Monday, June 4, 2012
Don't Look Down!
That's what they say when you're on the edge clinging uncountable feet above them, they on the ground and you in the air holding with all your might.
They scream up at you, For Godsake, man, don't look down!
They say that out of fear, even though they cannot feel the wind claw at your grip. They don't feel your toes cramping and your calves wrenching and your stomach launching bile into your throat.
Don't look down! That's what they say, followed by, Hold on, help's coming!
Only there is no help coming. This is your climb, and you are far too far to be reached. Others may be near you, and they may offer encouragement, but they cannot climb for you. Nobody can rope you in and haul you up. Maybe you think God will climb for you, but that is not His style. His style is that there is something worth climbing for, something at the top, something magnificent at the peak.
It is your job to get there. This is faith.
So up you go. It is your climb, and you are on the cliff side, and they are all telling you don't look down. There is no help to be had either up or down or sideways, or even if you could tunnel directly through.
Me, I look down. I spit and hope the shouters scatter. They are pinheads so far beneath me, and my spit dissolves long before it reaches them. So I drop a rock. I risk a loosed clutch and a twist of the neck and I drop a rock and that scatters them alright. It must have zinged into the ground a thousand miles per hour from up so high.
I am stratospheric, maybe even orbital.
No shouting now. Just me and the wind and nobody saying, Don't look down.
I'll look where I damned well please. I won't tell you to hold on, or where to look, or lie to you that help is coming. All I will say is this: Climb. Go up up up. Down is easy. Even a dumb rock and my spit can go down.
You're not a phlegmatic rock, are you?
Eric W. Trant is a published author of several short stories and the novel Out of the Great Black Nothing. He is currently represented by Debrin Case at Open Heart Publishing. See more of Eric's work here: Publications