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.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors:  Gamboge, Quinacridone Rose, Pyrrol Red, Cobalt Teal, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.
Day 10 #WorldWatercolorGroup Cityscape Coin-Operated Binoculars New York City Skyline

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27 thoughts on “High Above The City

  1. Your high priced binoculars look a bit like an alien – maybe that’s why you have a fear of heights. He’s got a big grin on his face – must be pleased with alluring you to get so high in order to see the city through his eyes.
    He should be very pleased with his portrait. You captured every nuance of his handsome features – introspective nature, blue eyes, small ears, broad grin, tho maybe he should whiten his teeth a bit. Maybe I’m seeing you, Charlie – except for the teeth – I’m sure yours are perfect.

    1. Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Hehe… glad you enjoyed this alien portrait! Lol Love that! It does really look like an alien towering over a city. A rather odd choice, to be sure, but I just love to paint shiny things. As for my teeth… not sure about perfect, but they’re in rather good shape. 😉

  2. Nice, Charlie. I misunderstood your intent. I thought you were going to stand with your forehead pressed to the binoculars, and with paints in hand paint the little people way down there…. haha..

  3. Gee, the metal on that is great! I totally hear you on the height fear, And of course have a similar story…..when I wrote for the newspaper I actually got in an electric company bucket and was lifted up so I could get a photo of an event. And I lived through it lol. What we need and want to do helps overcome the fear, temporarily at least.

  4. It is wonderful to get a bird’s eye view of things! I saw a pair of eagles soaring above the trees at the lake today. And it made me wonder what they see! 😃 Sorry to hear you are afraid of heights, Charlie. I think we all have a fear of something. I’m terrified of big city traffic so it’s good I don’t have to drive in it! 😉 Yet, like you, I love exploring new places as it does challenge my artistic view of things! 💕🎨

  5. Well done for standing upto your fears and climbing to the top! I totally understand why the spy machine defeats the point of the glorious view. I to hate heights, so two years ago I decided to do a sky dive for charity, yes I was very v nervous, but I felt great for doing it, I did however feel sick for the rest of the day, like a fair ground ride sort of sick, but it was worth it, 😀

    1. hehe… glad I’m not the only one, Michael! 😃 Yeah… heights are just not my thing. Actually, when I graduated college a friend and I thought it would be fun to celebrate with a hot air balloon ride. Thankfully, it never happened as we both sort of chickened out before the big day!😊 Lol

  6. I tried using one of those machines once, but couldn’t see anything clearly that I tried to see. It was better just using my eyes! I’m not so bad with heights, but my fear is of confined spaces… and a combined space with lots of people is just a nightmare!

      1. Yep – lifts here with me as well. I’d sooner walk, but sometimes I just have to grin and bear it! As for the machine, I tried to see what I could and got my money’s worth. I left disappointed, but hey, I now know not to use one again! 😀

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