16th April…Somewhere over Greenland I looked out of the window and saw vast open spaces, filled with ice and water. I stared until my eyes hurt and my neck was stiff from twisting in the seat. It was sublime. I made myself scared as I thought about trying to survive in such an environment. The blank beauty observed from the enclosed cocoon of the cabin stripped the experience of everything but spectacle and imagination.
The violence of landing comes in stark contrast to the unreality of the flight, when the engines fight and gravity pulls. Power being all that stops catastrophe. I feel this every-time I fly, maybe it’s less that I’m scared and maybe more that the experience is again that of the sublime, a peep into the horrors of an imagined tangled abyss.
Love is similar, sometimes it’s like the flight of unreality, smooth and of the imagination. Yet so often the reality is like a meeting of forces, of life and love, of feelings that we barely understand and only comprehend with difficulty.
Before flying out to Denver I didn’t understand my bouldering either. I didn’t understand why a thing that provided escape and solace, now seemed dogged by the insecurities and frailties that follow me round daily, like a not quite black dog. I’ve started to voice and write about these things to try and understand and to admit to myself that the skin is thin and that the life I lead may not be as honest as I thought. In bouldering terms, it’s about nerves, failure and no fun ( I started a thread on UKB http://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,25693.0.html and unsuprisingly there are others out there, that get an attack of nerves before hard projects). The boulderer goes from a state of rest or stasis into violent exertion with often no transition. The boulderer often goes from literally sitting on their arse to an effort equivalent to let’s say a weight lifter doing a lift, sudden, extreme and violent. A collision of forces and desires.
Stepping back and thinking about this I need to prepare for that approach to the boulder and the minutes and seconds leading up to starting to pull on to the problem. It’s all blindingly obvious really and I’ll see how it goes. If only everything else in life was as easy.
I guess the difficulty is the quest to regain some meaning in this moment.