Sunday, May 19, 2013


April’s was the first full moon since last September’s that was accompanied by weather fine enough to actually SEE the moon, much less kindle a fire outdoors in her honor.  So I dutifully assembled my newspaper and my kindling, my few chunks of wood left over from last summer’s campfires, my rattle and my sage and a couple of cedar scraps.  I set myself up in the yard facing east, after the rest of the household had climbed into bed.  Lit the fire, sat and waited for the moon to show her face above the line of clouds hanging low over the Cascades. 

After a coquettish dance through seven veils of cloud, she eventually showed herself, full and bright.  But as she had crept upward through the mists, her face had changed and morphed…now appearing to wink one eye and grin, then looking for all the world like a silhouette of my bespectacled dad.  At one point, the clouds formed a clear question mark across her face from top to bottom—as if she asked, “Who do YOU want me to be?”  It was quite a show, and I gazed transfixed, forgetting all about my rattle and my songs and my introspections.

Eventually, I settled down to contemplating some things while I studied alternately the face of the moon and the depths of my fire.  I thought chiefly about fear…always the first thing that comes to mind, unfortunately, when my thoughts turn to the state of my life and how I would like to see it change.  Fear is the thing I hate about my life.  It is my constant companion.  It taints 75% of my waking moments.  It is the thing I have to overcome every day, just in order to get out of bed and keep putting one foot in front of the other. 

It took me many years to recognize the constant presence of fear in my life.  About a year and a half ago, I decided that one of the things I would work on now that I have time to work on myself was that ever-present fear.  I would eradicate it, overcome it.  Walk away from it.  At the very least, I would rise above it.  Every day.  I decided I would burn “fear” in a little ritual fire every morning, as an indication that I acknowledged and rejected fear’s hold on me. 

Well, guess what.  It didn’t work.

I’m still afraid of everything.  Always have been.  Always will be.

But as I complained about this to the Universe, in the presence of the Moon, the thought came to me. 

“Why reject fear?  It is part of you…always has been.  And it is only negative if you allow it to be.  Consider how many things you would not have done, what you would not BE, without the role that fear has played in your life.”

Yes…fear has been quite the trigger in my life.  In fact, I think it has been my primary motivator.  I suppose that sounds a little twisted…but it’s true.  I don’t think I would have done anything, achieved any of the things I have achieved, had I not been scared to death of them first.  Evidently, I need to cower in a corner for months, then get up, dust off my hands, spit in the eye of whatever the challenge may be, and have at it.  And if I don’t just follow that raw emotional stirring, I am lost.  God forbid I should give the thing too much thought…if I do, I think myself right back into the corner.

I don’t want to say I’ve made friends with fear…that I’ve become comfortable with it, or even that I honor it as my motivating force.  In fact, I’m kind of ticked that this is what I am saddled with.  Why couldn’t I have had kindness, or love, or generosity, or fairness--something noble and laudable--as my ruling force?  Fear seems so…puny.  So weak.  (What am I saying?  I, of all people, should understand the power of fear…)  But it is what it is.

While I have been contemplating this message from the Moon and the Universe, a friend posted this picture on Facebook:

And I realized this is exactly it.  Exactly me.  Not what I wish I was.  Not what I would like to be.  What I am.

This shows me exactly what the Universe was trying to tell me about myself…and puts it in a way that is much more palatable than, “I’m afraid of everything.”

I'm not a blubbering coward.  I am a Master Wing-Crafter.

So when someone says to me, “I wish I were as brave as you…”  I have two answers.

1.)    No, you don’t.


2.)   Trust me—you are.



  1. Fear may be part of who you are but it does not define you. Rather it seems, perhaps that fear is your inspiration for transformation.

    Your nightime fire makes me think of the late night moon dance depicted in the movie with Eillen Burstyn and Sandra Bullock, Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. (love that movie).

    Transformation of our selves into the fullest sense of who the Divine has created us to be is a lifelong journey. Sometimes I think that my fifties are proving to be the most transformational of all - in both the best and the most challenging of ways...

  2. First, this made me cry, and then, it made me look at times I've built wings. I tend to stumble and fall, rather than leap, and I think that's why It's hard for me to recognize my feathers. I still envy the ability ro leap. The times that I know have leapt, crash landings and all, I haven't regretted long term.

  3. Cynthia--I said I have built wings...I didn't say they always worked. Actually, they HAVE worked...they just haven't always helped me land where I thought I was going to.