“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
— Rumi (El Masnavi)
When I was small we lived in a house with a roughly four foot in diameter sized vent in the den. My father fearing I might have a Jessica McClure like moment by jumping on the cover, breaking it and getting lodged in the shaft warned me that if I stood on the cover I would fall through and be greeted at the bottom by lots of shiny sharp blades. Said blades would then chop me up and leave a horrible mess. The tactic worked beautifully…maybe a little too well. I refused to go anywhere near that vent for years. Ten to twelve feet around it was the closest I’d come just in case it could somehow suck me towards it and devour me. We sold that house a couple of years ago and I remember walking through to give it just one more going over. I stopped and looked at that vent. I’m was too big by then to fall through so I allowed myself to stand closer. Still I could clearly, viscerally remember the fear I had had as a child.
Well, just when I thought I was safe it seems I have a new scary life threatening thing appearing on my horizon. Something else I imagine I will avoid close proximity to at all costs. MGFI today was warning my about the perils of veranda railings in Rio. Deaths from leaning on rusty, not checked for years railings were explained to me. I’m clumsy by nature. I like to lean. As she spoke I envisioned several vivid versions of my impending demise. I tried to remember if death was instant on impact when falling from a great height and decided that even if it was, mine most likely would be an exception. I was back mentally with the shiny sharp blades. Of course I know this threat is much more real and an actual possibility but the fear and the need to stay far, far away feels very familiar. I’m thinking I’ll enjoy the view from the window. I’ll let you know how that goes. Around two weeks and counting with stress and anxiety about things that do not yet exist to me mounting.
Here’s a somewhat recent tragic article about falling in Brazil-
One of the worst parts of this very sad story to me was that his camera was stolen after he fell.