Showing posts from July, 2011

Digital Silence, Digital Speech

I fell through a bridge into a river in Switzerland once. It was a glacial river. It was a very old bridge. I still don't know how I survived. I somehow climbed a brick wall and passed out in a woman's vegetable garden. I did survive, and I got arrested for trespassing. For years following, each time I heard the sound of running water, be it of a river or a faucet in a kitchen, my hands would itch and often swell. When I went with friends to a "swimming hole" on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I experienced a full-blown panic attack which led to my being carried up the mountain by rescue rangers in a white wicker rescue basket then taken by ambulance to the hospital. All of this was unconscious. My task was to consciously draw this fear of water forth by exposing myself to increasingly dramatic forms of this necessary element. I think of this "de-fearing" process when I think of Tweeting and Facebooking (and blogging). Public speaking is the number one fear amon