The Awful Things List

I am starting a list of awful things. This will be a list of things that disturb me, terrify me and unsettle my soul. I’m talking about gut fear. I’m talking about existential dread.

Relax. I’m not going to let you actually read this list. This is the kind of list archvillians use to neutralize their adversaries, rendering them useless to the world. This list is my kryptonite, my darkest closet, my worst bad dreams.

You won’t get to see the list itself. I hope you get to see what comes from it.

Fear is rich mulch for creative work. Fear and dread, when dealt with honestly, are the loam from which great stories arise.

I am keeping this list as an act of faith. I will keep this list as a way to make these fears manifest. It is a kind of conjuration. And then, I will write my way through the center of these fears. I will follow the stories through the center of my gut. I will press myself all the way to the back of the closet and beyond into the darkness that reaches out with no arms.

You will know when I have written one of these stories. It will tumble inside you like a upended chair. It will rise in your gut like an unstiffled scream. It will capture you where you stand and look at you with eyes very much like your own. This kind of story will recognize you and you will recognize it. And you will read but the words will be like glass. And the pages will have disappeared. And I will be standing inside your head. And you will be standing inside mine. And we will be holding each other bravely, giving each other courage and honoring the magic that comes when brutal honesty meets fear.

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