Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The feeling of exposure

As my feet cut loose I know that my technique has left a lot to be desired, I feel the sharp edge of the hold cut into my left hand, I glance down to check on the tumbling chaos that I know is there. Seeing it rules out any thoughts I had of letting go, the expressionless face and panicked eyes of my friend looks up at me while he franticly works with what he has, to put things in place for the expected airborne decent.

Its time to act, I free my right hand of the clumsy wooden handle and now with mind fully consumed by the task, I probe the brail like features of the wall with my feet to push back against the gravity of the situation. With subtle shifts in my weight and optimistic use of my feet and I begin to move right.

I become aware that the situation below has improved but letting go is still not an option, I scrutinize the rail of holds and give myself odds on making it to the platform at its terminus. As I start to make progress in my puzzle, I become aware of a creaking noises above my head. It turns out that I’m not the only one feeling the strain, this structure was designed to collect water not idiots, glancing across to my destination again and the asphalt of the flat roof looks so close but I’m no longer concerned about my problems solving and endurance.

Second ago I was joking about the ladder falling and being more concerned about the paint on the ground than the fall its self now here I am bridged out in a window with the hands of my fellow instructors like cress leaves below fragile and waving. Do I wait for the ladder and rescue or make a brake for the roof and safety?

My minds eye plays back footage of similar traverses undertaken on the limestone hulks of Pembroke, with an anxious sea pacing back and forth, reaching up and protesting, outraged at my presents. I ponder weather others in my position have made the same comparison, is what I’m thinking the correct response, or a sign of a miss spent youth? Either way the cries from the guttering are sounding more urgent by the second and the solution to this problem may well be out of my hands. I observe the angle of the underside of the structure change, as gravity and the masonry fixings work together like Meany of our groups.

Their task; to release pressure. Their solution… well that’s for them to fathom, I wonder weather my part in all this makes me a facilitator? Quietly observing their actions without offering opinion only ensuring they stay focused on the task. Probably not I’ve never really seen myself as a facilitator more a catalyst keen to agitate, enthuse and remain unchanged. There goes the miss spent youth again.

The familiar sensation of weightlessness, it’s the same weather your in the sea on a river or off the rock. It has its own sound but I can’t describe it, it never lasts long enough, do I tense now or relax?

I rejoin my friends on the ground, there is no fuss everyone has a job to do and they are all very good at doing them. They only speak and move when necessity dictates. I watch quietly proud of their efficiency in overcoming the problems I’ve presented them with. Am I a facilitator or catalyst… perhaps now is not the time?
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