about        index        theory      webshop

Steps (7): Higher on. Or not.  [nederlands]

The stairs seen from Oosterdok towards Nemo, seen from under, with some grey cloudy sky. Same photo, a bit different view, more blue sky and color.

Two almost identical photos: the first one taken in May 2015, the second is from February 2023. Once of all the many times i passed by, i climbed these stairs, just a few steps and then i didn't feel very comfortable going further. I took a picture and went back down. If the sides of the stairs had been closed, so that you cannot see through them, i probably would have dared. Close feels a lot safer.

I find it funny that both times i used a kind of laissez-faire way of shooting. There must be a reason for this, but unfortunately i don't know it. Maybe i should do it again, and see why i might make that choice again (or not). Was it because there is so much to see, with so many different perspectives? Or was i just already tired at the time of shooting, and didn't really care?

It is also striking that by standing in a slightly different position, things fall out of view; in photo 2 it looks like the Mövenpick in the back right has been razed to the ground (it's okay with me!).
And the logo has changed, and with it the flags and the name on the chimney-like brick building shape, which could be an elevator shaft.

Fear of heights
It's a strange phenomenon. I've had this for as long as i can remember, although i can also remember a time when it didn't bother me. In kindergarten i used to climb into a big stone bear on the playground (especially when i'd wet my pants, then i had to be talked down...), and in my then bedroom i used to climb on the bookshelves - those were firmly anchored into the wall, as it was a custom then - so that i could hide secret concoctions from there in a high cupboard. At a certain point that was no longer allowed, but i can also remember that my parents also had to laugh about it, at least my father.

In primary school with gym class, we were forced to climb the racks, and then you had to weave your way through them in all sorts of twists and turns. I found the top rung the worst, which was made of metal. You had to go over it and then down again at the back or through it again, i don't know what kind of torture they came up with every time. And no matter how many times i said i wasn't brave enough, no one cared. I think that's where my anxiety got worse. I still dream about it sometimes, about stairs that suddenly change shape and then i have to climb through them and so on.... it is impossible.
And then the IRL misery. Sometimes there are bridges i don't dare cross. Since 2017 i have a variant of Meniere's disease, so i am often dizzy: my balance organ on the right is quite disturbed in functioning. As a result, all the sensors in my body are constantly open to keep me going. As an autistic person, everything was already quite unfiltered, and this made it much worse. Light, flashes, sunlight, contrasts, everything comes in more violently, and therefore also depths, for example. Bridges have become a problem, because they usually bridge water, which moves, often in combination with reflection of light, and causes glare: together this has a nasty effect on my well-being.
In combination with the fear of heights, that is sometimes really a reason to walk back, or detour, or whatever. So i once conceived the plan to walk to East via Schellingwoude and Zeeburgereiland. I came across the first bridge via a staircase, which i did not dare to climb, so i walked back and went via the cycle path, and then walked as far away from the railing as possible. The stairs of the second bridge were even worse: iron stairs that you can see through. I walked a long way back, and then i continued by tram.
The Rozenoord Bridge, which i used to cross all the time, had become a disaster. It takes a few minutes to get to the other side, and then i was completely dizzy and shaky. Especially if it was also windy... That's also one thing: wind. Suddenly i couldn't stand the wind anymore. I'm getting tired of it, and i don't know exactly why. That apparently does something to my system. And fatigue immediately leads to more dizziness for me, so that i regularly wander somewhat like a drunk. Well, not that bad, but i have to do my best to make sure i don't make any mistakes. And that doesn't always work, so that means paying extra attention to where i'm walking.

I don't know if this staircase deserves this story. It's just the way it is. And one staircase is not the other. And fear of heights sucks. An acquaintance of mine also has a fear of heights. Yet he wanted to spend the night in such a crane hotel, apparently, because his girlfriend gave him an overnight stay in it as a gift and he went along. He had to go down the stairs blindfolded, he said later, otherwise he couldn't go back down. And so also one person is not the other; I am not interested in the view of a crane hotel or crane restaurant or any crane experience whatsoever. I do look at the photos of others, thank you very much.

Share this item with your fellow humans:

DatumTijd: 2023 mei 21, 16:16 - CET
Auteur: Mulder

 fear of heights 

 Locations: Nemo 
 Photography: Hannah Celsius 
 Steps (overview) 
 Stories: Steps 

© 2023 hannah celsius