The Space Needle is My Neighbor

"A mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bravery - Love - Exhilaration - Fear

Well, I seem to have gotten through the better part of the day without any mishaps, despite the dire horoscopic warnings. I don't know how much I believe in that stuff, anyway-but it's always entertaining. On the drive home tonight I was thinking about what I'd like to write next. Something serious, I thought, since lately my stuff has been mostly all throwaway and kind of lightweight. Four words popped into my head; bravery, love, exhilaration and fear. As I slowly inched my way home for the most part, suddenly a clearing appeared, and then I was able to race across the bridge into the early darkening evening, thinking about what each one meant to me. I wondered "Why those four?"

When I was about twelve, my best friend and I would do pretend radio broadcasts. I had a small reel to reel tape recorder and we would tape shows and then play them back for our own amusement. Sometimes at night I would leave my transistor radio on, underneath my pillow. It was always tuned to WBEZ in Boston. Their on-air personalities were known from coast to coast. A nation of restless teens listened every night, as the midnight hour buzzed with the combined static and chatter of people reaching out for music and conversation. We were connected.

I haven't listened to any kind of talk radio in's become so, so, well you know. "Insane" is the word that comes to mind. Where am I going with this? Well, I've been thinking- I really love to write, and this site has been my proving ground to discover whether or not I had anything worthwhile to say. It's a nice format-somewhat interactive, but limited. There is no dialogue, there is no back-and-forth. It's mostly just me, throwing words against the wall to see what sticks. Sometimes I capture someone's mind for a moment and get a reaction. I love it when there's a comment from someone I've never even met. Connections are really important. Connections are what get us through, every time. Are we connected?

Anyway, all this has gotten me remembering about the radio and how I wished when I was a teenage girl that I could have my own radio show when I grew up. I suppose this site is the obvious substitute for that unfulfilled desire. What's missing is your part. I really wish I could know what these words mean to you; what they remind you of, what your reaction is to seeing them together and whether you feel they belong together, or not. There's a lot of emotion in these words. They are powerful words. Put them together in any order you wish - since they came from my own thought process, the order that they're in obviously makes sense to me on some level. My mind summoned them up that way. Two very complimentary emotions bracketed by two others that are the flip side of each other and cannot exist without each other, for you cannot know what it is to be brave, until you have known what it feels like to be very afraid. Have you had a chance in your lifetime to experience each one of these feelings? Have you lived a life with at least some sense of love and the way that it can make you believe that anything is possible? I hope so, and many times over. And when you have been afraid, I hope you have looked into the deepest part of yourself and found that bravery did exist within your heart and that you used it well, to either save yourself or to save someone else in the world.

I don't have a way to speak with you so I can hear you talk about how you feel. I don't have a radio program; I don't have a number for you to call in and say what's on your mind. All I have is this site and the hope that you'll think about this post for awhile and then maybe talk to the next person you see about what these words mean to you. You don't even really need to talk that much. Just connect. Just feel. And live.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't posted here in a long time, as I have just been too busy. I had stumbled across your blog some time ago, and have enjoyed dropping in to read, as your entries are witty, intelligent... just plain fun to read. They aren't all self serving the way most blogs are. Well, maybe they are.

The last time I posted, I think I had mentioned that my wife had passed away, after a six month fight with melanoma. We had known each other since 1972, and gone through a lot together, and I would say that the majority of it was good - very good. My wife was love you could know, pouring herself out for me and my family. Her friends saw it, and haven't stopped commenting on it. At the same time, it was reciprocal, as I did the same for her, to always support her and provide for her, to do my best to help her stretch her wings an be what she wanted to be.

Cancer -- the very thought strikes fear in ones being. She researched it, found out what the best course of action would be and we went for it. Everything failed, as it spread like wildfire through her body. We had six months. Ten years wouldn't have been enough time to try to say all you want to say when you know for certain the relationship, the life you had, is going to end. By last December, she had tumors in her brain, two weeks before Christmas we had to cancel plans for a party and dinner out with our kids. We had to pass on one of our favorite times of the year when we realized we couldn't go to Church on Christmas Eve. By Christmas Day she didn't know what day it was, and the rest of the family opened presents without her, as she was in bed and not talking. On the 28th she escaped this life.

Love? Fear? I've faced them both. I remember it like it was yesterday, and yet, I don't regret the life lived. Any of it. I just recently asked someone out. Because life moves on. It's what she would have wanted me to do, and I think most of all, if she were here now, she would say that we can't be afraid OF LOVE or be afraid TO LOVE. Does that mean we're brave? I don't know, just that we sometimes just do what we have to do.


3:19 PM  
Blogger FancyPants said...

Hi there-

I'm always glad to have you check in. Thanks for your words-hope your journey goes well. Life does go on.


12:02 PM  
Blogger Peri said...

I read this post a couple of days ago and then went away to think about it.

Oddly, the words I thought about the most were the first and the last. I can think of lots of fear and I guess the fact that I came through is bravery of a sort. Only the sort that happens when there's no real choice though.

Then there's love. I have decided - and please understand that this is only myself I'm applying this to; I'm not raining on anybody else's happy parade - that the only love that is true is the love I have for my daughter. I love my family, but they are not my life. I would be sad to lose any of them, but my life would go on. The universe would stop if I...I can't even type that.

As far as romantic love goes, for me that's the most unreal of all. I HAVE loved; and then I stopped. More than once. Several times. It's just gone. All that's left is the memory that I felt it and a feeling like "I wonder what that was all about?"

I don't like these words. I should have just made a smartass comment and let it go.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always find it easier to make a smartass comment and move on.

LOVE forces us to make ourselves vulnerable, and mostly we are uncomfortable with that idea. I can only look at my life and the world around me in the context of a Christian framework. Your view can be totally different than mine, and I won't argue or condemn it, even if I might disagree.

My avatar shows me holding a white rose. An eight year old girl my wife never met sent one for my wife's funeral. Her mother and my wife had met online, and when my wife first found out she had melanoma in 2001, this girl (then 4) was diagnosed with Leukemia. They prayed for one another. This past Fall, this beautiful girl prayed every single day for my wife, then sent a rose for her casket. I think the world could use a lot more love like that.

I've been praying for her every day too, and so far, she is through her chemo and is cancer free.

I'm done preaching...I'll go back to my own world for a while. Life does indeed go on.

3:36 AM  
Blogger FancyPants said...

When all is said and done-I'm glad you're both here. Thanks for holding on to me today. This is a very low place to be in.



4:10 PM  
Blogger Peri said...

You're right, Bruce. We need more love like that.

I'm so sorry about the pain and the loss that's here right now.

8:45 PM  

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