By definition, anxiety and hope are both determined by a moment that has yet to arrive. I’m a walking cabinet of dread and desire, and when I ignore these feelings they usually come out sideways and manifest in negative ways like resentment, defensiveness, procrastination, or projection onto others. Pinning down our hopes and uncertainties in ink can remind us of gratitude and purpose, and giving our anxieties some definition can help us face them.
It’s a fitting exercise to do in the Rubin Museum because it adopts Buddhist practices along with psychological techniques. A helpful first step in dealing with our anxieties is to greet them and give them a name. Then we can examine them more objectively and break them down further. Psychologists have shown how productive this can be. It may not make us less afraid, but it can make us braver. Patrick D’Arcy