Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Vertigo is the conflict between the fear of falling and the desire to fall.
~ Salman Rushdie

When I read this sentence, my first thought was: "What's Rushdie doing inside my head?"

I remember trips up to the 94th floor of the John Hancock Building in Chicago to look out over the city. Wow! I loved it up there. I flattened myself against the window to look as straight down as I could. The height was impressive and the view incredible. More than that, I felt an incredible draw to going down ~~ not suicidal, by any stretch of the imagination, simply wanting to feel the rush of air slipping past me.

That was one of the things I enjoyed reading Divergent by Suzanne Collins: the zip line from the top of the John Hancock Building down. The description of the feeling of flying. Amazing.

I doubt that I am in any way fearless. I trust the glass that stands between me and falling. That's the reason I understand Rushdie's statement about vertigo. It's a totally different feeling when there's glass holding me in and when there's nothing but air. I've felt that on the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, in the American Eagle at Six Flags Great America, atop the oddly rippling Great Wall of China or at the window of a Maine lighthouse. The height isn't important. It's the irrational desire to fly.

How do you feel from a height looking down? What feels different if you're safely inside a windowed room looking down? What feels the same? What high place would you like to visit? Why?

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