Thursday, January 28, 2016

Fear is a Hunter

I just finished reading an ARC of Ruta Sepetys's new novel Salt to the Sea. It is the story of WWII refugees aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff. The story is told in four voices, with the first four chapters introducing each of the four characters.

Sepetys begins these four chapters with "_____ is a hunter." Each character is given an emotion: Guilt is a hunter. Fate is a hunter. Shame is a hunter. And finally, the last character: Fear is a hunter.  I'm not doing justice to this wonderful and heartbreaking story, but I'm stuck right now on Fear is a hunter.

The emotion of fear is assigned to the despised character. I don't want to be like the despised character.

And yet, I'm fearful.

The fear of my inadequacies drives me to all kinds of activities other than what I should be doing (writing), what I want to be doing (writing).

So I turn around and face the hunter. I'm not perfect, I say. I'm not invincible, I say. You can't hurt me, I say. I have things to do, I say.

I refuse to be hunted today.

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