Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My phobias

People who know me know I have several phobias. Some of them are reasonable: bats, clowns, small, creepy children in nightgowns singing songs in high-pitched voices. Some of my phobias are a little less reasonable: wind turbines -- the kind on wind farms -- architectural statuary and large glass buildings. There's a bit of a trend in those last three, apparently I dislike things that loom suddenly out of nowhere over me. Maybe not so unreasonable, then, but still. You try telling people you dislike big statues because they frighten you a little. Apparently, it's the pinnacle of my personal weird. Granted, saying my fear of architectural statuary is the pinnacle of my weird is sort of a statement along the lines of it's a very special drop of water in an ocean, but there you have it.

I would like to say that the phobia only applies to human statues. I have no problems with giant space widgets or animal statues or free-form metallic things that turn gently in the breeze. Those are ok by me. Giant people with odd proportions because they're designed to be viewed from fifty feet below...creeptastic.

They've cleaned up the Soldier's and Sailors Monument in downtown Indianapolis, including the giant bronze statue of Victory that traditionally stands atop it. Despite the fact I dislike huge human statues, I figured she might not be so hard for me to gaze upon at ground level -- she's all wrapped up in a box and wires and ropes and chains and hooked up to a big crane so she can't get me. I saddled up, invested in the gas and went to town.

She was supposed to be flying back up to her natural perch this morning, but the winds were too strong, so I had some time to get some photos in. I wasn't sure what sort of reaction I'd have to Victory up close, but I thought there would be other people there and witnesses always keep me from freaking out visibly in public. I was a bit surprised, to tell the truth, at how few people there were there aside from the construction workers loitering around the crane waiting for the wind to die down. Aside from the workers, there were maybe 20 people there. Part of the sidewalk was blocked off for safety, so in order to get around to the back of her I had to circle all the way around -- and then when I got there I discovered they'd taken the tapes down to open the sidewalk. Oh, well, at least I got some exercise.

I was also surprised by my reaction: She is Beauty Incarnate:

The grace of her lines, the elegance of the draping of her gown...her face is beautiful. Such glory designed to sit on top of a giant plinth, however many yards over the casual observers' heads.

Criminal. But beautifully criminal. I can't believe all that pretty sits all that way up there, so far from her admirers.

I'm glad I got to see her, though, up close and personal. How often does that happen?

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