Your job is to make them proud to be touched by a snowflake, but if you’re selfish you can’t do it.”

            “Maybe so, but still why are you here, it’s still winter and I’m a snowflake, so why didn’t the Spirit of Winter come to me, not you.”

            “It’s the last day of Winter; I was wide awake and raring to go, Spirit of Winter is very busy working with the Seasonal Council on deciding how his season should leave. I have a meeting with them later to go over the forecast. Weathermen, hog wash, only the Seasonal Council with the Spirits of the Seasons can control the weather. The trouble is that sometimes our signals get messed up and there are devastating effects. Anyway, that’s a different story than what we’re talking about, if you’re going to make a real difference before you retire, you need to really care, because otherwise you may be sent to the Freezing Rain Squad, and you know what that means with your temperature issue, instead of returning to Winterland to retire. Role models are needed, can you be one?”

            “Yes, I can, really I can, I’ll do better. I promise.”

            “The Ruler of Snowflakes will hold you to that, remember either you do a good job or else you’re going to be ice, literally,” replied the Spirit of Spring, and then he was gone as quickly as he had entered my bedroom and as strangely.

Spring time is a time for new beginnings which often mean changes, and I wondered what this meant for me, would I succeed on my earthly mission or would I end up desolate in the Freezing Rain Squad, a dismal ending for a snowflake, if your destiny is to be freezing rain, that’s one thing but I was born a snowflake and that is how I would like to stay. Could I embrace my fears and then return to Winterland where I wanted to spend the rest of my life or was I going to be shipped off to stand a different fate. It was the not knowing that made my snowy fingers tremble. Well, Journal, I guess there isn’t much more to say but that I have to get going and see where my life is heading,

 

Until I write again,

 

Froid.

 

            I closed my journal and heard the clasp go snap. I headed to my closet and picked up my suitcase and headed for the door, for a brief moment I contemplated turning around and repacking, I was thinking about running away instead of taking on the mission that Dr. Frost had given me but I knew I couldn’t because then maybe I would end up as freezing rain and I could not let that happen to me. With suitcase in hand I reflected on the items inside, a stress ball to calm my nerves when I became encircled in crowds, a book of poetry because I thought maybe somehow I could use it on the unhappy earth couple, a package of sparkles and a paint brush, which I did not know how I might use them but when I was shopping had been drawn to them. And just before I plummeted softly to earth with the gentle guidance of the wind, I faced the public, which I could not see but knew were there, and said, “Remember you can try to run from your fear but you’ll only be hurting yourself because the one thing you cannot run from is yourself.”

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