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  • Writer's pictureRawan

Goya's Drowning Dog


n. a basic, intense emotion aroused by the detection of imminent threat, involving an immediate alarm reaction that mobilizes the organism by triggering a set of physiological changes. These include rapid heartbeat, redirection of blood flow away from the periphery toward the gut, tensing of the muscles, and a general mobilization of the organism to take action. (APA)

When they define "fear" you get the feeling as if it was a momentary response to an external stimuli or a threat. However my different experiences with fear were utterly difficult; my earliest encounters of fear as a child were the locked doors and the darkness ; that were expressed in urinary incontinence, and waking up in the midst of a sleep and rushing to my parents room as if i was escaping something.

I can’t recall what was so frightening or terrifying but the thing with fear is that it is not rational or logical its just a rushing senseless emotion that guide you to seek protection or a shelter from the unknown emerging danger.

I recall a visit to Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, when I first saw "The Dog" Painting by Francisco Goya. I never felt that fear had a better symbolic representation; the painting shows a head of a dog looking upwards. The dog itself at first glance is almost lost in the vastness of the rest of the painting, which is empty except for a dark sloping area near the bottom of the picture: an unidentifiable mass which conceals the dog's body. You experience an eerie feeling, the dog is in distress, and quite literally, drowning.

This painting felt like a poetic poem of fear and the crippling sense of helplessness, on the hand this painting was one of Goya's Black Paintings which he never intended to share with the public as he painted in directly to his houses wall.

As I grow, some fears becomes an unquestioned routines ; like how I uncontrollably get out of bed to check that all the electricity is shut off, or how I stare to a sleeping family member to check if they are breathing well, or thinking in different horrible, life threatening situations and how should i react when they "imaginary" occur; or how i recall my conversations with people and thinking my words implication on them, and if I did my closure for the day in case i didn't get another tomorrow, if I said enough "thank yous" and "I love yous"; or thinking of the fear of missing out and growing out.

Just a total whole exercises that comfort a different sets of fears.

If i would discuss fear types I'd need a book to define my experiences, but as I grow i learned to embrace life with fearful emotions and never allowing it to cripple my motions, It became a lifelong learning lesson that no matter what we do some things will happen wether we saw them coming or not, out of reason and logic, out of all the preparations and rituals that we exercised.

We have to accept the basic concept of "Chaos", that it is inhuman to be in control of everything; disorder and irregularities will occur; our own livelihoods relies on chaotic behavior exist in heartbeat irregularities; which we can also call it fate.


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