Last time carrying the Fear Chair! My friend, Carol Woodford (first witness to the Project), came with me to drop the Chair off at The Community Warehouse in Portland. The CW has an annual fundraiser called "The Chair Affair." Funds are raised through auctioning off chairs and tables that local artists have transformed into art. I first found out about the event while carrying the chair to a coffeeshop last fall. Artists and patrons of the event saw me and asked, first why I was carrying the chair, then what I planned to do with it when I no longer needed to carry it. Their explanation of the Chair Affair and the work of the Community Warehouse to support families, created a perfect conclusion to The Fear Chair Project. The Chair is now in it's "green-room," with other wonderful works of art, awaiting the big show on April 18th (check out communitywarehouse.org for info. on tickets)!
I wrote a very brief explanation of the Project to be included with the chair for any potential buyers to see it's unusual backstory. In that explanation I mention that "The Fear Chair Project was one of the greatest gifts I've ever given myself." There is sadness in letting go of the companion I carried so many days, yet, it was about letting go that the FCP taught me. Not just detatchment from Fear but from anything that I am Afraid of losing. As it turns out this lesson began (we never fully learn anything) just in time for some enormous losses in my life. The FCP strengthened me and its lessons continue with me, even as I travel an unforseen road through the Forest of Unknowing for a time.
Through losses, through Fear, through the unforseen and the unknowable, Love is always available. Love always travels with me, with us. We carry it as much as we carry Fear or loss or conflictedness. And we always have the choice of what we will focus on. I spent 51 days focusing on Fear. In my life, Fear had screamed long enough trying to maintain my attention. I gave it my attention. I took it to coffee, I took it to a play, I took it on jobs, shopping, to dinner, breakfast, on long walks. I made it beautiful. And in return, Fear gave me a deeper understanding of Love with lessions in compassion and patience and openness. Through carrying Fear as a chair, as a companion, I am strengthened, humbled and grateful.
I am hopeful the Fear Chair will find a new place to call home where it can be a reminder that even Fear carries beauty, for under it there is always Love. And I am excited that the FC will help support a great program that serves families!