Fear is a Choice.


from September 2014

Song Bird Songs

fear kitty

“Fear is a choice, danger is real”. I’ve yet to see the movie but the words struck a note in my heart. That’s true I thought. Fear immobilizes, drains power, curdles our wits. It’s mostly the calm, rational ones that survive crisis situations. Fear is the enemy! Not the awareness of danger causing us to avoid hazardous situations, but raw, paralyzing, all invasive fear that robs us of power to deal with peril.

So can fear be a choice? Surely it is an emotion and we can’t control our reactions. It’s true initial emotions are beyond our control, but there’s a point at which we “open the floodgates” to let them pour in overwhelming the mind and heart. Fear can be fought.

We learn this when there is no one else to call on. A parent protecting a child will often go far beyond their normal courage.

I’ve had a…

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(My ballet dancing friend insists it’s not usually quite this bad, but you get the general idea.)

One new year in China at the English club I often frequented we discussed our goals in life. I was surprised that apart from a retired entrepreneur they all said the same, they wanted to be rich and successful.

I found it odd because goals tend to be more varied in the west and riches and success never really appealed that much to me. For me being loved, having a family, being happy and fulfilled seemed far more important. Like the poster success in any field always comes with a price tag attached and sore feet are by no means the worst.

Do I think one should have no goals or aspirations? By no means, striving for and accomplishing a goal gives great satisfaction. Rather my thought is before attempting to “climb the ladder of success” check the price tag and be sure its against the right wall.

Ready. (written for a flash fiction competition on a theme of “Before the Gates”.)



“I’m not ready for this!” he yelled, as they rushed him through the field hospital. No one answered, just the syringe spraying its fountain of analgesic before plunging into his arm. They were taking off his leg for Christ’s sake! Strong hands held him down as he sank into darkness…

Light pervaded his eyes, as blinking, he re-emerged into consciousness. Panic surged. Grasping frantically joy erupted. It was there, solid flesh, without searing pain – the anesthetic? The strange thing was he was in his army fatigues and this was no hospital!

Before him stood monumental gates their scrolled iron work giving clear view. He watched as people thronged past. His side seemed strangely empty unbearably lonely, but within life thronged in happy abandon. He grasped at the iron work but a chain held it in place against him. He yelled to let him in, but they shook their heads smiling.

A familiar face wended through the throng.

“Dad!” Father smiled knowing his appearance heralded understanding. It hit Sam like a thunderbolt. Dad reached through the railing.

“It’s OK Sam, you’re not locked out forever, it’s just not your time yet.

“But… “

“It’s the anaesthetic, an allergic reaction, but they’re fighting for you. If they fail the gate will open. You’ll have your leg here,” he nodded down at the sound limb, no longer a shattered mess of blood and bone.”

“But what about Jan and the kids?”

“You’ll have to wait till they come…” The gate quivered, but he no longer wanted entry, he wanted Jan, to hold the boys in his arms, be there as they grew up…

Darkness enshrouded him once more, all faded to nothingness.

Harsh hospital lights invaded his eyes. The leg was no longer there. It didn’t matter, he told himself, it would be waiting. For now Jan and the boys were more important.

31 day challenge day 25


woman question

Your five favourite blogs?

OK this is where I throw in the towel. I saw this one coming about a week ago and ever since then I’ve been trying to decide. I’ve even made lists and tried to edit them down but it’s impossible. I just like so many blogs and for all kinds of different reasons, some because they they are my blog taste (literary with integrity and beautifully woven words) some because they embrace causes I’m in sympathy with, Christian, social, ethical or preservationist, some because they are about things I know nothing about (Africa, fashion, music etc.) some because of the great photos or lay out, some just because they are a bit zany and I like to be crazy now and then.

So, sorry, there are some I frequent more than others but there’s no way I could narrow that down to five (or twenty five). There are just too many great blogs out there! I could spend all day exploring but I have to ration myself so I don’t turn into a “blog worm”!

Am I Too Busy to Live? (A cross roads in life)



Time slips through my fingers like precious coins spent in pursuit of trivia, shopping, school trips, cleaning house, daily necessities like showers, drying my hair, brushing teeth, sleep.
Now I’m retired it’s no different except the annoying need to rest more often, to chill, times when mind or body sink in exhaustion telling me – enough! At such times I resort to a good book, movie or puzzle, but something tells me I’m missing the point somehow.
I know it’s about focus, when I’m focused I accomplish far more and prioritize better, yet I find myself stumbling through days in a never ending muddle, like a car wandering slowly down the road with no one at the wheel, life happening upon me rather than under my direction. (There’s a time we need to grab the wheel and take control lest we amble off a cliff!) It’s not that I don’t have the time it’s more how I spend it. It’s not the doing of the trivia that’s the problem but the focusing on it.
You see something burns inside me. There is something more here I’m meant to do but I haven’t quite found it. Presently I can’t see the wood for the trees, and time is running short, so is power and energy.

I’ve always been a bit of a “fighter”, often achieving the “impossible”. My life is strewn with miracles and fulfilled dreams. I have been greatly blessed! Yet I know there is something yet to do, an intangible “something” that I can’t quite put my finger on, hidden by the fog of “doings”, a thing that will fulfill me, and my final purpose here.
I need a retreat, a time to thoroughly cleanse my mind of the trivia and focus, a time to stop my “business” and take new compass readings on where I go from here. The rest of my life and the things I choose to surround it with are mine to choose. I know I’m meant to write, to pass on those things I’ve learnt in my journeying to others, but what exact form that should take is a mystery.
I’m reminded of when I made sculpture. Like Michelangelo, I always felt there was a sculpture hidden within the block and all I had to do was chip away the excess to find it. Life is like that too, sometimes you just kind of feel your way towards something and the image becomes clearer and more defined. You don’t always need to know your destination to begin the journey.