Monday, November 2, 2009

Fear and Ferris Wheels

Next to the Belfast City Hall is a huge Ferris Wheel, and on Halloween, they had it lit up with fluorescent colors. It looked fabulous! After taking a few photo's with the almost full moon showing through the spokes, I asked my husband if he thought we should go on it. He was happy to do it so we walked around the block and bought the tickets.
It wasn't until we were in the slightly swinging cab that I told him I was terrified of ferris wheels. After 26 years of marriage, he knew I didn't like heights, but he didn't know how scared I was to go up in a Ferris Wheel. As we started going up, I had to fight the feelings of vomiting or know. I kept talking - about looking out instead of down, noting the landmarks and how pretty the city looked and how much higher we were than the City Hall building - which is pretty high! As we came back to the platform, I felt I could breathe again and was ready to get off and feel very proud of myself for facing my fear. Then...the wheel kept turning. The second time was almost as bad and I started worrying about them letting us off. I still felt sick to my stomach, and was only able to control my feelings by reminding myself that I did it once, and could do it the second time.
They ended up having us go around four times! Yes, it was a little easier by the fourth time. I can't say that I enjoyed it at all, but I did feel that I had done something that was very hard for me. There aren't many times when I have the option of doing something new, that is very difficult. Just a fact of age and experience. But I thought of how long it had been since I had done something that was a challenge for me. Doing something that fills you with anxiety and/or fear is a good thing to do on occasion. Challenging myself not to become complacent in my life, my art, or relationships is a way to be sure that I will spend each day knowing I am alive, growing and gaining new perspectives. It's just a Ferris Wheel to some people, but to me, it was an electric jolt!


  1. Jeanne, I love this Ferris Wheel series especially the yellow building with Ferris Wheel in back and the Ferris wheel with moon shining through. It's so interesting because today I was reading in "Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson about the first Ferris Wheel which was built for the Chicago Columbia Exposition in 1893. Ferris is the inventor of the wheel and it was designed to out "Eiffel" the Eiffel Tower which has been a raging success at the Paris Exposition in the early 1890's. I loved your description of riding the Ferris Wheel which fills me with dread too but not quite as much as you. I'm proud of you for facing your fears-Fran

  2. Oh man, so much to talk about in this post.