I woke up this morning with my heart pounding, thrashing, and in a cold sweat. It’s been another tough week. I had my first migraine in 2 years on Tuesday, work, and I found out my car is not in the best of shape.
This week I watched 2 biographies while walking on the treadmill. One was about Anne Rice who pounded out Interview with a Vampire after losing her daughter to leukemia. In the biography that I watched, she and her husband had drifted apart and were drinking heavily to cope with their daughter’s illness. After the little girl’s death, Anne Rice felt like a failure as a mother and a wife. All she had left was the writing and she poured herself into Interview with a Vampire. I remember thinking as I watched the documentary that she was writing about the undead as though clinging to life.
The other biography that I watched was about H.G. Wells whose mother thought that someone of their working class background could do no better than to become a draper. She apprenticed her son twice to drapers and both times he was dreadfully unhappy. H.G. Wells read and studied and earned honours and prizes that landed him the opportunity to attend the University of London. He was a fierce alternative thinker and prophesied modern warfare, created all the models of science fiction, and wrote novels that inspired the suffragettes. His personal life he lived without compromise. He believed in free love and that sex was an expression of admiration and for fun. He had an open marriage with his second wife and numerous open affairs. Until he become a premier novelist, he was routinely kicked out by landladies who did not like his scandalous lifestyle. But he carried on.
Both Anne Rice and H.G. Wells exhibited ferocity. Anne Rice in her passion for her child and her writing. H.G. Wells in the way that he refused conventions.
I have been having a hard time with life and writing. I want to travel and possibly teach English overseas. I want to experience different cultures and see different things. I want to write. All of this is a bit scary. Takes effort to figure out. And is a risk to do.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, ‘Always do what you are afraid to do.'”
The things that we are afraid to do are the great accomplishments. The things that bring satisfaction. Fear is such a part of life in small and myriad ways. I think we have to feel the fear and do whatever we shall do despite it. Become fierce.