Fear of being frightened

My favourite poem from David Wagoner is ‘Lost’:

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger.

The truth of the poem is an old truth. There are places you wish to go, there are places you desperately wish you never left. there are places you imagine you should be, and there is the place called here. In the…poem, it is the rooted things – trees and bushes – that tell the truth to the person who is lost, the person with legs and fear who wishes to be elsewhere. The person must stand still, feel their body still on the ground where they are, in order to learn the wisdom….It is true there are some things that we fear, but there is, even deeper, a fear of fear. So we are prevented from being here not only by being frightened of certain places, but by the fear of being frightened of certain places.

from Padraig O’Tuama’s lovely book, In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World

2 thoughts on “Fear of being frightened

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