“The only thing we have to fear…” is fear itself.” (F. D. Roosevelt 1932 inaugural speech.) Hello my friends! It is another edition of Haibun Monday. This is President Roosevelt’s speech to the American people in 1932. By 1933, the Depression was in full swing. The country was full of frightened, starving, unemployed people and Roosevelt was at his gentle and fatherly best in this speech to calm and soothe the American people.
What I would like you all to write about today is: fear. What are you afraid of? What has frightened in you the past? What frightens you about the future? What are you afraid of? Mosquitos? Spiders? Being alone? Clowns (you can bet I will be giving the remake of “It” a pass)? Being out of control – yourself, of your family, your job, your friends…everything? Are you afraid of dying by fire, by drowning, by having a heart attack and not being found for several days after you have died? Pinocchio’s nose? I had to throw that in as a mood lifter. Years ago my parents took me to see Pinocchio. Little did they know it would push all of my four year old buttons – anxiety at being separated from family, not being “real”, his nose growing. Yes I know that sounds funny but as a small child, it totally freaked me out so much that my mother had to carry me out of the theater and sit with me in the lobby while the rest of the family enjoyed the movie. I still don’t like Pinocchio to this day.
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. As I grow older, I find I am frightened of becoming like my mother, now in a nursing facility, totally dependent on other people and slowly losing her memories. The fact that I will probably be alone – no children, no relatives – to care about me causes me to sometimes have bad dreams.
Some quotes about fear:
A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. John F. Kennedy
I will show you fear in a handful of dust. T. S. Eliot
What has kept the world safe from the bomb since 1945 has not been deterrence, in the sense of fear of specific weapons, so much as it’s been memory. The memory of what happened at Hiroshima. John Hersey
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. Marie Curie
Read more quotes at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/tdjakes488824.html?src=t_fear
What I would like for us to write about today is fear and how we overcame it, how something frightened us, how something still frightens us. So please, write about something real that actually frightens or frightened you. It can be as simple as the nightmare you had last night or something as complex as phobias – insects, being outside, cats, black cats, dogs, chickens, red cars, the number 13….It can be as simple as walking home in the dark one night and all the night sounds around you. It can be as complex as being afraid someone you love will die. Fears are often not logical. But then, neither is joy! I mean, why should a butterfly make me smile but frighten another person into gibberish? I do not pretend to know.
How to play:
• Write a classic haibun with one to three paragraphs ending with a seasonal haiku. Remember it is to be non-fiction and actually happened or could happen to you.
• Use one of the quotes listed or not, or find your own quote about fear and expand on in your experience
• Link on your page to dVerse Poets Pub
• Publish the link to your poem on Mr. Linky
• Visit other poets, read, and comment on their poems.
• Use social media to publicize your poem if that is what you are into.
• Have fun….or as much fun as you can!
Hello everyone! It has been hot hot hot and pollen-y the last few days.
We all have fears or things that frighten us. I hope today’s haibun prompt will open us up to fear and the handling of it or….just plain scary.
Hi Toni! I didn’t go to choir this evening because I’ve been having a bit of a personal crisis since yesterday and David has had to go away for a few days, so I’m on my own, too. Not in the mood for smiling and singing along, and being all happy clappy. But I am in the mood for Haibun Monday. I’m just going to read what’s already posted. Thanks for the prompt!
Yikes, difficult to be on one’s own Kim ~ Hope everything will turn out well ~ We are having a good spring weather lately so I am sending you some sunshine all the way from Canada, smiles !
Thank you, Grace! Canadian sunshine sounds wonderful.
Bless your sweet heart. I am glad you are in the mood for Haibun Monday although the subject isn’t very cheerful. But like you, I haven’t been happy clappy (love that) for a couple of months myself. so be easy on yourself. Hugs.
Thanks Toni. dVerse Poets Pub is a real lifeline for me.
I know that feeling! 🙂 ❤
hope things get better for you soon Kim and being alone is not easy at times like these. Sending lots of hugs and warm sunshine from Malaysia! Sorry you did not get to choir.
Thank you so much, Gina.
Dr. Crystal Howe said:
So sorry you’re feeling that way, Kim. You are in my thoughts. [[[hugs]]]
Thank you, Crystal. It’s one of those family things that makes you feel that your childhood was one big lie. It’s so comforting to have friends on dVerse.
Hello Toni ! We all have fears and in a way, we are shaped by our own fearful experiences ~ Looking forward to reading in a bit ~ Happy Monday to all ~
You are right. They shape us, warp us, firm us up – what else can I say?
Oh Boy! What a trip! too many choices! But since it’s Spring and weather is a great concern here in Tornado Alley (Atlanta, not Kansas) I’m writing about that.
And …..I agree. Our experiences, good and bad shape us, warp us, elevate us, crush us, embolden us, and hopefully we can rise about the worst of them. Thank you, Toni for this marvelous prompt! Dverse sometimes is like a bit of good therapy. Gets things out in the open!
Thank you Jane! it is always such a pleasure coming up with the prompts for Haibun Monday. I truly enjoy it and the reading the haibun.
Well, I truly enjoy Haibun Monday’s even more than the Open Link Nights. Makes me stretch a bit. Thank you, Toni for your energetic and gracious hosting!
So far today on the dVerse Poets Trail, I have encountered totally different fears, ways of handling them or, giving in to them. I am as usual, overwhelmed by the talent and heart I encounter in the writing from you all.
