And in a moment of clarity that I’d done nothing consciously to summon, I became aware of something I’d in some way known all my life. It disclosed itself with the simplicity of the absolute. There wasn’t something lacking in my character; I had an overabundance of something. It had dictated so many of my actions, been behind so many decisions, obscured so much of my judgment.
FEAR, I SAW IN THAT MOMENT, had ruled my life. The vulnerability between my shoulders was the space created when the weight of that domineering, life-directing emotion had been temporarily relieved. It was in this experience of fear’s absence that it began to lose its hold on me.
That it took a meltdown in the middle of Spain for me to see the cunning hand of my fear for the first time goes a long way toward demonstrating the grip the emotion had on me.
After my experience outside Castrojeriz I made a decision to travel more—often alone—to put myself in situations that drew me far from the familiar. Something had happened to me by the side of that barn, and I wanted more of it.