Prompt for December 8: Feeling Safe?

I love a good challenge.  Especially when it comes to writing.  So when I heard that Sarah Rosemary at Sunny Side Up and DailyAngst were hosting Reverb11, a series of prompts on 2011, I of course, realized that there was no way I had enough time to participate:

Prompt for December 8: Safe: Where did you feel safest this year? Describe the person, place or thing that made you feel safe in 2011.

I’ve heard it said that life is like a radio.   If you turn the volume down on “The Pain Station”, it also turns down the volume on “The Joy Station”, conveying the idea that one can never have no greater capacity joy in life than one has experienced pain.

Feel safe? Feeling safe is like having a period.  I know it happens to others, but never experienced it myself.  I’m not sure if I’ve somehow turned down the volume on the both the fear and safe stations or if safety surrounds me invisibly like the air I move through.   I wish I could say my lack of awareness of the feelings of fear and safety has something with the repeated words of Jesus, “Be Not Afraid”, but that would be a untrue. Maybe being named after Michael the Archangel has given me some type of complex or prediliction?  Probably not, but who knows for sure.

Climbing in Yosemite in my “No Fear” shirt

I was 5 years old sitting on my mother’s lap in the front seat of police car that was hauling down the streets of Long Beach, New York.   We were chasing a man who had been “following” my mom and me.  I threw up in my mouth and swollowed it, more from the speed of the car rather than fear.   Don’t recall any fear in that moment, only the roar of the engine and the speed.

As a teen, I saw my PCP-enhanced step-father throw a 300lb TV over a six foot fence.  I wasn’t scared, but I certainly had business to deal with.  That’s my M.O., meet crisis with calmness.  Maybe that’s why I liked volunteering in Emergency Rooms as a teen; lots of excitement being actioned professionally.

Peaceful, I get.  I am all over peaceful.  Peaceful comes and peaceful goes and then it comes back again. I can’t get a handle on what feeling safe is.  I keep thinking of the end of Oedipus when the chorus chimes in that happiness is an illusion.  I wonder if “feeling safe” is as well.  I don’t see life as a safe thing.  The second law of Thermodynamics clearly says that everything around me is going to it’s lowest energy state and trying to take me with it.

In trying to figure out where I feel safe, I came up with a quasi-funny litany of questions:

  • Do I feel safe in a Volvo?  A semi can eat a Volvo.
  • Do I feel safe in a hospital?   Drug-resistant bacteria and surgery teams that remove the wrong organ!
  • Do I feel safe at home?   Earthquake!
  • Do I feel safe when I travel?   Did I hide my valueables well enough in my room? Do I look too much like an American?
  • Did I feel safe rock climbing?  Are you kidding, my beleyer let go of my climbing rope while I fell the ground!
  • Do I feel safe in my wife’s arm?  No, I feel love.

This list suggests I might be crazy.   But I’m not (ok, maybe a little).  I don’t live in the fear or in a sense of impending doom. I am peacful but vigilient of the world around me.  In truth, I am much more likely to be worried about you than I am about myself.

Prompt for December 8: Feeling Safe?

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