Saturday, September 14, 2013

Full circle

Three hundred and eighty days ago today, I sat down at my computer and poured a flood of anger and shame and regret and self-loathing out through my fingertips.  Then I drained off the keyboard and started again, this time not only trying to walk through the story of how so much turmoil got into my head, but analyzing the reasons and attempting to advise and inspire myself just as I would respond to a friend.  The result was Project Fear Less.

Starting that project was probably the best possible action I could have taken then.  In the pursuit of finding scary things to do, I've run quite the gamut, from the mundane and relatively simple to the huge and wonderfully bizarre.  I'veshaven my head; eaten snails and eyeballs; recommitted myself to the study of martial arts; asked someone on a date; been made into art.  I flew to Ireland for three months with nothing but a daypack (stuffed to the gills) and about $1400 in saved tips.  I climbed up a mountain made of bog, and another one with its head so far in the clouds that the peaks seemed like islands, and picked my way down into a barnacle-studded cave that led to the sea.  I talked to strangers.  I overcame my reticence about public performance and sang everywhere - on the street in Galway with a hat in front of me, in a packed bar that fell dead silent to hear an old ballad from West Virginia, in the dairy parlour every morning and evening for the cows and cats.  The travel bug bit me hard and left a long-lingering welt, and almost as soon as I landed back on this side of the Pond I'd filled up a cooler for myself, gassed up my darling Lucille and made tracks for Memphis, followed by Denver on a whim, then three days on the scenic route from Colorado to D.C., then finally heading to Durham again, meandering along coastlines and rivers and through forests for two days instead of taking the straight shot, wanting to stay a vagabond for as long as possible before returning to "normal life."