My daughter told me that fear is a good thing to have because it makes people focus and learn and achieve. She is thirteen years old, and this is her personal experience, so far. I think that she will understand eventually that there are detrimental complications within fear, but, because I’m busily shielding her from the things in a human life that cause fear, she shouldn’t have those insights yet. I’m bringing this up because I recently heard a writer and editor speak on a panel about the necessity of provoking fear through literary works, as a kind of adjustment to the sadly prevalent hubris.
Maybe I’m idealistic. I believe that humans can come into humility without the fear. Maybe it requires a kind of well-placed shame. Maybe that’s an unpopular idea. Maybe it requires a kind of love that shields what’s truly worthy.
My eco-poetics group is giving a reading tomorrow online, and much of the work involves stepping into humility about the type of consciousness humans possess. Hope you’ll join us in the zoom room for some reflections on how to approach hope for the vital world and the possibilities for renewal.