1. My friend was telling me a story the other night that made me wonder--it was about a woman who was terrified of flying. She had repeated nightmares of planes going down, herself beating on the escape door, the wind gushing in and sucking her out to the open sky. Finally, when she was in her mid-forties or so, she had to take a business trip. And sure enough, the plane ran into trouble and managed an emergency landing . . .
No, the exit doors were not opened, but the experience came close to replicating the dream. The woman said she should never have given voice to her fears, her nightmares . . .
2. My devout Catholic friend tells me you must never be too happy. Never too sad. And never-ever give voice to your happiness. Or to your sorrows. Because soon, God will punish you for being too happy. And you know what He did to Job.
(Sometimes she says this differently. She says--soon the other foot will fall. Just as night follows day and . . . Now that is a little easier to hear.)
It's an odd thing, but for no religious reasons, I share her fears. I am always afraid to say life is good, or to brag of good news. And I feel ungrateful saying life is bad.
But do I think as she does? That words are somehow like curses?
3. I have another friend who was always afraid her husband would leave her for some young sweet thing. For years she told me this fear. For years I saw her as so happy happy in her marriage. And her husband, too. Yeah, well, you know how this goes. We all do.
But what I wonder is, was it the power of suggestion? Or did she know something. If a man is repeatedly told, one day he will leave, does it become a prophecy?
AWP in Minneapolis, and recommended reading
1 month ago