Great fear is concealed under daring.
What if she was meant to be, or could have been, someone important in my life? I think that’s what scares me: the randomness of everything. That the people who could be important to you might just pass you by. Or you pass them by.
—Peter Cameron in Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You
It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death.
The first and greatest commandment is, Don't let them scare you.
This is what the world honors: wealth, eminence, long life, a good name. This is what the world finds happiness in: a life of ease, rich food, fine clothes, beautiful sights, sweet sounds. People who can't get these things fret a great deal and are afraid, wear themselves out rushing around on business, spend night and day scheming and scrutinizing. Man lives his life in company with worry, and if he lives a long time, then he has spent that much time worrying. This is a callous way to treat the body.
I don't use drugs; my dreams are frightening enough.
If my devils are to leave me, I am afraid my angels will take flight as well.
Marriage is a perilous and fearful effort, it seems to me. . . . It creates pain that it is the only cure for. It is the only comfort for its hardships. . . . Though we had our troubles, we had them in a true perspective. The universe, as we could see any night, is unimaginably large, and mostly empty, and mostly dark. We knew we needed to be together more than we needed to be apart.
Death is not the greatest fear. Neither is loss. Living is.
We have, I fear, confused power with greatness.