I often find fun stuff I forgot about when I go digging around in my photo archives. This looks a bit like abstract expressionism, but what I was really after were backgrounds for an advertising project. The experiment involved tossing the camera with a long shutter in front of a set of blinds looking out over the prairie. I have a whole folder of these shot at different angles and speeds – I must have really liked what I was seeing!

I like the aesthetic! It’s soothing to look at. 🙂

On Fear

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

When I was younger I’d make self-deprecating jokes about being afraid of stuff – I find clowns eerie and I don’t like needles, for starters. But I don’t think getting the heebie jeebies from face-painted creepers is much to be worried about. I have only one real fear, and that fear feels entirely different. It’s tactile. I drown in it. I have a deep and terrible phobia of heights.

Normally this isn’t the kind of thing I’d share on my blog, but I’m sure friends of mine have fears of their own, and I thought it might help to know you’re not alone. The truth is, apart from a couple of embarrassing moments in extreme situations (spindly, swaying, suspension bridges over canyons, mostly) where I had to psych myself up, I almost never let my fear get the better of me, and I’m proud of myself every time for facing up to it.

I’m not a psychologist, but a couple of things have helped me deal.

  • Owning it. If you know your fear is irrational, it has no power over you. I’ve been up that accursed CN Tower glass elevator like six times now, and I have yet to fall to my death. I don’t know what weirdo thought to put the glass floor in there, though. I curse that engineer every time.
  • Familiarity. The first time up a long escalator can be harrowing. The second time is awful. The thirty-sixth time is not so bad. What my wife doesn’t know is that when we split up to shop at the mall, I ride the 4-storey escalator a couple of times in a row to prove to myself I’ve mastered it (I haven’t quite, yet).
  • Curiosity and regret. Not knowing what’s at the top of the flight of wobbly stairs, or what’s over the edge of a high balcony kills me way more than my fear does. European church stairwells are especially diabolical (seriously, 1600’s building codes were lax!), but the view from the top is always breathtaking. I’ve never let my fear stop me from discovering something awesome – no regrets.

Side note: If you’re one of those architects who makes rickety floating stairs or pedestrian bridges over freeways with wide-open see-through metal grills for floors, then I’d like to punch you in the face. Seriously what is wrong with you, you sadistic monster!?!