Sunday, 19 October 2014
First, it happens with memories. You can remember aspects around the line, but you forget the details. And that 'real feeling' about the thoughts and movements you had numbs to approximation. It's scary; the single outcrops of memory that anchor yourself to 'real' time are those very moments when you turned your back on this reality. It's a strange paradox and it starts to drive you mad.
Second, it happens with the emotions themselves; not the most base of feelings, which seem in some way bound to that soul that set off on those lines, but to ideas and romantic notions that grew up all around you and led you calmly to the cliffs that now rip them apart from you. This makes you feel understandably naked in the world and it leaves you with only the vaguest nuguals of certainty. There are ideas below this romanticism that lead the core of you to climb, but there are also torments and truths that come to the surface far less peacefully.
Thirdly, there is the interaction with area-ideas and what you feel right in front of you. "The line is arbitrary", the holds cry; and they've never even seen the rest of the Moors. How do you accommodate a notion of a climbing area in a scape where the moves don't know each other? It's time to get away from the human-centric view my friend; as the old holds used to say. There are lateral connections in character between holds of the same region, but the move is a separate invented entity and the region incomprehensible.
So there are some ways that the inventions of the mind warp experience and ways that the souls of climbs can raise major questions as to whether you are nearer the routes or to distant ideas. The more you climb in the place of death the less middle ground there is; you are focused right in front of your face, or closed eye deep in the recesses. Wherever you end up, you've lost what everyone seems to think is real.
And what comes after this? In a time of enlightened loneliness, where the truths scratch a new web of confusion? There's an answer even deeper down in the bowls of the Moors, in the interpretation of lines that you can't even see yet. When I ab routes now, I'm starting to see the moves that are impossible for me, but that still exist. This was, perhaps, the original quest; to see what was possible. There is in fact something in the rocks that oozes climbing even if there is no one to climb them. How that quite works out I don't know.
Posted by Franco Cookson Written Sunday, October 19, 2014