On Crystal Balls, Fear, and Waiting
By Letty Bassart
Kelly wrote “scared” inside the crystal ball; the rest of
us wrote “enthusiastic,” “excited,” etc. What really lies between squawking and
soaring, between faith and doubt, the obvious and the mysterious?
As she savored her last bits of oxygen and chose the last
images her eyes would soak in, she had chosen to tell me, “Don’t let your world
Artwork by Laura Luna
There are as many texts written on fear as there are on
beauty. Amid all the frustration that comes from tears that brim, knuckles that
turn white, and those things which take our breath away, rest countless
Panic, I am told, is nothing more that fear of fear. Fear
surrenders to waiting and a multitude of moments are never named. In a place
where surviving hurricanes and road rage is a badge of courage, people cling to
gallons of water, generators and consumer reports for protection. Waiting is
filled with liposuction and vacations in St. Augustine; and complicity is
interrupted by deadlines, sirens and sighs.
In workshops for Giovanni’s Poem, fear was the
alleged antagonist of desire. For others, it is the counterpart to control,
intimacy, loss and so on. In the waiting room, fear nestles itself between
magazines, leaves, crevices, spilled sodas, outdated newspapers, catalogs with
blacked out addresses, bottles of water, trips to the bathroom and thoughts that
enter and exit at will.
Performers seem to go on more than any other breed on the
risks of art making. How does fear fall in? When does its guillotine make work
more powerful, when does it make work incomplete?
Today, high on the wave of my brother’s successful aneurysm repair, fear is
smaller than a clipped mmm and risk taking much broader than anything that can
be contained on a stage.