Friday, October 26, 2012
Anxiety is many things to me, but most of all, it's mine. I know plenty of people who've divorced anxiety; they meditate, medicate, stick themselves with needles. They grow very slightly more calm -usually in inverse proportion to the stridency with which they promote their therapy du jour. I've watched my friends and family revile their fear even I've hugged my enemy, my anxiety, close. Over time, as enemies are wont to do, it has become my friend.
Naturally, I'm anxious now. There's a hurricane bearing down on me, and my parents are inching toward incapacitation, and there's trouble at work, and my music career may be tanking, and global warming will kill us all, and I'm not sure I can handle seeing any more blissful people, and the election is coming, and the cat has fleas, and the roof has lost some shingles, and did we pick the right health insurance plan, and what about Syria, and why hasn't my editor responded to my pitch, and do I have rare late onset type 1 diabetes, and OMG I should oil my instruments, and what will happen to the lawn if I don't rake the leaves, and why is there so much autism?
All of that, all of the time. Anxiety is symphonic. Anxiety is Mahler, or Bruckner, working out its massive, multiple motives over vast gulfs of time. It's not comforting, and it's not pleasant, but by Golly, it makes a lot of noise.
And maybe that's good. Because anxiety's gift to you, besides a OCD level of preparedness such that, should the apocalypse come, you will be the one marshalling a zombie army from behind your screen of impeccably coiffed steroidal bodyguards, is a keen ear.
You're alert. You're awake. You're listening.