Oh, I DO love this prompt! So many ways to go with it that I’m afraid I won’t be able to choose! (tee hee!) Heading off to my writer’s garret to grapple with this fear 🙂 Thanks for the challenge, Toni!
Thank you Jilly! Yes. Hie you forth to the garret and get to the root of your fears. 🙂
paul scribbles said:
Deep prompt. Just posted my effort. Have company this evening so will drop in tomorrow for reading and commenting. Have a good evening y’all.
Sometimes I fool you in my prompts. I’m not always light… I hope you have a wonderful evening and no.nightmares!
Ah, interesting prompt. My fear is so pathetic I’m a little embarrassed to share it. However, this year I’m trying to use the haibun prompts as a journal of the year, so in it goes. Thanks for the prompt.
Oh Sarah, no ones fears are pathetic. I think it is interesting about your using the haibun prompts as a journaling tool. I never thought of that! duh…. thank you for sharing this!
I like your idea too Sarah and I have actually written the few I have taken part in and pasted it in my journal, it has been lovely to go back over them. The Haibun Monday makes a lovely reflective journey I do agree.
Rachel Rosenberg said:
I feel like mine is a little too…philosophical? Maybe? I don’t know how much fear it actually inspires. Or evokes. Or if that’s a bad thing?
I’ve added one about an incident that happened long ago.
I have already read! 🙂
Subject matter today had my mind racing as I read it, I get the prompts early Tuesday morning on the equator and I am usually up at 4am to read and reflect, so your words today had me thinking about all the fears I have and oh they are many, and what to write on as they all seem so trivial compared to what others maybe facing and I think I have never been brave enough to be open or frivolous about my feelings. I appreciate the deep subject we need to draw upon and write about, but it’s going to take some courage building and soul searching for me this Haibun Monday. This has become one of my most favourite prompts of all. Thanks Toni for the input, I loved your words today.
Thank you Gina. You know, I always feel that no one’s fears are trivial. Fears are real and to be blatantly obvious…frightening! We all have our fears, even those who do not profess to have any fears. I appreciate your kind words deeply.
I thank you Toni, for the understanding and gentle encouragement.
I am off to fix dinner for my sweet husband. I hope you all enjoy yourselves while I am gone. There is a huge container of fresh lemonade with mint on the bar and my special bottle of sake hidden underneath. I will be joining back later on the dVerse trail to read and comment some more.
Oh Toni you push us so! What can be harder to face? A tiger at least might eat me, a spider? Or what someone I don’t know thinks about me?? Ah, I know this is a righteous path, and we all should tread it boldly, for in these dark corners of ourselves we become better writers and better people. Shame cannot stand the light. To encourage myself, and any of you who have not yet writ, here is something from Rumi:
“I died as mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was human,
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die human,
To soar with angels blessed above.
And when I sacrifice my angel soul
I shall become what no mind ever conceived.
As a human, I will die once more,
Reborn, I will with the angels soar.
And when I let my angel body go,
I shall be more than mortal mind can know.”
Very nice poem by Rumi.
Thank you for this encouraging and inspiring poem.
I learned a long time ago, that the fear only gets “bigger” the more you put it off. although all these years later, it is hard for me to face up to clowns, Pinocchio, and spiders. The poem you shared was excellent, here in the pub talk section.
Very wise, Toni. I wrote another haibun, https://erbiage.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/claustrophobia/
Victoria C. Slotto said:
Such a good topic. Reading Matthew this morning, just the first part of the Resurrection story. Over and over again–Don’t be afraid. But the line that really grabbed me as though for the first time (and hundreds of times that I’ve read it) “(the women) left the tomb, half-overjoyed and half-afraid.” I guess letting go of fear is a slow process. I do hope to write something this week.
I love the story of Mattew’s about the Resurrection. I find it interesting that “Mary Magdalen and the other Mary” alone did not take spices to anoint Jesus. apparently they had great faith when He told them He would rise on the third day. and that angel – with attitude! sitting on the stone with his arms crossed and the delicious irony – the Savior who had risen who was supposed to be dead opposed to the soldiers who were supposed to be alive appearing as dead! and the fear in this translates into “awe”….LOL….sorry to be lecturing you Victoria. I get crazy sometimes. I am looking forward to what you gift us with this week.
Dr. Crystal Howe said:
This prompt prompted me to somewhat unwillingly confess my fear of nursery rhymes, and something deeper… 😮 Thanks for hosting, Toni!
Thank you Dr. Howe!
My idea for your prompt came quickly to me as I somehow flashed on these memories of those days that began in elementary school. I wonder how many others were so affected by those drills.
I know I was deeply affected.
FINALLY I got a minute to sit down and write! (Life intrudes). I have posted and now commence reading, y’all! Jilly 🙂
Hi, Fellow Barflies! I brought one of my moments of great fear along. Pass it among yourselves if you’d like. I’ll enjoy sampling your offerings as well.
Late to the haibun party. This zinged me out of left field this morning, Toni, before I was able to write anything else. Thank you. I think.
You did fine! do not worry. do not fear
Late to the party as usual, but I finally got mine posted.
Victoria C. Slotto said:
Late to the bar–perhaps on purpose. Thanks for this, Toni
A late entry! 🙂 Great prompt though.
I just missed the link by 35 minutes…sorry…but here it is if anyone wants to read it..