Even though I have a rather embarrassing fear of heights, I still enjoy the views to be found at the highest points of the cities I visit. It’s wonderful to get a bird’s eye view of a city as I think it reveals much more than simply walking between tall buildings. You can see the mixture of new and old structures placed together and the sheer enormity of it all puts everything in context. Sure, I’m perfectly terrified the entire time, but it’s worth it to get the full picture of a place. Today, I decided to doodlewash one of those coin-operated binoculars that allow you to spy on people for the low price of only 50 cents. I’ve actually never used one, as my entire point of scaling a building was to zoom out, so paying any amount of money to zoom in seems countertuitive. It’s the big picture I’m interested in seeing, so I’m content with viewing that for free.
My fear of heights has grown progressively worse as I’ve gotten older. When I was younger I had no problem standing atop tall buildings or peering over the edge of a mountain. I used to tease my dad because of his fear of heights and now I realize it runs in the family. Sorry, Dad. But when I have a chance to see something from such a unique angle, I muster up all the courage I have in order to do it. After all, as an artist, you should take any chance you get to view the world in different ways. It’s that kind of observation that makes us better. And no sense letting a little thing like fear stop me from taking the opportunity to do something new.
Being a bit of an introvert, I tend to avoid large gatherings of people and crowded places in general. I’m almost immediately exhausted when I do. But, watching people from a safe distance, even if they’re the size of ants, is kind of awesome. All of the hustle and bustle felt on the city streets is a safe distance away and you’re left with just the strange complexity of it all. It’s really just a bizarre ecosystem that at a glance looks like a cluster of confusion, yet somehow everything works together. At least mostly. And I realize how we’re all connected, no matter how different we are, and it’s comforting. Even though I’ve scaled a building to hide for awhile, I know I’ll always leave with a newfound appreciation for everyone around me. Forgetting my fears, you’ll find me there. That guy on top of a building, lost in thought, high above the city, admiring the world we made together.