Daily Archives: May 6, 2013

Litany Against Fear

Years ago I developed this version of the Litany Against Fear fromĀ Dune:

It kills the mind, that little death
called fear. It stings
the very soul,
complete obliteration brings
to all who breathe its poison breath.
I will not veer
but face my fear —
flinch not before its beating wings,
nor as it hurtles through me run.
It passes by.
I turn my eye
to see its path, my ear to hear
its wingbeats still, but there are none.
Imagined things
have now in whole
dissolved, and still remaining — I.

When I was in college, I developed (for reasons that are still not entirely clear to me) a paralyzing fear of the dark — which was most inconvenient, since I worked nights and had to walk home alone in the dark at 4:00 every morning. A few years later my nyctophobia vanished as mysteriously as it had come. But during those years this little poem, designed to be repeated over and over, is what kept me putting one foot in front of the other.

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