is not fear itself but ourselves. I am my own worst enemy – or maybe my mind is. It keeps me awake at night with a stream of thoughts and nightmares. It started when I was a child. Listening to adults talk or the news on the radio sparked so many fears of the unknown: horrific stories of what happened to friends and family in the Second World War; the Cold War gave me chills; the Vietnam War was thousands of miles away but it was there on the television in terrifying black and white. Later, I was afraid that I couldn’t keep my child safe. That I would let her down. She’s made it into adulthood. Now I fear for the grandchildren I don’t even have yet.
gnarled knots on branches
exploding with spring blossom
Kim M. Russell, 2017
Toni is hosting this week’s Haibun Monday and has shared a number of quotes, including the following from President Roosevelt’s inaugural speech to the American people in 1932: “The only thing we have to fear…” is fear itself.”
Toni would like us to write about fear: what we are afraid of; what has frightened us in the past; what frightens us about the future. We all have fears. We have all been afraid. Most of us pick up and carry on after being frightened, some of us carry scars forever. She wants us to write about something real that actually frightens or frightened us, which can be as simple as the nightmares we had last night or something as complex as phobias – insects, being outside, cats, black cats, dogs, chickens, red cars, the number 13 – or as simple as walking home in the dark one night with all the night sounds around us.
It must be a classic haibun with one to three paragraphs of non-fiction that actually happened or could happen to us, ending with a seasonal haiku. We can use one of the quotes she has given us or find our own quotes about fear.