Brave Again


My path was clouded and I was lost for so long I did not notice it. I lost the freedom to just “be” and the natural spontaneity I was born with; from feeling free in a magical world to becoming inhibited, guarded and restricted. Where before was only wonder and happiness, the shadow of fear and worry joined in.

The change of outlook happened in early childhood but exactly when and where I can’t come up with. There came a time then when I thought more about what I did not want than what I hoped for. My mind became clouded with wanting to grow up, escape and get away rather than where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do and having any sort of intentional direction. I just wanted to be a “big boy”. In adulthood it was dreadful to be adrift for so many years and not know it; to be unconsciously searching for what I already had but was oblivious to.

When you are born…

your courage is new and clean.

You are brave enough for anything:

crawling off of staircases,

saying your first words without fearing
that someone will think you are foolish,

putting strange things in your mouth.

But as you get older,

your courage attracts gunk,
and crusty things, and dirt, and fear,

and knowing how bad things can get

and what pain feels like.

By the time you’re half-grown,

your courage barely moves at all,

it’s so grunged up with living.

So every once in a while,

you have to scrub it up

and get the works going,

or else you’ll never be brave again.

From “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making”
 by Catherynne M. Valente

In trying “to find myself” I became lost in the fogged-up maze of the ‘real-world’.  And it’s no wonder. From my perception my “self” was hidden like a unnoticed parrot resting on my shoulder; one making sounds that were perceived distant, yet so close I looked right by them.

Once I began to focus nearby, I started to see what was hidden in plain sight. What I discovered was not all wonderful and pleasing, but it was real. In discovering the child I had lost, my courage began to return. I was in a sense, truly reborn. The crust, dirt and fear on my soul became thinner as I explored inward. I became brave again. To have relocated the courage of a little boy and a sense of wonder, amazement and beauty that goes with it I am deeply grateful.

You often meet your fate
on the road
you take to avoid it.
 Goldie Hawn