Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Of the frustrations if my life, all the artistic endeavors I've failed at are sometimes hard to endure.  I've failed at accomplishing numerous musical instruments, voice, drama, photography, painting (and innumerable other arts and craft media), sculpting, pottery, writing (prose and poetry), dance - basically, about any artistic effort I attempted, I've come up so far wanting for talent that it's been impossible for me to continue.  I know, if I practiced more or invested more, I might have more acceptable results but, thus far on this 57-year journey, I've just not been able to accept something as my true, artistic expression.

I can appreciate many (most) forms of art, but can't seem to satisfactorily participate in any of them.


Who knows, I'm still breathing, right?

Anyway, it occurred to me over the past couple of weeks where I've been wallowing in more than my fair share of self pity, it seems there's one aspect of my life that I've elevated to my own art form.


OK - if anyone is of the perspective that their thinking of sadistic applications to others using chain saws and whips or whatever, that is NOT what I'm talking about here.  I'm talking about a peculiar, perverse, almost artistic ability to create fear when faith is a more reasonable and rational response.

Example:  I'm afraid that my financial needs will not be met.

For 26 years in sobriety, I've almost constantly had this fear.  Back when I had over $50k of consumer debt and I was making about $20k/year as well as when I was making $130k/year and was putting money in the bank.  When I had $50k in the bank and when I was overdrawn.  The fear has been roughly the same. 

Even back in my drinking days, I can find dozens of times when my needs were more than met as a consequence of impossible things happening from unexpected places (a new job, an unexpected gift or bonus, etc.) which saved me from the doom I was certain was imminent.

My ability to express fear when there is all this evidence that God has always cared for and protected me - even when I've certainly screwed things up as badly as I possibly could have at the time. - certainly could be understood as an art form.  Where I more rationally could have expressed trust and faith, I create fear.  Many times (most times?) with no real evidence in support of the basis for that fear.

I could go through the other 5-10 fears that are thematic throughout my life, but I've resisted, so far, the use of this blog as a 5th step surrogate.  I will continue to review these fears with my sponsor instead.  The point of this article is to point out the pride my ego takes in creating fear - almost, I would presume, the same sort of pride the artist takes when he/she steps back from their completed work.

It's not the medium that I would have chosen as an artist, but I certainly have elevated the manufacture of fear to the level of an art form.

Opposite that fear (in addition to the faith and trust) is the hope that it can and will be different.

I'm counting on that for today.

AA works...


Syd said...

I'm counting on the fact that God made each of us and in our own ways, we are extraordinary and wonderful. I guess that's enough for me today.

indistinct said...

I've never associated pride and ego with fear. Makes sense.

Perhaps we oughta open up a museum of fear where we can display our art! Okay, Maybe not, supposed to burn those things.

Great post, thanks for sharing.

Kathy M. said...

I've made fear an art form, as well. I'm beginning to see that most of my character defects (all of them?) are based in fear.

As far as you and art forms, however, I'd say your blog is a creative endeavor, and that you've succeeded there quite beautifully.

Mary Christine said...

AA works, indeed.

I have had more fear when I have had more money. I have had total faith when I am penniless. It makes no sense. I am getting closer to the faith end of the equation these days.

The Second Road said...

I believe what is most beautiful is your interest in creating and making art of sorts. Many never have that beautiful seed within.

Scott W said...

Gratitude practiced daily and with faith will eventually chase away the financial worries if we do the next, right loving thing and give thanks for the power to carry them out. That has been my experienc.