Friday, April 13, 2012

Moment of Clarity #1

So today while leaving the house, the landlady's dog came out to give me a shy headbutt. And of course I stopped and we had a bit of a conversation about who the best doggy in the world is and how I do most certainly believe its her. (This is, I have to admit, a post I assign quite randomly to all dogs. I don't know how you'd choose between dogs to say, "this one is better" or "no, that one is not good enough". Ick, what a horrible thought.)

As I was petting her, SOMETHING came and sat down on my forehead, and when I ducked a little, it FLEW away. Anyone who knows me knows that this is enough cause for me to run around in tiny circles screaming "MOTH MOTH MOTH MOTH!" For those who do NOT know me (this is that moment in the blog where I imagine a lot of people are reading this little thing), a little background is necessary. Ever since I was a child, I've been incredibly terrified of moths and butterflies, the result of a toddlerhood experience where several of these loathsome creatures lodged themselves in my then very curly hair. As a result, I've embarrassed myself in a number of situations in my adolescent and adult existence.

A recent experience with some healing processes however has kind of unlocked this phobia. I'm still not wildly fond of moths and butterflies, but I can tolerate their existence and there is no screaming or running around in very tiny circles like a loon. Like today. When the moth/monster flew off my forehead, briefly lodging itself in my helmet before taking off, I did...

...exactly nothing.

A while later, walking to my scooter, I realised that the healing processes have had this weird, unanticipated sort of result, and I celebrated that. I also realised that in all my previous dealings with the winged world, I have not had the kind of control I had today. In fact, if anything, I was compelled to do whatever I could to protect myself - although how screaming and running around in tiny circles is protecting myself, I do not know. Nonetheless, this led me to a moment of clarity.

These are rare, so they must be noted.

Fear is compelling. When you're afraid, in any manner, you lose control of your facilities and your body goes into a self-protective mode. Concurrently, when you find yourself doing odd things -- screaming at people who get 'too close' (which in the Delhi context is really Just Common Sense), but also at those other people who get too close in a more personal and therefore perhaps slightly more alarming sense, being one example of this kind of behaviour -- odd things that you're not really in control of, things that seem mad or insane to everyone else and even to you in retrospect ... perhaps really you're just doing them out of fear. And maybe if you can put a name to that kind of fear, or as I did with my moth-phobia, turn it into a shape and let it fly away into the more accepting arms of the universe... then just maybe you can deal with it.

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