I Took The DARE and Survived It

Written by: Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen

Anxiety about what I might think preceded me
As I sat on the stool in the middle of my living room
Ready to think about who knows what,
I relaxed for a moment and then closed my eyes.

Gratitude and peacefulness were my first feelings.
I smiled inside thinking about how literal Ingrid had taken me.
He remembered that I intended to write at 3:00 a.m.
As the clock ticked, Ingrid kept time for me…

Fear crossed my mind next, afraid of my own thoughts,
What they might be.  Nightmares.  Horrors. 
Repressed experiences dreaded.
But thankfully, the ringing in my head saved me.
At least for that moment…

A few things slipped in.  The Jeffery McDonald murders
That took place when I was stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C.
The horror had anguished me on an off over the years.
Then, I heard the crickets again.  Thankfully.

Next, a hit and run accident that was reported in the news years ago
Flashed through my mind…anxiety from Army days.
It had happened on a road we sometimes traveled.
Fear, reality check, and cricket sounds followed.

Yes, it is that cricket sound that I enjoy so much.
It took me to the natural world in all its beauty.
Little seeds germinating in my sunroom...  
Crickets outside making their noise; I smiled again.

And the crickets in my head chirped.
I was thinking that this isn’t so bad after all.
I have learned to find happiness inside myself
Then, Ingrid said, “Time’s up.”

I felt relieved.

© March 1, 2012
Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen

My DARE: Dane, you picked Dare* I dare you to sit in the middle of your living room... 
(on a chair if you have toooo!) Close your eyes, and feel for 5 minutes... (you will need a 
stop watch that alert you when the 5 minutes are up. During them 5 minutes, you have 
to feel everything, allow your strong emotions to feel. Even if you have little one's are 
running or your cat is purring at your feet. Don't allow it to bother you. You have to 
concentrate and find that one spot in the back of your mind. The part that digs real 
deep into every feeling we forget is there. After the 5 minutes are up... Sit in the spot 
where you write, and write for 10 minutes, Write about every thought that passed 
through your mind in a poetic way, sad~happy~ mad, crazy.. and so on... Take us deep 
into your mind... Thank you..pd

Confession…I wrote more than 10 minutes…time slipped up on me.