What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

First, winners of the de Profundis samples – MaureenC and Homura-chan.  Just click on the Contact Us over on the left, send me your address, remind me of what you’ve won. Make sure I give you a quick response so you know you didn’t drop into my spam filter thingie.

I loved the discussion on the perfume. Well, not the perfume, but the “de Profundis: part – Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde, Dante, the Psalms?  I think the answer is mostly Wilde and Baudelaire as far as Serge’s inspiration. But the theme crossed all of them, and I agree that it is one of hope.  If you spend too long thinking about your daily drudgery, endlessly toiling, worrying, sacrificing, over and over, it’s overwhelming, yet most of us hang onto that refracted joy that we glimpse sometimes in a child’s laughter, a thoughtful gesture, seeing love where you least expected it.  Yes, I do mean refracted. Refraction is the bending of light as it passes from one substance to another.  Most of the joy we get is bent from one person to another, one moment to the next, from a happy memory recalled in the present or a hopeful expectation from the present to the future.

And it is that refracted joy that gives us hope that what we do matters, that we are all  worthy of redemption – either in a religious or humanitarian sense – and capable of more than who we often are.  I think the crying from the depths is ourselves wanting more, hoping for more – for ourselves, other people, the world, or maybe it is crying for love or companionship, understanding, to not be completely and utterly as alone as we all are.

Which led me to my favorite question – what would you do if you weren’t afraid?   I keep facing that question in my life over and over in the last 3-4 years. My answer is simply there’s nothing I won’t do, fear isn’t a factor I consider.  What’s your answer?  My answer used to be “sniff that Humanity thing again Mugler did” and then I decided it wasn’t fear that stopped me but revulsion. I think fear and revulsion aren’t the same?

So I think I need to buy that big-ass kiln to fuse glass in at home, especially since that stupidly expensive cardigan I thought was shipping this month got canceled.  Right?  I know I need a 40 watt breaker, but if I just plug it in in the basement where the dryer goes in, never run them at the same time (obviously!), it should work, and I won’t blow up my house.  And if I do, I’ll probably have some really cool blown-up fused glass all over the block for my  neighbors to appreciate.


  • Tara C says:

    What nozknoz said… and some day I’m actually going to do it! (I’m thinking for my retirement).

    As for the kiln, it doesn’t get that hot… I run mine in the garage, it’s one of those massive coffin things… get an electrician to put in a correct drop and wiring and you’re set.

  • Kristen says:

    I’ve done several “jump off the cliff” things in my life so far, and lived to tell the tales.

    Get that kiln! I see fusing kilns often on Craigslist in my area, so maybe you can get a deal. Also, hire a nice electrician to ramp up your wiring, as electrical fires are not pretty.
    I got a 220 outlet in my garage for my pottery kiln. It was around $600. I got the kiln for $15 + $200 in repair parts.

  • nozknoz says:

    I’d get rid of everything I own (except perfume, of course) and move to France or Spain or somewhere – any interesting place outside of the US.

  • Vasily says:

    I’d write those novels I’ve been thinking about for several decades.

  • Kelly says:

    Patty, thank you for this today. I needed it. Much love to you.

  • Gail S says:

    Sky diving. That’s the only thing I can think of that I am absolutely too terrified to even contemplate. I would have to be sedated (or conked over the head) and shoved out the door of the plane.

  • LindaB says:

    Not sure if it’s fear or just being too practical but I’ve wanted to live in NYC for at least a year since I was a child. I only live minutes from it but not the same. Should have done it before marriage, kids, mortgage. I have very few regrets but this is one of them.

  • Nina Z says:

    The death of my mother seems to have freed me up to do some of the things I wanted but feared. The first is to write a novel, which I always lacked the self confidence to tackle. I’ve been working on my novel for over three years now, and have just about a chapter and a half to write and I’ll have a first draft! I’m sad it took me so long to do this, but I’m very grateful I eventually reached the point where I could finally do something I’ve longed for most of my life. I’ve also started blogging (about yoga and healthy aging). This required a leap of faith that people would be interested in what I have to say and that the blog would eventually grow into the resource I envision (and maybe open some new doors for me).

    • Musette says:



      Don’t waste a minute of your life regretting the time past. TIme for you to embrace the NOW! Which you are doing. Felicidades! ^:)^^:)^

      xo >-)

  • maggiecat says:

    Great, thought-provoking post! I’m timid about little things (snakes, spiders, heavy traffic moving way too fast) but stupid brave about big things (moving across country in the middle of my life, standing up for people/ideas I believe in even when it’s unpopular and risky). The latter have led people to call me fearless, but I’m definitely not – I just refuse to let fear dictate my life.

  • Tatiana says:

    When I face my fear and push past it, I ride jumpers on my daughter’s show horse. Although, not at quite the same height as my daughter jumps.

    I would love to see some of your fused glass work. If the kiln power supply is electric and not gas, I think it’s a bit safer. And as long as you have an certified electrician check your hook up I think you’ll be fine. I once took a summer glass workshop at a local University. Did a little bit of intro work blowing, pouring into sand molds, fusing and etching. Couldn’t get used to the intense heat of the glass blowing part. But loved the rest. I admire people who can make something beautiful with this medium. I found it challenging to work with.

    Good luck and let us know if you install that kiln.

  • Tulip says:

    Ah…. are you sure you need your own kiln? Just sayin’ ….

    • Musette says:

      I agree, Tulip. Personally, I always enjoy doing that sort of art in a studio setting, especially when it’s not my actual art career (I paint in my own studio, of course). I’ve worked a lot of pottery and some glass – and it’s always better, more fun (and, yes, SAFER) to do it in a more controlled setting. I’ve seen some ugggggly studio fires in my day.

      But we’ll see what Patty decides….:-? She is very intrepid.

      xo >-)

  • Musette says:

    Beautiful post, P!

    My replies: first, let me =)) at what the ‘bots put up as adverts in the left sidebar. Total Beauty/arrest/criminal records. 😕

    second, let me ‘second’ you on that ‘no fear’ thing – though I think it’s more Going Through the Fear for me. I look at a situation, recognize that it scares the toenails off me, take a deep breath, suck it up and plunge in. Usually it works just fine. I hate being hostage to my fears/anxieties so I make them, rather than the thing I think I’m afraid of, my enemy.

    ‘Brave people always get what they want’ – Cynthia Heimel ‘Sex Tips for Girls’

    xo >-)

    ps. you are very brave – but you do make me nervous with the electricity. Let me ask El O about that before you start plugging stuff in and fusing the glass, okay? Molten glass is very painful. This might be something you would want to do in your garage, rather than the basement. I know, Denver/winter – but the kiln is hot….VERY hot (I worked with a glassblower for awhile. Sweaty work)…and if you blow up your garage it’s not quite as deadly as blowing up your house – esp if folks iz still innnnn it! 😮

  • Jennefer says:

    WOW,so nice!

  • Jillie says:

    I’m just such a scaredy-cat in general that I don’t even have enough imagination to think what I might do! And I am certainly too frightened/repulsed to attempt to sniff Secretions Magnifique, even if I knew where to do so. I admire your fearless attitude, and wish I could have just a little bravery. In the meantime, I shall curl up like my cats beside the fire, with a cup of steaming rose tea, just dreaming of other people’s adventures, and rooting for you.