The Exorcism of Fears (working title)

This is what I fear:

I fear growing old. I fear the turning-gray, falling-out
hair. I fear the lack of comprehension. I fear I will end
old having never grown up. I fear calling my grandson
by his father’s or uncle’s name. I fear the true
blindness that an ocular migraine showed me.
That is one thing I fear.

I fear having children. I fear the unpreparedness,
the surprising announcement. I fear I haven’t the
selflessness, the resourcefulness, the money. I fear
I will have nothing to teach and that I will spend all my
time away as my father did. I fear my children
will hate me, that they will see through the
‘I-am-always-right-and-all-knowledgeable’ parental
character. I fear they will not be smart, or that they
might be disabled. I fear not being able to have
That is another thing I fear.

I fear being alone. I fear dying without someone
to truly mourn me. I fear the hours at home
in the big, dark house with no one to break the silence,
the cold, the pain. I fear having no one to call upon
when I am in need. I fear the lack of companion-
ship that I so covet when I lay at the side of
the woman I love. I fear losing that.
That is another thing I fear.

I fear wrong planning. I fear I have not correctly
interpreted God’s plan. I fear I have laid my own
plans without consulting Him. I fear that I cannot
follow through on well-laid plans. I fear I will die
before I can accomplish those plans. I fear having
laid the wrong ones. I fear my lack of motivation.
That is another thing I fear.

I fear heights. I fear the dizzying spin of the ground
that calls me down to itself, its warm, earthy
embrace: “Come down, come down to me, and be
safe, be calm, be mine.” I fear the intoxicating, sweet
release of control and self. I fear the ease of that
one crucial step… the ease of the thrusting
wind, or a scared animal, or a jilted lover.
That is another thing I fear.