Michael Bernard Loggins sat down one day and wrote out everything he was afraid of. Through his work at Creativity Explored (an art program for developmentally disabled adults), his Fears of Your Life was chosen to be part of an exhibition at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. They were painted on the wall of the stairwell in his handwriting. Fears such as "Fear of Hospitals and Needles", "Fear of Heights", "Fear of being different" were there beside "Fear of Dragon", "Fear of Pirates" "Fear of something that you think that could be in the closet that might be scary is scary", and my personal favorite: "Feared that if you Put too much of toilet Paper in the toilet Bowl it will run over and get all over the Floor and on you and on someone else too. It would leak from up stairs to the Next Floor Below." "What is Fear? what does Fear tells you about a stranger? Does Fear makes you clever or Does it warns you that you and your Friends needs to Protect yourselves From Danger!" is there right next to "I better not stick my Feet out in the side of my bed or the monsters will bite me or wanting to eat me so I better stay Foot. That's Fear for you!!" All throughout the exhibition an amazing number of people could be seen each day sitting on the stairs and reading the Fears from start to finish. There was something amazingly freeing about it - as if we all were realizing just how petty those fears that we have within us really are. YBCA is a non-collecting institution that changes it's exhibitions quarterly, but for some reason it took around two years for the Visual Arts department to get around repainting that wall where the Fears were. Even when our galleries were borrowed for the DeYoung Museum's presentation of the Impressionists touring show, the Fears of Your Life remained - and people who came to see the Impressionist show would find themselves seated on the stairs, staring at the Fears with a fascinated look on their faces.
When the Fears were finally painted over, many of those of us who worked at YBCA felt like we had lost a friend. I am delighted to find out that the Fears of Your Life have been published as a book that I can now share with friends. (I've already purchased four copies!)