Fuss and Feathers: The Public Face of Private Fear
Ordinarily, it's a friendly question, not one you ask in doubt of a sanguine reply. You wouldn't go to a political protest, for example, and inquire across the barricades, unless, of course, you wanted to provoke a fight. Under those circumstances, the answer is as obvious as the question is unnecessary.
But these are tendentious times. People often spoil for a kerfuffle if not an out-and-out fight. Conflict is in the air, sometimes bricks and bottles, too. And fists. Lots of fists. And batons. And pepper spray.
A single gunshot can end the fun if not a life. People scatter home to percolate their opinions in safety, always proud of having represented their side loudly if not logically, brazenly if not thoughtfully. There's a lot of that.
What's really up?
Fear. Fear of losing existence. It's not just disagreement about issues, the terms and conditions of society. Existence itself is threatened. The question is which side is right about what exists. The present is eternally fleeting. So, do we find existence in protection of the past or in construction of the future?
The answer is to find enduring value. All else is dross. Ashes to ashes. The beach house once coveted. The sports car once owned. The self once asserted. The ego once flaunted. Along with all the ideas evoked as complements to the temporary.
Intangibility is no indication of permanence. Sheen is buried with its gold. But value seeds perpetual life free from fear. Therein is existence, apart from anxious displays of form and frustration.
in the public domain by Michael Driver (no rights reserved)
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