Tonight, I’m actually heading to do something spooky with a friend of mine that I haven’t done in years. We’re going to visit a couple of the local haunted houses. Not actual haunted places, but the kind of place where people dress up in ghoulish attire specifically to scare you. The fact that I’m going specifically to be scared is perhaps the silliest part of all. But I haven’t been in years and I figured it was time to try again. Philippe won’t be in attendance as he’s joining our friend’s wife for a more civilized evening at the cinema. Both were quite clear that if us boys wanted to do something stupidly scary like that, we would have to go by ourselves. Actually, I don’t ever get truly scared in haunted houses, I just really enjoy seeing all of the visual effects. The only real scares come from being startled constantly, which doesn’t really count as true terror. It’s more like an overly eager person constantly attempting to cure you of hiccups. I chose a jumping spider to honor the occasion, because I think they look more like little aliens or might at least be considered cute on their planet. That said, I would quite prefer it if they didn’t actually jump on me as it would totally freak me out!
Though I’m not truly scared to be attending a haunted house this evening, I did have dreams of one recently, so it must have been on my mind. It was sort of terrifying, but then, true to form, even in my dream I just grew fascinated by everything and started wondering about how they made that wolf’s howl sound so real. In truth, my general fascination with everything in the world never lets me feel fear for any length of time at all. Fear is created by a sense of a perceived threat or danger. In order to work properly, one has to stay focused and not get distracted. I, however, get totally distracted so fear just doesn’t work so well on me. The scary guy with the chainsaw who will likely rush toward me this evening, will indeed make me jump initially, but then I’ll start analyzing his look, his performance, and wonder what brought him to play this part instead of the vampire. This sucks all the fear right out of things, and since I don’t want to suck the fun out of things, I wait to mention any observations until after we’re safely outside again. But it’s all so wonderfully curious!
I certainly have fears in life, but these are mostly the ones that help us get through it safely. Having the good sense to stay away from the edge of the roof on a tall building, for example. But, when my worry about life or pressing deadlines mount into something akin to fear, I just can’t sustain it. I’ve had a history of living that tells me, none of these things ever really last. So why on earth would I let them bother me for any length of time at all? My mind is amazing in its ability to scare me, but my brain is even more amazing in its wisdom and ability to provide comfort. I enjoy that my brain takes me out of the situation for a moment to analyze things better and provides me with a clearer path. Of course, when it comes to haunted houses, I’ll likely just shut my brain off at certain moments to gleefully play along. But I won’t be terrified in the least. And in my real life, I’ll happily get lost in emotion when it comes to wonderful things like hope and love. But when the bad things go bump in the night, I’ll let my brain take me out of it, and reassure me that, in the end, nothing is really wrong at all, and there’s nothing to fear.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!) + Opus (Vivid Pink). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!