Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fear Factor

I was looking out my kitchen window when I noticed a man across the street mowing the lawn.  This was nothing special, my neighbor is religious about mowing his lawn every week but it didn't look like my neighbor doing the mowing.  The man was wearing a hard hat.

"Honey," I called to David, "Is that Dick mowing his lawn and if so, why is he wearing a hard hat?"  It was Dick.  David found out that he was wearing a hard hat because he had been attacked.  Twice.
These two hawks mated in this tree in front of my house.  It was quite an event, loud and violent.  No, I don't have a picture, what kind of person do you think I am?  Afterwards they moved across the street and had a baby.  Now they attack people that might threaten the nest, namely my neighbor Dick. 

So now Dick doesn't mow without his hard hat.  I saw him checking the mail with an umbrella.
I understand his fear.  I have some fears myself.  Some, like being attacked by hawks a third time are normal, even healthy fears.

This rattlesnake habitat was near a beach I visited in Galveston.  I was happy it was so clearly marked.

Some of my fears are just strange.  David is working on his bid for sainthood because of one particularly ridiculous fear.

Poor David.  He is not allowed in our bedroom when I am in the bathroom.  There is a door between the bathroom and the bedroom but that doesn't matter.  He knows this rule but sometimes I hear him brushing his teeth when I am in there.  When this happens I have poem ideas pop into my head.

Some of my fears are completely unfounded.  When I was taking photography at the college I did my final project on "Things that have been abandoned".  I took pictures of a couch, some tires on the side of the road.  I had the idea to go to a junk yard and see if I could get some images.  I sat in my car outside agonizing about going in to ask.  I finally worked up the courage to go in and explain what I was hoping to do.  I was sweating and my heart was beating hard.  The man didn't even look up when he rudely replied, "No, you can leave."  So I left, my heart pounding out of my chest, on the verge of tears.
I took this in the parking lot.  After I swallowed my heart back down to its normal position and dried my tears.  It was a film camera and I needed to keep everything dry.

I don't know why it was so hard for me to ask and why the rejection was so hard for me to swallow.  This happens to me a lot.  What will someone think?  What will someone say?  What if they hate me or think I am stupid/fat/strange/irritating/etc/etc/etc?

Our keynote speaker at the conference last week was Eric Wahl and it was a message that I needed to hear.  Mr. Wahl was told as a child that he wasn't a good artist because he couldn't color inside the lines.  So he gave it up and it wasn't until many years later that he returned to art.  Now he travels around speaking and painting.  He spoke about fear.
He painted this picture of Bono from U2 in about 3-4 minutes.  Sometimes he applied paint directly to the canvas with his hand.

He asked if we had ever heard of the show Fear Factor - the show where people do all manner of crazy things like eating mechanically separated chicken.  Mr. Wahl gains a "volunteer" by throwing a ball in to the audience.  The volunteer is given a sealed envelope and a choice:  come up on the stage and do what the envelope says or give it to anyone else and they must come up and do it.  He gives the envelope away to a woman who VOLUNTEERS to take it.
Up on the stage she opens the envelope and screams, "Are you serious?"  She gets to keep the painting of Bono.  Not only that but he brings her a box to carry it home in.

The box had a painting of John Lennon on it.  He did the paintings of Marilyn Monroe and Steve Jobs in under 5 minutes each too.  Steve Jobs was painted upside down on the canvas.

This young lady was ready to do anything.  She had no fear.  All week I spent time with her and she just wanted to do it all, experience it all.  I want to be more like that.  I am working on it.
Even my Kermit the Frog fears for me.

This blog has helped.  I would never have done the armadillo race before but I knew it could give me a good story to tell.  I am going to Florida with my parents, my niece and my granddaughter later this summer.  I have fear of spending time in a swimsuit on a public beach but it will be worth every second for the stories I will bring back.
This is a man who obviously has no fear.  Maybe dad will bring the Speedo out of retirement for our trip. 

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