On Fearlessness & Other Illusions

The Squeaky Robot

Picture 15

I decided that a bracelet inscribed with “fearless” would make me so. The letters – bold, loud, capitalized, with the avant-garde color scheme of white-on-black – were themselves fearless, and so I reasoned that their choking presence on my wrist would make me the message, incarnated.

With age, it is easier to pick out the false starts before they do any damage.


This morning, I can’t drink my coffee so much as stare at it because I am scared. Rare is the travel blogger that says this, but I am scared of travel.


There is at least one maxim regurgitated all too often: be fearless. For those of us who are fearful, this maxim is, at best, useless and, at worst, implies that we are not trying hard enough, that fear is unnatural and symptomatic of weakness. But being fearless is difficult only because it’s impossible.

This fear manifests itself…

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