Truth is I’d rather run. Board a plane. Take a hike. Read a book. Listen to Brahms or Marvin Gaye or Aretha. Jump out of my skin. Escape.
I have a certain expertise at running: I’m an escape artist. Houdini and me: we have got our act down! I have run from things scary, painful, disorienting or just unfamiliar.
I learned to be an escape artist as a child. When violence threatened at 12 Orchard Drive, I climbed a tree. I climbed a hilltop. I hid invisible (I prayed) behind a formal chair in my mother’s (un-lived-in living room). Later on, I hid in so many extracurricular activities, chose universities far away, accepted jobs that kept me from tigers.
I became adept at recalling only fully-lighted moments from my childhood while turning my back on dark memories where tigers lurked.
Those tigers are smart cookies. They took up residence inside my heart so I would never be without them. Even in what appears to others as a safe place, I feel the tigers prowling. My heart beats a fast and breath-taking tattoo.