I see life as like being attacked by a bear. You can run, you can pretend to be dead, or you can make yourself bigger.

Doubt is what drives me, the nervousness that I don’t have it anymore. There’s nothing a coach or anyone can say to me that’s more powerful than my own fear that I can’t do it anymore.

Why You Never Truly Leave High School — New York Magazine

It was a really small study. I wouldn’t necessarily read too much into it. But its results sum up the entire high-school experience, in my view: mistaking people’s fear for something else.

Reminds me of Mark Oppenheimer on running:

Like adolescents, distance runners have rivalries only with themselves.

I got through high school relatively unscathed, I think, but I think it was probably dumb luck.

Why You Never Truly Leave High School — New York Magazine

Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valour
As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would’?

Lady Macbeth, suggesting you be less of a wimp. Cf. Seneca:

You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.

A Prayer That Will Be Answered

Lord let me suffer much
and then die

Let me walk through silence
and leave nothing behind not even fear

Make the world continue
let the ocean kiss the sand just as before

Let the grass stay green
so that the frogs can hide in it

so that someone can bury his face in it
and sob out his love

Make the day rise brightly
as if there were no more pain

And let my poem stand clear as a windowpane
bumped by a bumblebee’s head

Anna Kemienska’s poem from The Book of Luminous Things, translated from Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh. Via malevichsquare.

Filed under: poetry, prayer.

He who bestows all of his time on his own needs, who plans out every day as if it were his last, neither longs for nor fears the morrow. For what new pleasure is there that any hour can now bring? They are all known, all have been enjoyed to the full.

Seneca is my new jam.

Since money always promises something other than itself–it is only, as we say, worth what it can buy–it seems to protect us, as promises do, from the fear of there being nothing and no one that we want.

Adam Phillips. I think I’ll post a couple more from his very good Going Sane later.

Wehr in the World: Controlling your emotions

The important point is this: Evolution seems to have favored inaction over action. E.g., don’t get too close to those people — they might be dangerous! Don’t do that — they might laugh at me! Our limbic system — the emotional center responsible for an embarrassingly high percentage of our behavior — has yet to learn that in the industrial age with market economies and unprecedented levels of absolute wealth, people aren’t so dangerous.

Wehr in the World: Controlling your emotions