Hollow . . . ollow ... ollow.. oh.
Red sandstone cascades over my head. The next move is millimeters out of my reach. I cannot. Make it. I can't. Reach. Gripping the rope, I dig my toes into the rock. Everything is soft, and my marks cut into the rock like butter. My hair is red and I cough dust, taste grit on my teeth and tongue.
I sit here, like a spider that has run out of web. I am the prey, caught, but not praying because I am the beast ready to devour. My mind is torn in half. I swing, paralyzed, in the slight breeze, hearing up and feeling the gravity of down.
A strange sensation grips my stomach. The rope--the tension leaves it. Without feeling, I claw my nails into the red red rock and the rope slips gently into gravity, calling me after it. My jaw clenches, my appendages grip harder into the melting rock. Ages pass.
A hawk cries in the thin blue air above me. Pebbles slip from under me. Still I cling. A voice stirs in the wind, stirs inside me. Gravity or glory? It echoes from the cliffs and the hollow places. Gravity or glory? Sweat drips from my forehead. My hands have hollowed out places the wind could not. Without looking up, I grunt, "Glory," and stretch for the next handhold.
photo by yiu.