Saturday, September 5, 2009

A mostly fun day

I had a little list tasks to accomplish today, and then the remainder of the day to squander as I would. And since this was my third day in a row off work - a thing that very seldom happens – I felt quite perky. When Rebecca called to see if I wanted to go the knitting store, I was pleased and surprised, for I hadn’t realized that she had the day off as well. To get to the knitting store, one must choose between two bridges over the ship canal, and we usually go over the Montlake Bridge and then walk through the University of Washington. Unfortunately, like my mother, standing on a chair to put in a light bulb makes me ill, and walking across these bridges is not my idea of fun at all. I just steel myself and forge on trying never to look down. We had not walked across the University Bridge in quite some time, and I remembered it as being worse than the other one, but I had forgotten how very much worse it actually is. Both of the bridges draw up for big boats, so the floors of them are hideous grates, through which one can see the actual water several miles below. Sickening! The sidewalk of the Montlake bridge is about five feet wide and the rails are attached to the sidewalk. On the University bridge, I now realized, the sidewalks are about five inches wide and there is a great chasm on either side, where the sidewalk is attached neither to the railing nor to the grate. It’s just suspended in midair. Super sickening. Initially, I was feeling quite brave and thinking it would all be okay as I took the first picture, but then I realized that we were not actually on the bridge yet, but rather, we were on the parapet just before it. Rebecca, feeling frolicsome, nearly flung herself over the edge, no doubt to upset me – which it certainly did, because I grabbed her back to save her from the abyss, and injured her knee in the process. Her wound is pictured here. Then we got on the actual bridge. I could not believe it. I was overwhelmed with terror and could barely make my way across. I kept telling myself that I was being ridiculous and there was no danger whatever, but that didn’t seem to help. I was almost paralyzed with fear and had real tears streaming down. I knew I was being was absolutely absurd. My mother did this sort of thing occasionally, and I was always outraged. Bad me! Between her gales of rude laughter, Rebecca kept offering words of encouragement. I kept telling her to stop talking, be quiet and just keep walking so it would get over with. Plus, I needed to concentrate in not falling over the edge. Later, she apologized for laughing, but I said I would have laughed at myself too if I had not been me. She admitted that she wanted to take a picture of me, but realized that that would be going too far. It certainly would. I hate having my picture taken at the best of times.
Once across the bridge, we had a nice time buying yarn, and there were no more terrors.
Also pictured here are some of the trees we passed on our way - while we were still safely on solid ground.


Barb said...

Congratulations on meeting your fear head-on. Now, instead of feeling sheepish (Not a knitting pun for once) look at yourself in the mirror and say, "I felt REAL FEAR and I kept on going." Because you know what? As I always tell my kids, true courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Cheers to you!

Oh, and Joanna, if you'll send me your snail mail address, I'll send you some tomato relish. You've earned it.

Knitman said...

oh Joanna-me too! Me too! Or rather it was.I am not so affected now. I was forced to go over the world's longest and tallest suspension bridge between Malmo, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark. This was in 04.I had been caught in a really bad blizzard/storm. I couldn't go any other way. Even this bridge was closed. As i approached it, it flashed up that it was open. I lost my nerve, pulled into the emergency lane and sat there crying, I was so scared. I FORCED myself to drive the car forward just a few more feet to the point of no return. then I HAD to go over that bridge. Guess what? My fear left me! I went slowly over so I could see the amazing views. Yes, the wind was very strong. Okay, so I have done it a few times since and when I have to cross the Dartford Crossing here in England, I am still nervous, but I do it. I can now, if my pain lets me, get into my loft without freezing on the ladder. I too would have been very nervous abotu the bridge you walked over. Vertigo is not funny and can't be helped.

Gayle said...

I'm with you about heights. I get dizzy just reading about walking across that bridge!

Samos said...

That sounds like fun! We'll have to go over the bridge together sometime... Looks like a maggot might comeout of that wound any second! (see larvae viseo at I remember going over the Montlake bridge with you several times to go canoeing and I never remember you being that upset... I wish you'd posted a picture of the scary abyss. :-)

Janet said...

I'd better look at my map and figure out where those fearsome bridges are. I'm not good about heights so I think I would be petrified also. When you were in Ireland did you go to the West to see the Cliffs of Mohr or similar? Too scary for me.