Don’t let that smile fool you. I’m petrified.
Yesterday, my best friend, Jim, with a nice camera and an eye for photography caught some gorgeous shots at the Grand Canyon.
Acrophobia. Doesn’t everyone have it? I read somewhere, studies have shown babies and animals, when at the edge of a periphery, back off because the survival instinct kicks in. So who were those fools I saw yesterday sitting on the edge, feet dangling off into 5,000 feet of nothingness?
I don’t mind flying in planes, except when it comes time to land. I love all birds. I’ve dreamed of learning how fly a helicopter. I wanted to be that glider, parachuter, and parasailer. My favorite dreams are the ones where I’m flying. But when I get closer than fifty feet from the edge–forget it.
I could rip apart the valuable human next to me. I could scream and swear like an ex-sailor. My heart pounds in my ears and the world jiggles and I crawl on all fours or crouch and frantically search for something to grab. I start to gulp, gulp, gulp, but there is no air.
Lots of trees and shrubbery to clutch before I ricocheted off the sides off the vertical drop.
I crawled out on the ledge. Jim did his best to ease my fear of being at the edge. He thought if he were goofy, I’d laugh and relax. I tried hard to be a good sport. I watched the sun set over one of the Seven Wonders of the World. I knew it was a special moment. I breathed. I breathed some more. I tried to think of a happy place and remembered I was already there. So why wasn’t I happy? Poor Jim. He did not understand. The more jerky and funny his movements, the more I envisioned he would roll off the edge and I would have to lean over the precipice and catch him. I would vomit all over God’s creation and him–oh–maybe one day I will rise above my phobia.
Thanks, Jim, for a terrifying, albeit beautiful day!