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What If There is No Enemy? Then it's just the Fear Talking


What If There is No Enemy?
2012
Acrylic on Canvas
Kim Barry




My mother locks doors. She locks windows. As soon as something cannot appear at her immediate recollection,  the first envisioned and, clearly logical, explanation is that some hoodlum ran through the house at warp speed moments before and grabbed the one and only treasure on my mom's mind at the moment-  a key, a folder, and my personal favorite, a Hummel.
Of course.
Because that happens.

I wonder if the simple act of locking doesn't create the exact "Last Door on the Left" scenario one would think they are actually attempting to avoid.  Maybe not always in the physical sense, but the in the way that the supposed enemy has achieved the goal- getting in your head, scaring the shit out of you, and your actions and thoughts are a reaction of their power over you. And now you think like them. Yeah, they won and didn't have to lift a finger from their various Dr.  Evil Dens.

Fear. It's the four letter word that is our nourishment. We have taken way too much of it with our daily morning jo-- so much so-- that we actually celebrate and create our livelihood around it. Economies, communities, and societal interactions are based on the idea of fear as we ignore the growing results that include but not limited to...

Rings round  eyes
Wrinkles in face nooks and corners
Panic stricken eyes waiting for the next explosion of events to come true
Only preparing for the worst case scenario as insurance companies and banks reap the profits of our nightmare imaginations of the "what if."

No wonder we kill the happy people who encourage us to enjoy each moment that unfolds.
We are miserable, self limiting, locks hopped up on serious caffeine.
I'm scared. You're scared. And we have spent too much time, stress, money, and preparation to have someone tell us it could actually be ok.  "Screw that guy, I will lose my investment in despair!! It's my effing pension!!"

Everyone is out to get you, so get them first.
If you open up, people will take advantage of you, steal, lie, and betray
Keep yourself protected. Those who don't protect themselves deserve it when others strip them of their lives.
Attempt to "save" others with your mantra but don't ask yourself if that same mantra actually brings joy to you or others.
Do not let people know what you really want. They will use it against you. Then take that which is valued by others.
Though you desperately need help, never let anyone see you sweat or else you are WEAK
Oh, and Dad is trying to kill you.

Gee, I feel so warm and fuzzy. All this, while we market the Beaver Cleaver commercials that run in between all 300 versions of Law & Order, CSI , & Judge Judy running 24 /7 on 800 channels.

This is not easy language and I rebel in every environment. I don't mean to. It's just a trigger habit. But considering the language surrounding me, good thing for this survival technique.
So, I unlock doors.
I leave windows open.
I let my dog breathe a little by a revolutionary act of letting her walk around on her own a bit. She is vocal in her need for this and if someone doesn't get it, they can try walking her on a leash. It's like trying to walk Jackie Gleason. Really. 
Most of all, I don't look for limits and road blocks to excuse myself from the game.

I began young by combatting fear by reaching out, no matter how many times I got knocked down.
Be friends. 
Be open
Do Not Lock Things
and look for the best in everything and everyone.

But goddammit, if  those fear voices don't remind me just how close to the surface they hide and are ready to scare the Benny Hinn out of me when doubt of good in the world enter my perception. It brings me back to  the post traumatic stress disorder I received at the ripe age of six after my sister conned my mom into having the family celebrate her birthday at the premier of "Poltergeist"- that was, in her 12 yr old lawyer argument- a comedy.  Real effing funny. To this day, I will never sleep in a room with a tree at the window or a clown on the rocker.

It's a struggle to embrace perceived failure,  a let down, or a hazy moment when you have been taught that God punishes when you misstep.  It creates a fear of living and resentment towards those who try.
But what does it mean to eff up?
What if it's something that makes you better?

What does it mean to be let down by someone?
What if its just two neutral conversations not meant to match up and it's a good thing for both- forcing it would be the real tragedy?

There is no honesty in hiding in corners, acting like  a Vera Wang wedding dress at a "Graffitti on Your White T-Shirt" Party. It just means you are too scared to engage. It's easier to wrap yourself up in the faux safety of faux self righteousness and self appointed judgement.

I remember playing rockstar to tracks of Stevie Nicks, Chrissy Hynde, and Debbie Harry on my mother's bed at eight years old, envisioning my future self in their current shoes, while simultaneously, petrified of the future public scrutiny and my having to deal with my perceived value of hiding the all too familiar story of family crazy behind the curio cabinet.

Reality Check
There are no fans
There is no scrutiny
People love the real
There is nothing pure
What is pure is mess
Just swim
It's fine and so are you.

And no one likes a wet, white drip anyway
I feel better already

What if there is no enemy? Then it's just the fear talking.
Maybe I should inform Cheney and the boys so we can move on to better things.

Now go be that which you want.
Posted by Kim Barry on 3/27/12







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