Stoking the fires


At times, I know exactly what I’m about, so writing up the title for my post is easy and even sets the tone for the whole piece. Yesterday and today, it’s been the opposite. I’m having to write up the entry and derive a title from it.

Fear has been creeping in slowly into my mind and as Herbert put it, fear is the mind killer. It needs to be faced and put in its proper place. Since I think in bullet points, here are the ones creeping in lately:

  • Career – I’ve been off my job since June last year and I’ve no desire to get back into the fray. Do I have a career anymore?
  • Big expectations – As an organizer for a conference coming up in April, I’m working on one fear with two faces: Doubt. Can I really pull it off? Will we succeed in delivering a good performance?
  • Confrontation – I’ve known for  a while, that I fear the unknown. This translates into my fear of deep water; I can’t dive! And at other times, it comes up in situations like dealing with neighbors whom I barely know and dealing with the almost daily requirement confrontation that I seem to find in India in other areas

I can’t seem to find any comforting answers to take away these fears, so I need to persevere. A quotation I once noted down said, “things will probably turn out to be just fine, but it takes nerves to just watch.”

Another dimly remembered story comes to mind – of a reactionary who’s given up on his comrades and is sulking in his home in front of the fire. One day a close friend comes by and sits silently beside him. After a short while, using the poker he extracts a red hot coal from the fire and sets it on the hearth. Soon, the color dims and all that is left behind is ash.

Yet, if you heap too many coals together, it takes a lot to get the fire going. An interesting conundrum here: company to keep the fires burning and some breathing spaces to keep it from choking.

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