Doune Castle: Conviction

A few days ago, we visited Doune Castle in Doune, Scotland, which was on our list of things to do not so much for the historic significance (it once protected a very young Mary Queen of Scotts from the evil English who wished her harm), but for its role as the set for Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail.  The B & B where we stayed, not a half hour from the castle, did not have the dvd among its collection; I intend to watch the movie for the zillionth time once we get home.

I would love to write something clever that relates to Monty Python, the French farting in your (or my) general direction, or how your father smells of elderberries.  However, it is not there that I found inspiration.  Instead, it was my fear of heights, kicking into full gear, that leads me here.

It doesn’t seem right to call it a fear of heights.  I love the concept of heights, the theory behind their existence, and I fully support their reality.  What I experience when I encounter heights is more accurately described as conviction

Conviction that I will plummet, accidentally or by some entrancement, causing great pain, suffering, and possibly demise.   It is a dense conviction, one that sucks the oxygen from my lungs.  A pressured conviction so that I might find my eyes weeping, though I am not crying.  An irrational conviction that barely — just barely — surrenders itself to my super-ego-fed hostage-negotiator-self who (so far) has talked me off metaphorical ledges, as well as off Doune Castle’s way-too-narrow-but-fully-enclosed-so-why-am-I-terrified stone tower stairs.

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