Photos of the Day: To the Lighthouse

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Vertigo. That, and an extreme fear of heights have always kept me from climbing spiral staircases. Especially those you can see through. And these, you can.

My hands were clammy, that's true. And in between little, squeaky noises of fear I shakily exclaimed, "We are going to die…"

But I went, anyway.

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Though claustrophobia's another of my several anxieties (we'll get through the full list before it's all said and done), I've climbed solid spiral staircases, like those back stairways you find in old homes, castles, things like that. But I detest being able to see through stairs all… the… way… down…

Partial credit belongs to my anti-anxiety meds. God love chemistry! However, because cognitive psychological therapy demands it, kudos to me for having the bravery to do something that scared the hell out of me – ascending a perfectly safe, though see-through, staircase.

Perfectly safe. My mantra all the way up and down.

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Reaching the top platform, the guides allowed us up the last few stairs (not see-through, for the record), one person at a time, to get a view of the light itself. That's as far as we were allowed, out of concern for what is a very expensive system of bulbs and custom-made glass.

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After coming all that way I was a little disappointed we couldn't see the view, walking along the outside of the lighthouse on a platform to see the rocky coast below. Hopefully not a see-through platform. I have to maintain some phobias.

A little surprising I felt disappointment, though. That's not normal for me, either. Another pat on my back.

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Instead, the best views were of the lighthouse itself, along the rugged coastline of Oregon. And romantic views they were.

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A glance back up at the tower reminded me how far up I actually went. Not far by many people's standards, but it may as well have been a mountain to me. I could have given Paul the camera and let him make the climb that scared me, having him take the photos, but instead I did it myself.

Another fear that, if not totally conquered, was at least a little diminished by the reminder I made it up and down without dying a horrific and bloody death. I won't guarantee I'll face all my fears with such courage, but this is one for the success column.

8 thoughts on “Photos of the Day: To the Lighthouse

  1. Kelly

    Reminds me of our Senior class trip. I schlepped all the way up the stairs at the Statue of Liberty just to see scaffolding and open water.
    See through stairs give me the heebie jeebies too. Although down is much worse than up in my opinion.

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  2. Great pics. And after the title of this post, I had to read through. Congrats on combating your fears–my own is snakes. Can. Not. Handle. Maybe I should try modern chemistry?

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  3. TLB – I’m deathly afraid of snakes, too. And spiders. And house centipedes (shudder), and large animals with sharp teeth and claws, and the list goes on. But heights? My palms sweat when I see someone on TV who’s scaling something. Anything. Even a ladder.
    Look up “wimp” in the dictionary, and there I’ll be in full-blown terror.

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  4. S.S. – thanks for the support! I drive my family batty with my fears, and I know I do. Even jumping down a couple of feet gives me pause. I have to sit down and scooch (word?) on my posterior. And sitting on a bicycle, when my feet don’t easily touch the ground? That, too. So there I am, looking like a clown riding a comically small bicycle in a circus. But I’m defiantly protective of my right to look odd!

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  5. Kelly, I’m sure I didn’t go up the statue! For one thing, sheer laziness. For another, why bother when there are postcards? That’s my motto.
    Doesn’t that trip seem a lifetime ago? Weird to think how long ago it really was. So long I don’t want to add it up…

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  6. carole

    Well done, I can understand what courage it took, but the photos are gorgeous, well worth the effort. You don’t sound wimpy in your blog, you talk about it, but you do very unwimpy things all the time, it may be the c.b.t. or the chemicals, but something is definitely working.

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  7. Carole, that’s so, so kind of you. I get through fears by sheer willpower, when I do manage to get through them. I fail an awful lot, but I try not to beat myself up too badly when I mess up. Ah, life.

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