The Thing About Fear

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Fear is like knowing
with a dreadful certainty
there is a sixty-foot troll
exploring the corridors
of your existence
in a pair of rubber-soled shoes
like the spies are obligated to wear
in all those books
to sneak up on one another–
a five-story, monolithic brute
gliding through you
like a dorsal fin through water
who might appear at any moment
and squish you flat upon sight
as if you were a tiny black spider
roaming a shiny white corridor.

It’s not even an angry troll,
is the sad thing.
Squishing you out of existence
is just pure instinct.


Then maybe daub a taste of you
on the tongue,
or catch a bit of your scent
off the edge of a finger
or something.

It’s all quite natural.

Well, uhmmm—
gee whiz, Hafiz.
Thanks for the pep talk there,
good buddy.

My pleasure.

I scurried around,
up, over and down,
nimble as the night and
pretty perturbed I gotta’ buy
four pairs of Nike’s to get one job done.

Say, Hafiz:
Got any, uh, last minute thoughts
before that troll smears
me across the floor here?

Oh, for sure.
You could stop thinking
you’re anything
that could ever be squished,
for starters.
And tell me…
how many sixty foot trolls
have you ever seen, REALLY…?


    • What a friend to have, Eric! 🙂

      You must have needed a ladder to get in bed as well, which would surely have exacerbated the sense of being trapped!


      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Karin. Yes you are right about that. It has a similar message in the end. That is one of my favorite quotes… 🙂


      Liked by 1 person

  1. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

    SCHWAP! Oh yay, I’m still here. I guess I’m real. 🙂 Maybe another discernment tool?
    You and Hafiz are so funny. He is so calm, watching all of your antics and then his one liners always seal the wisdom deal. Thanks, You.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Genie says

    This has me contemplating the nature of fear; fear can be irrational, it can also be a signal that arrives from our instinctual self that says to us, there is danger here, be very careful.

    I have an incident that happened to me when I was 21 years old, I got off of a bus at about 11 PM and began walking down the street where I lived in a large city, something within me had a sense of fear and alert awareness that arose from hearing the wordless whisper of the fear, I looked around instantly, and I saw a man peeking at me from behind a van, so I ran to the house in front of me that had lights on, and I asked the people there to call the police, which they did, who did found the predator that was wanted for murder.

    So the conclusion that I have come to concerning fear is that, fear is a messenger when it’s instinctual (and of course, this is not that easy to find out, because the irrational fears try and usurp instinct), and then there are irrational fears that are based on egoic perceptions of less than, or fear of the unknown (the future is not static, so fear only adds to possible dangers in the future), fear of not being safe (and these fears, too, have lessons — many children don’t have their needs met by their caregivers, television shows and story books are often designed to frighten children, etc.).

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Genie. I think all of our feelings can be messengers in a way.

      Even though I think the possibility remains that beings may overcome fear, and be able to walk through such moments as you describe without necessarily becoming fearful, I do think it’s important for us to trust ourselves wherever we find ourselves and to respond as you did to your own feelings. We get into trouble I think when we try and be something we’re not… I’m glad you listened and found your way to safety.

      Thank you for the insightful reply!


      Liked by 1 person

      • Genie says

        Fear is not neccaserily immobilizing, like I said, it can be a message to be very careful and aware, thus, I don’t see the need nor the nessecity for “overcoming fear”; however, irrational fear needs to be overcome.
        As with all feelings, fear can be a messenger.

        When I listened to the fear I felt, I actually stopped feeling the fear, because the fear awakened heightened awareness in me, which I acted upon — and thus saved my life — and perhaps many other lives had the predator not been jailed.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes, how many sixty foot trolls have you seen, REALLY?!
    I see them all the time roaming the corridors of my mind.
    If I’m lucky I catch them and disarm them with love.
    If not it can mean a sleepless night of self-beating.
    Until I see that I’m actually not something that could ever be squished.
    It’s fun eh?
    Much love,

    Liked by 4 people

    • I just see a wisp of shadow mostly, Alison. Which makes it all the scarier, eh? Disarmament with love is a nice way to go when you can convince your mind to throw open the heart’s gate– the gate to the treasure!– with a sixty foot troll standing right there. It is indeed best to make this fun! Nothing like inviting a sixty foot troll over for dinner…!

      Peace and Love

      Liked by 3 people

    • Well in that case, you can leave some banana peels in your wake!

      Or a book of knock-knock jokes. You can keep a troll occupied for days with one good knock-knock joke!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Four pairs of running shoes? Really….for a ninja warrior of the spirit, I figured you could easily disarm that fiend quite easily, you know, reach into that trusty paper bag and throw a chocolate chip cookie at him, get him all confused and as he reaches for it, wrap him in a big hug…now that would really set him on his tail I would think. Chocolate chip work much better than just sugar cookies, the scent is more delectable….no one can resist…I figured Hafiz would have mentioned that…..flying chip cookies like frisbees, much more fun than running away. Peace and cookies, always, Kim

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Kim,

      Thankfully spiders don’t have left and right feet, or I’d need eight pairs! So I count that as a small victory! Ha!

      I like your strategy. Between you and Alison, and the bike stunts from Hariod, we should have this just about licked!


      Liked by 2 people

  5. When I was a child, I had re-occurring dreams about a troll-like giant walking around my town and coming into my neighborhood. He never got close enough to squish me, though I can almost remember hearing his footsteps. Gee whiz, Hafiz. Now, I think of him as a cartoon giant: not real, not real, NOT real. Those footsteps were only thunder.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, JoAnna. Really interesting! The world can seem a big bad place at times, I’m sure of that. I like the idea of the footsteps being thunder, and it reminds me of how interesting the associations are that emerge sometimes between our dreams and our waking realities. Like the time I dreamed I was falling off a twenty-story building– quite an arduous dream to have!– only to awaken and realize I’d merely fallen out of bed! 🙂

      Most of our fears end like this I think, whether we can see it at the time or not…


      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, bro! Some of these experiences are so universal, aren’t they? It’s amazing what we have in common with one another, and how easy it is to find excuses to push ourselves apart…

      Hope the light and the waves are still treating you well–

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ha ha, reading this makes me think my trolls of fear in their hobnailed boots are probably the preferable kind. Love it all, especially:

    You could stop thinking
    you’re anything
    that could ever be squished,
    for starters.

    I will remember that next time my fear arrives, whether it sneaks up on me or announces its arrival loudly with big clonking boots.

    Have yourself a lovely day my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Julia,

      Sorry for the delayed reaction here. I haven’t been online too much this past week, but thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts here! Hope you’ve had a great week. Yes, the trolls you can hear coming are sometimes preferable! A little less surprise, though still quite a sight when you finally come face to face…



  7. Hi Michael,
    Fear, that’s the topic?
    Hmm… I can see your trolls, and they are scary. So I will valid that.
    What shadow can a
    60-ft troll cast? Have I REALLY seen such a shadow?
    Irregardless, I see all these extra sneakers are on sale for super cheap.
    I see a whole team running or planning, or doing whatever it takes. Attached to those sneakers
    are feet, and bodies, hearts and minds. There’s serious spirit, body, even.
    Thank you for reminding me of that!
    Now, about that nothingness… why, it looks very substantial!
    Aloha, Ka

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ka!

      I’ve been offline a bit this week, but love this comment. If you still remember it. Ha! Thank you for validating and playing in this dreaming sandbox with me all at the same time. I love the way sneakers give way to running teams to doing whatever it takes, and I will plant all of that mojo deep inside and let it burn away brightly!

      Much Love

      Liked by 1 person

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