Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Sunday, September 28, 2008


"There are more things, Lucilius, that frighten us than injure us, and we suffer more in imagination than in reality."

"I have a fear of fishing hooks," I confessed to my friend the other day.
"A terrible fear of them."
Indeed, I dread the cruel, spine-tingling barbs that, once wedged in their prey, are not easily removed. Were that prey to be some unfortunate human skin, my fears would be realised.
But as the words were tumbling forth I heard them, all at once, with a different ear, and I was struck by the absurdity of my own offhand comment.
I said as much to my friend, who listened patiently.
"That makes no sense," I continued, shocked. "I can't recall the last time I was even near a fishing hook!"
The notion that I would be made nervous by an object that never enters my days seemed not only highly irrational but hysterically funny.
"It's as ridiculous as admitting," I said, "that I have a fear of space shuttles!"
My friend, who knows the likelihood of my ever being forced to face a space shuttle, understood immediately and laughed along with me.
I suspect that if, in the course of my travels, I met a fishing hook, I would be diligent and careful in my handling of it, and the shadows of fright would soon vaporise.
Not every fear is grounded in reality, nor are they all necessarily useful: if only we took the time to better understand the concerns that burden us, we might be granted a better perspective on the worth and validity of our worries.


Pauline said...

it's the little unexplored fears that keep us form doing so many things! My Pepere insisted that to put fear in its proper place, one should examine it inside and out. If the fear was helpful in keeping us safe, we should respect it. If it was not, then best to ask it to kindly go along its way.

Tam said...

I've a fish-hook in me foredd!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Snakes and Needles. For me, it's snakes and needles.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Pauline, exactly what I was thinking! If it doesn't do us any good, it's nothing but a tool for crippling us, and not doing the job a fear is supposed to do, that is, to assist us in being safe. You made good points.

Pye, I won't tell the forehead story ;) It makes me cringe.

Pamela, I've not developed a fear of snakes but I must confess I do change personalities when needles are involved.

julochka said...

i have a strange fear of escalators, but still get on them. i'm always a little fearful that i won't be able to correctly get off and will get sucked in at the top. highly unlikely, i realize, but still it crosses my mind...every time.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Julie, I hate escalators too. I've got better in recent years but I can't go down unless I'm hanging off Spouse's arm- I won't go down alone. And if I hesitate for a moment, I won't do it at all. That's a useful fear ;) because you really could get hurt on them!
Going up has never been a problem, oddly enough.

Jaime said...

Hmmm... I have a brother who loved to fish when he was young. I can't tell you how many times I swung out of the way while he whipped that fishing line around, barbed hook just waiting to attach itself to my arm or leg. I don't like them either.


Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Jaime, I can just see you getting out of the way- gives me shivers to think about getting hit with a hook. Nasty business. We share the same fear then! ;)

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