Strings are tied to your limbs…


Man On Wire, Icon Productions, 2008

From Lapham’s Quarterly:

The inner motion of fear is a thick book of old tricks that brims with almost invisible, almost silent improvisations—that’s why it cannot be anticipated. Those who let themselves be brushed by that trailing shadow see their linear path transformed into a vertical whirlpool that carries them, in slow motion, into an abyss of angst.

The body language of fear is contagious. The body language of fear is devious. Before you feel it, strings are tied to your limbs. You are a puppet being made to dance. All spins and whirls, you never actually see the body of fear, only its shadow. The shadow of a doubt. It may glide behind you like a stealth hovercraft, tiptoe like a fox, or slither like a coral snake. If it runs out of deceptive moves, it will invent one on the spot.

Atychiphobia, the fear of failure, often focuses on the physical. That type of fear will do anything to block your path. It is responsible for the hesitation that delays some free-soloing rock climbers hundreds of feet above the ground from grabbing a tiny handhold during a crux move; it is determined to prevent them from continuing their ascent.

“In Search of Fear”, Philippe Petit, Lapham’s Quarterly