I am terrified of heights. it is getting worse as I get older. when I remember my dreams, the thing I have been dreaming generally involves a fall off high things, mostly balconies where for some reason or other, the balustrade has gone missing. I panic a lot. but I always wake up before I hit the ground. I wish I was a lucid dreamer and could realise I am dreaming and fly instead of plummeting, terrified, to the ground.
why I am terrified interests me because I know most terrors are irrational. so I challenge my fears frequently. I climb things to see how far up I can get, quite high sometimes. I have been paralyzed with fear in ravines and at the top of cathedrals but have always managed to get back down by telling myself it’s going to be safer to do it under my own steam than to put myself in the hands of someone who had to come and get me. I don’t want to die in a fall though. I like swimming under water because it feels like what I imagine flying must be. I’d like to fly, I’d hate to fall.
This staircase was in the cathedral in Split. it doesn’t look like this in real life, it is distorted through the wide angle pinhole camera I used to take the photos. it is, however, what the staircase looked like to me. a massive dangerous thing, but an interesting pulling thing that offers something at the top that is so much better than what it offers at the bottom. I wanted to take on. I got to the second flank of stairs and then came back down, on my arse. I am not ashamed, I don’t even regret not getting to the top because it’s still there and I can go back. next time I will go further, or maybe not so far because the vertigo I suffer seems to intensify with age.