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Fear can be a powerful motivator. When composers allow it to become the muse of their creations grand epics can well up like a tidal wave and inundate the mind. Dark movements replete with portents of disaster and pain rush forward to assault the sensibilities. “All is lost” is an easy theme to find. We must remember that there are more stories to tell other than what may lie on the surface of situations. The fear of losing something can wreak havoc upon the mind, body, and the soul. Many a composer sat down to a blank page and proceeded to cover it with scenario after scenario of myriad outcomes to a bad situation they happened to be in, or went thru at some point in their life. There can be little doubt that a single page soon turned into a stack of “disaster-pieces”. How many ways can you lose the one you love the most? How long will you wallow in the pain until you move on? It’s not the actual act of the disaster, but rather the road that leads inexorably to the tragedy. After that, the road that leads away from said occurrence or occurrences is usually one we loathe to be on. Once the fear is realized and the crest of the situation has passed, there lingers the cloud of detritus. The leftovers of a relationship tend to hang around the longest. Places, objects, and all manner of sensory input can jar memories of better times to the front of the mind like a well placed baseball bat. The fear that one may never get over it looms just behind like the reaper in mid-swing. The icy glint off his blade holds a high note into infinity. Jimi Hendrix looks at his watch. We lose count of the days and the people around us blur into “things”. We replay the events that lead us up to this moment where we seem to be lost in time. With each spin of the loop we try to change the daydream into what we wanted reality to be. Even after we run out of tears we still struggle there in the mud, so far down from the ladder we once climbed so high upon. Some allow their minds to morph the memories. Reality takes a back seat to insanity and we rationalize to our own mental benefit. No one can realize that once we are down in the mud we had better stop struggling first of all. That hypothetical place is just like quicksand. We have to let it take its course though. Down there is part of the circuit we must complete in order to begin our new climb. I can still clearly remember the very moment I stopped struggling. I was trying so hard to save something that was lost long, long ago. I was out of touch with reality. But, reality has a way of knocking on your door just right. For me it was the lack of sound in the room, save for one little ringing noise. It was a spent shell casing and the only thing I could not do was count the times it bounced around on all four walls. It came to rest at my feet. My hearing came back and the smell of gunpowder finally registered in my brain. There was no hole in my head, but, there was a hole in the wall. The slug had escaped and reality poured thru the tiny hole it had left on its way out. I put my eye to the small portal and discovered that there was still a world outside. It was still spinning and moving around the sun. The mud was deep and dark but not too long after I relaxed and let it all go, I opened my eyes and saw the bottom rung. It’s been a great climb so far. A few tattered remnants of my “disaster-piece” still linger, but I carry them with the strength of new wisdoms and the conviction of renewed common sense. The world lives in fear. You can in no way convince me otherwise. September Eleventh looms forever at the edge of our minds periphery. Nuclear proliferation is bringing a sort of cold war back into play on the world stage. I’m sure that specter has always been on the political table, now that our enemies are trying to sneak or even muscle their way into the “star-blood-club”, the ugly head of annihilation is rearing again. The long war on terror is sending us heroes in boxes and shattered bodies that refused to die. Jane or Joe may never walk again but we are still proud of them. They gave far more of themselves than any human being should ever have to. Fear resides just off a back burner, idle and ready to pounce. We keep it close but regard it as little as possible. We have days to get thru. A fistfight is usually won by the individual who holds the most fear in his or her mind about losing or getting injured beyond repair. An attacker blinded by rage usually makes many mistakes from the start. The individual full of fear is running on more adrenaline and reacting to the situation. The attacker sees it all at speed due to the lack of stimulating adrenaline. The defender sees it all in slow motion. Granted, the larger and stronger person may win, but the little “scaredy- cat” may well do a lot of damage before it’s all over. What do you fear the most? How does that fear affect you? You can sit there comfortably and just read on, or you can search your mind for the answers. Take a moment to look inside. I do this often. It ‘s my way of facing things that I have little or no control over. Once we recognize fear for what it is, then we can turn the tables on it. Taking control of our fears is as easy as thinking them into a corner closet of our mind. Lock them all inside and peek thru the key-hole from time to time. Let one out occasionally and allow it to run around. They need exercise too. Keep your willow switch handy though, because getting them back in can sometimes be a little tricky. “Fear”, is a small four letter word that carries with it the seeds of destruction. Keep dry at all times. If they sprout you’ll have a lot of weeding to do. Keep them out of the light as well. In that regard I mean the light of other minds. When it comes to fear those other psyche can germinate everything in your little closet and the ensuing sprouts will splinter the door into toothpicks. Large or small, people can use your own fears against you. Keep the door locked and hide that key as well.