Coyote Speaks to His Fears
From a Mythology of My Own Making
Coyote was slowly walking down a lane. It was fall, and the leaves and wind told Coyote that changes were coming and that both he and the earth had things to do. As Coyote walked into the dusk, he began to talk to his fears.
“Why do you persist so”, he said. “Why do you follow me like a shadow, always out of reach? I thought I had seen the last of you.”
Coyote sat down and faced upwards, closing his eyes and letting the sun warm his face.
“You are troublesome, yet you are my fears and therefore I have made you. You are answerable to me no matter what you might think of yourself.”
Coyote’s eyes followed a leaf as it floated downwards and danced in the breeze, his head turning as it flew by. He knew that his words were carried away on the winds and swirled like the autumn leaves, landing where they may, becoming a mosaic of speech without substance.
Coyote was tired and dispirited as he looked over his shoulder. He saw his shadow faltering in the changing light and sighed.
“Like me, unsure and not at all certain of my steps, barely
marking the ground. I do not want to disappear,” thought Coyote.
“You cannot talk away your fears”, thought Coyote, “no matter how hard you try. They do not respond to talk, only to action, but that is sometimes a very hard thing to do.”
“Fears are dark clouds passing under the sun”, said the ants. “They block the light but it is up to you to remember that the sun is still there. You must look up through the darkness and let the sun remember you,” they said, “otherwise you will continue to stumble along paths that lead nowhere and that would be quite a silly thing to do.”
“Easy for them”, thought Coyote, “they have so many to guide them. But they are right, I must find guides of my own, otherwise I am will walk in endless circles and the sun will forget who I am.”
“So many easy answers to your fears”, thought Coyote, “but so many difficult solutions.”
Coyote continued to walk along in the fall sunshine; watching as the light faded, the world around him quieted, and day became dusk. He traveled into mists that swirled around his legs and reminded him that all he knew changed constantly.
“The air has become water”, he said to a passing tree, “nothing remains certain or the same for very long, not even my fears. I must change too, but I am not always sure how to do that.”
Coyote knew that every instant of his life informed the next, and those before, so that his life was constant movement through time in many directions.
“My fears change too, or what caused them”, he sang to the fall moon, “but I always remember them exactly the same, and that is a mistake.”
He knew that his fears were based on the past and he only remembered them in one way.
“That is what I needed to learn”, he thought, “what caused my fear in the first place is no longer what it was. I am remembering my fear as an unchanging thing that will harm me. But all that makes it up has changed, and therefore my fear has lost its strength, and no longer has power over me.”
“You may always be there, but I must look at you in the present, not in the moment in which you were born, which no longer exists. If I do, you cannot harm me because I am not in the same place either.”
With this thought Coyote smiled his coyote smile and wandered into the gathering darkness.