[LMB] OT: AIHABF

WILLIAM A WENRICH wawenri at msn.com
Thu Oct 14 14:18:50 BST 2021


In Mission of Gravity, Barlenan is able to look over a cliff near the pole until he can see the connection (the side of the cliff) with the ground. That’s when he loses composure.

William A Wenrich

  *    A sinner, utterly dependent on God’s grace.

________________________________
From: Lois-Bujold <lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2021 11:05:18 PM
To: lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Subject: [LMB] OT: AIHABF

From: Marc Wilson <marc.wilson at gmx.co.uk>

>Gwynne: I'm terrified of heights, I can't even climb a ladder. When my
>father turned 80 we gave him a hot-air-balloon ride and somehow the
>family elected me to go with him. I decided to spend the whole time
>with my eyes closed. So off we went.
>And it was amazing. I could look out, and straight down, without feeling
>that sick panic and paralysis. We just floated, silently, and I loved every
>minute, leaning out and looking at everything....

AIUI, when you have a physical connection with the ground (e.g. you're
on top of a cliff, or a building, or whatever) it's somehow more
frightening than when you're suspended in mid-air.
I've met people who can't go out on hotel balconies - having flown to
the resort.
I'm not sure what the mechanism is, here, unless that it's simply that
evolution hasn't prepared anything for our mental toolkit to deal with
flying.

Gwynne: Interesting point. I haven't heard that theory before, but it makes
a lot of sense. I think for me there's more than just height issues, though.
I actually live on top of a cliff. I love the view, and I'm fine even at the edge,
because I have a sturdy fence that I know is safe. I can hold on there and
look out or even straight down with no worries. I suspect that, for me, part
of the problem is that I have serious balance issues (middle ear and ankle
damage) so I need to be anchored - even just touching a wall with one finger
will suddenly orient me and make me feel a bit safer, if I'm up high (when I
was teaching, I would have to climb up onto a desk to hang artwork on
high display boards, or strings across the room. Getting up there and making
myself stand up took so much determination. Once I made myself reach up,
even just touching that string made me feel better - and it's not as if the
string would give any help at all if I fell over.
--
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