Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Fear of Success

Fear of success is an extremely powerful force in our lives. Our self-made fear has the ability to cripple us from pursuing our dreams, from getting out of bed, stepping out the door with our eyes open, from forming relationships, from living our lives at all.

Ian Ruhter's beautiful film is about him and a small crew trying to photograph people who have lost themselves across America. He is doing this purely on goodwill and love.

I hear so many people talk the way people do in this short film, I see so much love not made, so many books not written and I know this feeling in myself, the desire to magnify my own limitations, or the fact that some sad thing happened. Yes it did! Thankfully for this man some fire always seems to rise again and the poet is reborn and I find a way to love my own life.

Earlier this year I found myself without a proper place to stay in India, my money was all gone and I didn't know anyone. So I started giving talks and poetry readings, and every night there was a bed for us to sleep in, food to eat, and invite to read the next day. Right now around Hebden Bridge there are twelve haiku in shop windows, made in beautiful lettering, we did this because something our guts, knew it was the right thing to do in response to the floods which almost destroyed our town. Yet all we ever seem to hear is that 'the arts are of no use,' or 'no one likes poetry anymore.' Then some dipshit on a comments part of a blog somewhere slags us off.. I see the smug idiots in the review pages, at literature festivals, on the arts shows on television or radio, buffered by privilege, for who writing or art is part of their process or some such, trading on their family names or monied connections to rake in the prizes or get the press onside. In reality they never risk a thing, never truly throw their hearts over the fence..... And you know what I blow them a kiss, because they are just as trapped by fear as I am, and have built these security mechanisms which look like success around themselves. They don't know that time and time again life lifts us back up - if we dare to face our pain, use our privilege to open doors instead of closing them, face down and integrate our 'can't do that because.'

Here's to getting over ourselves and the beauty which comes when you risk it all.

Please watch the film and stop by Ian's facebook page and give him some love.

American Dream from Ian Ruhter : Alchemist on Vimeo.


Maureen said...

Moving and really wonderful.

J Falkner said...

I love your advice to just blow those nay-sayers a kiss...