I think our mind processes fear in many different ways. I tend to intellectualize it. Then all of a sudden it comes to a head, and the emotion takes over.
I remember when I was little fear gave me a thrill. My Dad taking me to see Alien and The Predator. My Mom showing Sara and I old Alfred Hitchcock shows and watching The Blob with Steve McQueen; my sister and I huddled behind the couch in fear and fascination of a tiny amorphous being growing to overtake a small town. Mom introducing me to Ray Bradbury. Sneaking downstairs at night to watch Tales From the Crypt.
Then you hit the real world, and you discover that the truth is often stranger than fiction, and you can see the inspiration. I was talking to a colleague just last week and learned of a medical examiner/legal consultant who is covered in tattoos. He apparently offers to tan and hide the tattoo's of loved ones during autopsy for a pretty price (in the K's) online. For an eternal memoir.
On my road trip to Bentonville this weekend I had high hopes, but in truth we rarely left the hotel room. We rested and ventured out into the square to watch Earth Day celebrations and buy souvenirs. We ate a fabulous dinner at The Hive and were in bed by 8:00. But before we retired we hit the hotel museum and the gift shop, where my friend introduced me to Laurie Lipton, with whom I am currently fascinated - sitting on the couch perusing the book of her work that I purchased. After breakfast this morning at 7 a.m., I spent some time absorbing her large print of The Haunted Doll's House in the museum.
My ever-safety conscious friend, who checked out a disturbing sound for me in the middle of the night that reminded me of a large aluminum trash can rolling around eternally on an alley pavement - she confirmed that it was just lack of structural integrity of a roof awning that was being swayed by advisory level lake winds; read the safety manuel in the hotel on the way to dinner. She saw this:
Ha ha. Is that a violation of code? My boyfriend wondered.
In general I think fear is a good thing. It can lead to heightened levels of paranoia that while not overtaking you, can make you wrap your brain around a situation in many different ways to achieve a deeper understanding.