When events beyond my control drag me down, many feelings can take hold. One, the feeling to retreat. My little voice, what could it say to make any difference for myself and my country? I have no grand designs on making things better. (Maybe I should run for office?) People want to feel safe, and art/artists can sometimes give this gift. A beautiful painting. A stunning creation. Music that lights a dark place, a song that conveys hope or makes a statement. Here, in this boxy blog, would anyone find a little comfort, like I do in the writing? I'm able to funnel the racing heart and anxiety of what ifs. What if I have to buy a gun? What if I lose my job? What if someone decides to ram a car through a march, and my body is in the way? That is fear speaking. We are a country full of fears. We fear violence, whether perceived or real. And, we should fear the real violence, too much this year. Peace seems unachievable. We fear lack of resources, that someone will get something that should be ours, or scarcity will rule the household. As millions file jobless claims, those are tangible fears. We fear death. The virus. Being alone in sickness. These are not easy thoughts to bend. Afraid can become a constant state of being. I'm reading the memoirs of black writers, and fear of brutality is woven into their very being. Those memoirists found ways to express the struggle in meaningful words with eloquence and new perspectives. They gave the searing steam an outlet. We might all need one. We need to learn to cope with the afraid and the realities of what produced it: somehow find a practice or method to examine it. We need ways to overcome, talk it out, be the light, let it go, and raise up something more positive for ourselves and each other.