When I was four years old, two men in black suits came to our home in Concord, Ohio and tested me. My parents claim this never happened but I remember it clear as day. I remember they took me into a room and did a series of test – cards with forms and shapes on them and then they talked with my mother and left. How can I have such a clear memory of this event and yet be told it never happened. When I was five I wrote a letter to President Nixon asking him to help “my people” Indians in the west. His Secretary of the Interior, Walter J. Hickel wrote back and told me that he was working to help the native people. Sitting in a meeting with a medicine man and asked to relay my clans I state Hungarian and German and….later the medicine man takes me aside and says you have another Clan Northern Cree.
I can remember my nightmares as a child falling. Being on a large ship and then plummeting back to earth.
Abstract thoughts that play over in my mind – the why of each.
I started to title this post To Fear or Not to Fear because growing up I was always afraid. I remember building these scenarios in my mind to get to sleep at night because I knew someone was going to “get me”. Abduction played over and over in my young mind. Christian school for thirteen years did not help matters. They instilled the fear of Johnathan Edwards “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”; your hair is touching your ear therefore you are going to hell legalism. I was whipped and rebelled, whipped more and began to escape into books and nature. I learned to ignore but the fear remained.
No one ever gave me options. I fumbled along through college and then through life directionless.
The one thing in life I have wanted to do – I have never done.
There is so much good I could do – yet I stand motionless – without ego – wondering, thinking, “IF”
Fear? It is amazing what one can live through!
It always goes back to 4th grade, Mrs Spurrier – Memorize Rudyard Kipling “IF” ! and then 7th grade Mrs Spurrier being hauled into the hallway and asked to rat on another student and not saying anything while she berated me and tried to trick me and say that “he said – she said” routine…I stood solid and never flinched and she finally smiled and told me I was okay – she hated rats! I took the whipping for David Smetters in fourth grade, took the whipping in fifth grade for Jimmy Venman, I can still feel the muscle memory of being whipped to this day. I think that is a good thing because it got me through my fear. Through one of the toughest times – “Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,” Lies ruined my life but set me free and they still circulate and I smile thankful.
I met a cashier at the local IGA who was being questioned by the FEDS. She was shaken up – dire fear – and asked for advice – no, I did not quote Rudyard Kipling – I simply told her to keep her mouth shut. Don’t talk to friends, relatives, e-mail, text, anything!
I think often of Edward Snowden who gave his life for our country and I wonder about his fear. I know the media is a mass manipulation of lies. Our politicians sold to the highest bidder.
Life is the energy you surround yourself with –
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Thanks be to God who giveth to all men liberally -
This is dedicated to my old friend David Smetters – thanks for the brick in the wall!