Wednesday, October 15, 2014

But there is an innate drive to wish to be heroic.  Male and female must know each other as such, certainly, the male, I think.  This is how it's done in countries that have not lost their culture.

And the thing that you fear is your self, the way you are.  Thus is courage relative, the learned managing of fear and anxiety.  The very worst thing you fear, that you must seek therapy turns out to be the very brave act that saves you, oddly enough, the thing that tests your will, from which you take the ultimate satisfying victory, which is self-acceptance, as if that were to come in spite of itself.

We all have our own individual tastes, habits, appetites, ways of doing things, and if we try to do all these things in the ways of other people, having made the false assumptions that such would be good for our own health, we battle ourselves.  The first act is to stand up for yourself, to pursue your own way of doing things.

Courage is relative.  An appointment, renting a car, planning a long drive, packing for a trip, engaging with other people, standing behind a bar for hours maintaining familiar company, just getting out of the apartment, walking across a bridge, all of that might take enormous real bravery for a particular individual.  To lead the life he leads, just as it is, might indeed be an incredible feat of valor, and perhaps people gravitate to the tasks that bring them to the edges of their comfort, walking a manageable line of fear, intuitively understanding that zone as a place of learning.

To know from inside is different from the outside view in, that perhaps even saying hi to a girl he likes takes a huge amount of doing.  No one might know enough to celebrate such victories.  The beauty of Quixote is his bravery to face the things that exist the way they do only in his mind, with all the emotional import of giants one must battle feeling very small against them.  What pains things caused him, what courage to surmount such obstacles, and how satisfying to him the moment of victory, even as no one else may have seen or understood.

So does one take psychological health and well-being on personal terms.  Thus the benefit of being listened to, an affirmation of all the things one does overcome, all the pains one suffers along the way and still managing to get something done, the day finished, the shift complete.

Would we assume an ease of everything for everyone?  For some, walking on open steel girders stories above ground is normal and everyday.

And once you accept yourself, realize your own fears and all you overcome, then you can relax and move on, doing something at least with grace and ease.

I managed to go face the things I feared time and time again, for years, and that's how I grew and finally came to accept myself.

I woke up tired today, a bit hungover.  The thought of a long drive ahead of me with a limited amount of vacation time, and bad weather, considerable, hanging over the route the whole way.  I'd worked some busy shifts the four previous nights and hadn't packed.  Around 12:30 the television, tuned to The Weather Channel, with grim news of green, yellow and red stretched on in a band, began to beep with a Tornado Warning, and then a high wind came ripping through, and that sort of settled the matter.  I postponed picking up the car rental, and finally walked up toward 5:00 across the Connecticut Avenue bridge to Enterprise and its good people and operation.  In the meantime I encountered birds in half bare trees after the front had passed through.  I might indeed fear roads, very reasonably, like Route 81 through Pennsylvania, a juggernaut of eighteen wheelers, monotonous ridge lines, long drops and climbs.  It helps me to observe the birds.  For animals know what we once did, before we had to be preoccupied by the routes of major roads and the like, which is that the land is connected, continuous, contiguous.

Any trip requires maps and proper turns, faith in vehicles, an knowledge of how to operate them.  To drive out onto the open road of 270 after The Beltway is quite a different experience than staying home, doing laundry, taking a nap.  Of course, one finds in himself a certain pleasant competency in driving, the memory, 'oh yes, I used to do this.'  But the bird's knowledge, that the land is connected, that one could first follow the valleys, then roll through farmland, navigate the outskirts of an unfamiliar city, follow the river, then make it over the next stretch that connects on the north-pointing valleys of the Finger Lakes, gives me the courage to plot a new route.  Things like packing now seem manageable, the basics of gear and clothing to keep the creature warm dry and comfortable, less broken into a myriad of little chores, did you do this, did you do that, are you ready to sign up for health insurance, what shoes will you bring, what are you forgetting.

I knew once a young lady for whom it took me a lot of courage to face.  And I wanted, subconsciously as much as anything, to show her that I had heroic stuff in me, and so I chose, again less than consciously, not the easiest and smoothest, nor the most suave kind of a path.  I was young and wanted to show her.  Really, you are far more bound to do courageous stuff in adult life more than the more protected states of youth, but I wanted to show her what I was made of, a natural facet of a natural creature that one cannot help.  I was like the bullfighter that stood on shaking feet but who still had the guts to stand in front of the charging animal even as he himself trembled, then of course leaving the ring as soon as they'll let him after discharging with his basic duties.  And other people, with exterior views upon him might have commented upon his style, his manner, his appearance, his choice of words, but to him the central fact was standing there, even in great fright, and getting over it.  And the whole thing, of course, prompted an emotion, all the emotions, a high of them, that said, 'wow, you had the guts to face that bull as it charged,' something his brain could ride on for a little while, the daredevil's pleasure, the overcoming of odds for another day.

Rest in thy victories, noble valant knight, Don Quixote, before moving on to other ones.  Something for the writers of the great epics of gallantry to write about.  One finds the match of his courage.

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