Wyatt said I was afraid of nothing on earth. But that is not quite true. It is what is most obvious in a person that reveals their striving to improve, and their success. But that striving is a result of their fear.
Into what did I put all my heart and soul, all my effort? Loyalty. I am afraid of failing my friends – that emotion will impel me though I will nothing but the best.
I fear nothing from others. I try to expect nothing and succeed in fearing nothing. What more can be done unto me? Death and torture? Rejection? Unless it results from my own failure, I already take it almost for granted. My own failure. That is what I fear.
Wyatt said also that I was my own worst enemy. That is true. He knew me and forgave me. With him, my jealousy carried away my best intentions. And that fact, for it is
a fact, begets fear that I should again feel it strongly enough that I should, despite my guard, betray myself again and harm my friends in the process. Yet I cannot, somehow, simply fade and move away from seeking friends, nor from offering them all I have, or hope I have for them.
I want to do my best for my friends – to lift them, to love them, to offer shelter, gentleness and strength; a rest from pain; warmth; companionship based on honesty and truth no matter how hard; laughter; recognition. I want to be relied upon to stand for them with life and skill, should it be needed – any aid in darkness and emergency, knowing clearly, unflinching and unafraid. I wish to stand ready for them at a moment’s notice, should they require me - simple and with whatever I have built and learned at their service. I love. I choose my friends carefully – so few. But those I hold, whether they so hold me or no, valued more than all the remainder of the universe.
Selfishness, Bat said. And I always consider my guilt in this. I can scoff at ‘perversity’ or any other epithet he offered, but ‘selfishness’ cut because I genuinely fear it in myself. I want to be worthy of what I see in my friends. Every act is selfish, and it is unavoidable that somehow
every desire is
desire, for myself. And, in seeking even to do my best for my friends, I may harm them. Am I guilty? Do I fail my friends in this – submit them to my intrusion where I have no right to delve, because I desire to help, because I desire
even if I risk offense, or risk prodding nerve so raw they can bear no more from me? Yes, of this I am afraid.
I am not easy. I delve and cut and analyse; I am as incisive as I can be. I love. I wish to see my friends as they are - always more. And I wish to show them even a little of the way in which the wonder of what I see makes even my shadowy existence worthwhile. Standing for them physically I am not a liability, and I have confidence in my great usefulness. I am not afraid. But to love and stand for their souls, even against their conscious thought, causes me to fear myself.
The difference between what will heal and what will harm is so delicate, and it matters more than, as I say, the remainder of the universe. I am
afraid. I try, and talk, ask and answer, as open as I can be, giving as much as I have – my own darkness as companionship, my own visions of light - hoping with love that I will not fail. But in hope is fear. The wrong metaphor, too great a presumption of closeness, too much concentration on darkness that leads despair, too much concentration on light in which they cannot yet believe – all can lead to harm. All can lead to an end of my chance to give, to love, to heal. As long as I may speak and be considered there is room for small errors. But they accumulate, and they may turn any moment. I can still see Paul’s pain, his eyes slamming closed to me at an idea I expressed with the wrong context.
I have failed. Paul. Wyatt. Others. And I may fail again. And though I selfishly will not stop trying, or stop loving, I am afraid.Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Word Count: 755
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus