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The Lily Pad and the Spider

You’re afraid of spiders, heights, sickness, and the way other people look at you. Afraid you’ll be betrayed, abandoned, and that the fortune-teller’s predictions will come true. You stop smoking, you avoid insects and medical advice, you stop going on stage, taking the airplane, falling in love, leaning over the balcony rail. You don’t take your driving test and you start reading novels from the end, as if putting on a chastity belt. You think you are well protected, you will never be caught off-guard, nothing will surprise you. Then a butterfly is discovered in your chest, and you feel its wings beating. It is too late to ignore the sensation.

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