The feeling in your stomach that is all consuming when something is encroaching that you simply cannot bear to do, eat, watch, experience, or lose. The feeling that, if empowered enough, prevents humanity from fulfilling its dreams, falling in love, facing our fears, painting masterpieces, or going to graduate school. The obsession that sits in the pit of your stomach when you know that you must confront someone about something they’ve done… that you’ve just found out about. The same heavy stomach that comes with confessing great atrocities, and small ones. The feeling that permeates dreams when we fear the death of the people we love, or ourselves. The sound of a whining dog at 4am who you did not take to the bathroom knowing full well it is raining outside. ‘Gut-wrenching’ by definition. In many cases (my own included) the inability to eat or drink due to the total incapacitating-ness of the impending fearful future.
The opposite of dread:
The feeling of delicious confident anticipation. The positive reinforcement that an individual needs (and often imaginatively creates) to perpetuate actions like- sending love notes, opening Christmas presents, falling in love, cooking great meals, (or in some cases, growing great food, or in my case hours spent grocery shopping in preparation for cooking the perfect meal). The emotional embodiment of umami. The warm feeling that swells up in ones chest when they catch a glimpse of someone they may one day, but can not yet, wrap their arms around. The small positive reinforcements that so outweigh the feeling of dread that we cannot help but wait for them, hope for them, dream about them, invent them, and relish them, even when in reality the instance that is inspiring the moment is miniscule. Delicious delicious waiting. Staring at unopened letters. The idea of what the letter will say (though not what is actually does say, which is never enough to encompass the feeling of what it might say).
The opposite of dread: the space between texts messages
The opposite of dread: getting ready for the date
The opposite of dread: two people and the same full moon
The opposite of dread: the promise of a vacation
The opposite of dread: an imaginary puppy
The opposite of dread: almost falling in love
It is the opposite of dread that inspires us to move forward to the things and spaces and relationships that are the object of our creativity- the same creativity that makes up “the opposite of dread.” It is felt with the same intensity as heartbreak. (In fact one may call it the opposite of heartbreak… though that implies the feeling of being in love- which though close is not the opposite of dread. Indeed it is more like the feeling of falling in love, rather than being in it). It is enjoying the pure unadulterated potential of it all.