Fear rules me, lately. That balance between living through fear, and living through love – it should be a no brainer; but fear is a powerful force. It’s easy to get sucked into that deep ‘fraidy-cat hole.
Yesterday, just minutes down the road in Oro, a bear chased a woman on a bike. She was unharmed, but understandably, she was afraid. In turn, I walked my dog this morning and got my daily dose of fright when a tiny magpie fluttered out of the long grass two feet away from me, disguised as a bear. Or at least it looked like a bear in my pre-tea stupor.
I screamed loud enough to wake the neighbouring cows; and my golden retriever, Maalik, came running towards me in record speed – my hero!
As he stood behind me, all 90 pounds of him, bewildered and trembling at the monster magpie who’d long flown away; I decided fear is a sneaky beast. Out of nowhere – unexpected and all together irrational; fear had stopped me in my tracks.
It isn’t the first time this week I’ve been momentarily paralyzed by the F-word. This morning, it was more physical or instinctual; earlier this week the fear was psychological. Twisted roots of uncertainty tangled all around my ego and esteem, almost holding me back…almost.
The source of my trepidation? I applied for the Humber School for Writers Summer Workshop; a week long writer’s symposium that incorporates seminars, workshops, lectures and readings. You’re placed in small groups with a mentor – who just happens to be an accomplished author. The top two facilitators on my wish list? Miriam Toews and Wayson Choy. What an opportunity – to have my work critiqued, and my ideas for my new novel shaped by authors I admire. Could anything be more exciting than that?
So I wait – as writers often do – for my work to be evaluated, for my sweat and tears to be analyzed; and for acceptance into a world that has its share of barriers.
I’ll have try to pass the time gracefully between now and the week of June 21st, when I’ll find out if it’s all a go. If I’m in. If I’ll get to sneak away from my regular life for 7 whole nights, basking in the abundance of creative energy that comes with sitting in groups of other writers.
During times of stress, I bite my nails, so I painted them. I eat chocolate, so I threw it in the garbage (ok, I wet it, then threw it in the garbage, to hinder any regret-ski dumpster digging); and I write, which I’m doing now. Exposing the monster under the bed, flipping on the lights in hopes that the shadows will disappear, and a sunny day will stand in its place.
Here’s hoping, with fingers crossed, that my writing cuts the mustard, and I am accepted into the 2010 program. Maybe you can bite a nail or down a chocolate bar for me. I’ll let you know how it goes. You might just want to cross a finger, too.