Vertigo (with picture)

dizzy heights

Cinque Terre refers to 5 towns that grasp the land upward from the Mediterranean Sea. They are small and naturally exhausted with tourists, but not as much as Rome or Florence. Cinque Terre is where the Italians go to vacation, and the Germans, and the French, and the Swiss. It is a jewel. And honestly, I don't like thinking of it as an it. It is 5 towns. And I loved them all. Maybe Corniglia the most, but I try not to play favorites.
All of this is beside the point; this post is about heights, balance and, well, the two never meeting.
I have vertigo. Escalators make me stop breathing. Railings need to have something solid under them blocking the dizzy below. I never go above three steps of a latter.
Most people take it as a fear of heights, which it is in part, but it is a fear that stems from the fact my head starts swimming and I think I'm falling. And I can't move.
Cheryl and I did Cinque Terre backwards. Most people start in Riomaggore and move towards Monterosso. Not us. I became reacquainted with my long time friend, Vertigo, somewhere outside of Vernazza going towards Corniglia. I stepped out onto the path, way up high, and the world disappeared next to me. No tree, no handrail, nothing to filter the void, no balance. And everything spun away from me. All control, reason, the normals that keep me pieced together. But I crossed that narrow trail. Turned around, and came back. Losing balance, but at least, not losing time too. Who knows, maybe next time I'll just keep walking, claiming the spinning air for my own, making it all the way to the Corniglia in time for sunset.

3 responses to “Vertigo (with picture)

  1. Veritgo. Could be a fitting metaphor for life sometimes. Spinning out of control. Nothing to grasp. And feeling like you could almost just go with it. And see where it might take you.

  2. I’m reading a book that’s talking about Renaissance Italian libraries right now. It made me wonder whether you’re checking any of them out. Have you been to the Ambrosian library, for instance? I’m really curious if these libraries are as spectacular as they sound. The book is “Patience and Fortitude” by Nicholas A. Basbanes, if you’re curious.

    Hope all’s well! I really understand about the vertigo! Enjoy the sunsets–they look like they would be spectacular.

  3. I’m adding the book to my wish list for the library. Thanks for the tip. The library in the Siena Duomo (which may be pre-Ren) is spectacular and full of illuminated texts. I’m clearly going to have to go on a libtour while here.
    As for sunsets, the one in Cefalu was particularly brilliant.

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