smashing fear

Fear surrounds me anywhere, anytime if I let it. It is easy to become absorbed in doubt about the future, love, loneliness, illness, and uncertainty in general.

Through an ongoing search for spirituality, I encounter bits of inspiration. Writing, reading, working, dancing, drumming, mermaiding, singing and linking with others are personal spiritual connectors for me.

6 degrees…

Well, it may not actually be six degrees of separation. (sounds more dramatic though doesn’t it?) Through a series of associations I was introduced to Lung Leavin’ Day.

  1. Shez forwarded a wonderful site for blogging prompts
  2. Kat hosts this site called Mama’s Losin’ it which I regularly contribute.
  3. Maureen is one of the bloggers who also links up with Mama Kat. After reading a recent post of hers, I linked to…
  4. Heather survived mesothelioma. The diagnosis left her with a scant 15 months to live.

Several years ago Heather underwent pneumonectomy (removal of a diseased lung). I can’t even begin to imagine the fear that filled her soul when she found out the awful news. It makes my fears seem so completely insignificant by comparison.

hurling fear into a bonfire

Rather than becoming paralyzed by fear, Heather and her family created a yearly celebration. Each February second, they gather to write their deepest fears onto a plate, which is ceremoniously smashed into a bonfire.

HOW COOL IS THAT??? In order to obliterate anxiety, one must first recognize it. Writing is an excellent form of acknowledgment. There is something cathartic about releasing your fear onto something tangible and fragile like a plate.

why a plate?

This is only a guess but there is symbolism behind smashing plates. Greeks are known for breaking plates at weddings and such. I’ve only seen plates thrown on the ground in movies.

Being Jewish, Robert and I celebrated the custom of breaking a glass at our wedding. At the time, I didn’t fully comprehend why we broke a perfectly good glass. It is a long-standing tradition, which is good enough reason as any to smash stuff. wedding pic

Years back, when I worked in a china department, we would throw all china and/or glass into a large bin if it was damaged. Admittedly, it was invigorating to launch plates and hear them shatter.

breaky breaky

At the bottom of the lung leavin’ site, Heather gives an opportunity to join her by writing a fear on a virtual plate and casting it into a fire. All she asks in return is for us to share her story.

The only time I heard of mesothelioma was in one of those obnoxious commercials paid for by a phone-in attorney. I think it was representing a class action case. I rarely watch TV and watch commercials even less often, so I’m not sure when or where I viewed it.

Like fear, one can only overcome illness once aware of its existence. Perhaps awareness can help find a cure in this case. Most do not recover from mesothelioma as it is an invasive and progressive form of cancer caused from asbestos exposure.

keep smashing plates!

Hmm…perhaps plate throwing should be added to my spiritual search. This is something I can also share with friends and family. The fears still exist, but are diminished through shattering and burning.

I hope Heather will have the opportunity to break plates for many years to come. L’Chayim!LLD-TalkingPlate


4 thoughts on “smashing fear

  1. Lisa @ The Meaning of Me says:

    I’ve seen that obnoxious commercial – couldn’t for the life of me think of anyone I knew who had such a thing. I’m glad (I think – is that the wrong word?) to know there are real people behind that commercial. And saddened at the same time…

    The plate thing is very cool. There is definitely something cathartic about smashing something you shouldn’t. Incidentally, we did the breaking of the glass at our wedding, too. And we have the shards in a tiny little tube in the mezuzah that hangs in our front entryway. Kinda cool.

    And can I please say I LOVE that wedding picture? Holy gorgeous photo, Batman! You are a rock star, Mim!


  2. Maureen says:

    I just love this concept so much. So liberating! And I was so glad to have “met” Heather and hear her story. I’m so very thrilled that she is doing well. Great post Miriam!


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