I’ve been thinking a lot about bravery in the past few days, in no small part because I am writing a review of Avery Alder’s Variations on Your Body, which includes a game called “Brave Sparrow.” At the risk of spoiling my own review a bit, here’s the quote I’m chewing on:
Bravery is the willingness to act, even and especially when you are terrified. It is action and intent carried out in the name of hope. Bravery is unable to oppress, though it is able to hurt. Bravery always liberates – first oneself, and often others. Bravery will sometimes make you vulnerable to the world, and it will always make you vulnerable to yourself.
Nothing I could say in this introduction is nicer than that, so that’s what I’ll leave you with. Let’s all strive for this kind of bravery. Here’s a drabble.
(adj.) from Latin in for “not” and trepidus, for “alarmed”
Putting on armor is not a ritual of bravery. Her limbs quake as she slides on her greaves, her cuirass. She sweats, and sometimes cries, because armor is an attempt to defend against a specter that comes and comes until it seizes you by the throat. Armor does not protect against death; it may only delay it.
But she puts it on anyway. She steps onto the battlefield because there are some things more fearsome than death. They cannot see her hands tremble inside her gauntlets; she is something fearsome to their eyes, even as she curses her rabbit’s heart.