Dancing Fears

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I was driving from Denver To Sterling this morning to facilitate a training on Ethical Considerations. I was coasting along Hwy 76 at about 80 mph and had just passed Keenesburg when I began to notice what seemed to be a car stopped in the road about 1/2 mile ahead. As I proceeded and slowed slightly, I realized the car had stopped for a family of deer who were passing over the highway to get away from a freight train that was going by. I then quickly and somewhat tardily realized I was going too fast for these conditions and there was imminent danger. I was in the passing lane and slammed on the brakes. I turned sharply to the right as I edged past the stopped vehicle in the right lane. I managed to miss 3 of the family of 4 crossing the road.

The 4th deer, a female, looked at me (and through me) directly through the windshield and she made a split second decision to leap over my car. Her sense of distance and timing were maladaptive in that moment and as she jumped she banged the front passenger panel and stumbled onto my vehicle’s roof. She then tumbled-rolled down over my windshield and landed with a thud on the road directly in front of me.

I was frozen as my heart sank and I felt completely like a killer. My head was racing with thoughts about how to process the introduction and inclusion of this innocent’s body and whom I might call for help. My heart was pierced, leaking profusely, and I was stunned. Suddenly though, she rolled over, looked up and around, gave herself a huge thrust, got to her feet,  and ran off into the direction of her family. I was left in a cloud of shock and numb.

the day has continued to be surreal. I have dents in the panel, deer hairs protruding from the seal of panel and side view, and the circling rumination of locking eyes with another living creature with real fear pulsing throughout both our beings. My heart has been opened in a new and unexpected way.

I was give a huge spiritual pass today. I was gifted with the perception and experience of a warrior while being forgiven the usual cost. There are some moments in life that take place in complete silence yet filled with screams that could last a lifetime. And I am reminded that the more I understand, the less I really know.

From what is dear, grief is born,
from what is dear, fear is born.
For someone freed from what is dear
there is no grief
— so why fear?

From what is loved, grief is born,
from what is loved, fear is born.
For someone freed from what is loved,
there is no grief
— so why fear?

From delight, grief is born,
from delight, fear is born.
For someone freed from delight
there is no grief
— so why fear?

From sensuality, grief is born,
from sensuality, fear is born.
For someone freed from sensuality
there is no grief
— so why fear?

From craving, grief is born,
from craving, fear is born.
For someone freed from craving
there is no grief
— so why fear?
Dhammapada 212-216

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