Smell of fear

by Elouise

Smell of fear
Binds her tongue
And within
Of storms
Long past
Just beyond
Deep within
Her psyche
Spawning fear
Of her powerful
Voice locked
In neutral
Going nowhere

I always die a little when I speak in public. It doesn’t matter how confident or calm I sound on the outside. I shake on the inside, sometimes trembling physically when I’m finished. If fear were a fragrance, I would reek of it.

I’ve always chalked this up to being an introvert with thin skin. Afraid of what people will think of me and my ideas. Especially when I’m speaking in a religious setting.

Little wonder. My thinking and writing about God, the world and Christian faith aren’t always considered acceptable, much less mainstream by either more conservative or more liberal listeners.

Nonetheless, I think this fear runs deeper.

This weekend I had a small dialogue with myself about my voice. Especially my writing voice. I love it. Often, looking back at old posts, I’m moved to tears.

Nonetheless, I’ve been dragging my feet on the idea I floated well over a month ago. Dragging my feet while pretending to move ahead. Hoping to generate enough energy to begin working on an e-book of selected postings.

This past weekend, I hit pay dirt. Here’s what I wrote in my journal on Friday and Saturday evenings, lightly edited for clarity.

Friday evening, after lots of agonized words about getting nowhere.

Right now this is an undocumented project. Notes, but no measurable, incremental steps recorded….I say I don’t have to do this, yet I want to do it! What’s holding me back? I want to know. I feel a little stuck and frightened. Of what? I don’t know. Am I afraid of my own voice?

Then Saturday evening:

Yes! I’m stuck and I’m frightened of my own voice…Today I read through about 15 of my most liked poems and chose one to reblog—the Amy post about being weary of my life—her lament that’s so like mine. “You are about my bed.” Where I’m lying—stuck and frightened of my own voice.

I accept this truth and want to welcome it as a stranger…rather than denying its existence, and thus denying the dormant power of my voice….Was this one reason my father tried to beat my voice out of me??? Did he see something I couldn’t see? Something that frightened or threatened him and his voice? “You are about my bed.”

And Sunday evening:

Yes! I have a powerful voice, and have had all my life.

I’m sure I’ll learn more along the way. But this is where I find myself today, Monday.

Thanks for listening and reading!


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 24 July 2017
Response to WordPress Daily Prompts: Fragrance; Dormant