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Showing posts from April 27, 2019

Pilot Error

From age ten or so, I knew I wanted to be a pilot. I dreamed of soaring with the clouds and flying through them. I could go anywhere the crow flies. No stuck in traffic following a road as laid out by some anonymous engineer. I could fly with the birds, although I never thought myself a bird. I loved the freedom.

But, I fear heights. It's not just any heights, it's low heights, the kind you get with stairs, balconies, bridges, and landing airplanes. 

I don’t remember where my fear of heights came from. I used to wonder if some adult dropped me when I was a baby. Then I recall climbing trees as a child. Perhaps I dropped myself when I fell out of a tree. 

When I fly on airlines as a passenger, I look out the window at thirty thousand feet, no fear. Somewhere between six feet, my height, and thirty thousand feet, airplane's height, lives my fear, a mysterious feeling that emerges from my stomach and rises up into my chest. I can't describe it. My jaw is clenched right now a…