Shaking at the edge
Human beings shake on the edge of high precipices. As I once did in Montana, climbing up to the top of a ridge in the Crazy Mountains whose edge was razor-sharp. Peering down into the abyss on the other side, I began to shake. I wasn't just trembling, nor was I shuddering, I was actively shaking. My body shook with fear — fear of falling into the vast vale that yawned before me and below me. I was fearful of losing my balance, and so falling into the space below. My shaking, though immediate and involuntary, itself contributed to the likelihood that I would lose my balance and fall face forward. I became dizzy, a classical symptom of vertigo. In order to avoid this consequence, I had to draw away from the edge — turn around and crawl back down the face of the ridge I had climbed so confidently. My companions, seasoned mountain climbers, stood their ground at the top, smiling at my retreat with barely concealed contempt.
Casey, E. (2014)., Shaking at the edge, in M. Marder & S. Zabala (eds.), Being shaken, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 11-18.
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