I encountered a playful face of fear the first time I walked the triple spiral labyrinth at the Hermitage. I was familiar with the circuit form of labyrinth: the weaving in and away from a clear center was comforting. Although the path was clear in the triple spiral, the center was not, and I became disoriented, experiencing a dizziness and a vulnerability that produced fear. I kept walking, there is no end or finish, weaving one spiral into another and another, and the fear changed to a feeling of freedom. What is fear? Is fear related to freedom? What is fear’s opposite? How do I respond in the face of fear?
I have been circumambulating these questions: I gathered a number of quotes that struck me as helpful, and, for my own journey, I included some of my photographs taken as I pondered each quote’s meanings. I share these with you.
- “Anne Robertson, a Methodist pastor, writer, and executive director of the Massachusetts Bible Society, explains how the Greek origins of the words happiness and joy hold important meaning for us today. She explains that the Greek word for happiness is Makarios, which was used to describe the freedom of the rich from normal cares and worries, or to describe a person who received some form of good fortune, such as money or health. Robertson compares this to the Greek word for joy which is chairo. Chairo was described by the ancient Greeks as the “culmination of being” and the “good mood of the soul.” Robertson writes, “Chairo is something, the ancient Greeks tell us, that is found only in God and comes with virtue and wisdom. It isn’t a beginner’s virtue; it comes as the culmination. They say its opposite is not sadness, but fear." ~ Brené Brown