I throw out the line, hoping it hooks well on the other side, so I can pull it taut and proceed. It’s different every time. Sometimes it’s being an angel, the wings invisible, but I know they’re working, that I can trust them when I need them, and I soar. The miracle of walking on air. Other times my feet are only for standing still, like roots, deep into the soil, stable but unmovable.
But the show must go on—so I’ve also learned some magic tricks, and some skills of the mime. Keep the crowd captivated so they don’t see the struggle.
Did I mention I have a fear of heights? And to be honest, of lows.
Often it stops me cold. I walk around the house. Doesn’t help. It’s a small place, can’t get enough traction for a sprint or leap. No views out the window. On the way back from a kitchen-snack distraction I inevitably catch myself in the mirror—with that reminder of Time on the wall behind me—converting AA battery juice into tick-tocks.
It’s not that I was any better at this when I was younger. It just seems that as I’m maneuvering that tightly drawn line I’m carrying more weight.
I’ve certainly added pounds and wrinkles over the years but what I mean is that internal Burden of the Self baggage. It can shift surfaces to all manner of unstable and trips me up.
There have been rare teams who have shared the line, but usually it’s a solitary act. Can’t imagine two people managing parading between those Twin Towers. Or Infinitely Jesting.
Recently I worked with a partner. We chose 62 Variations from Handel’s Harpsichord Suite in G Major and performed a sort of ballet above the crowd. No safety nets. Balance, agility, and coordination were all put to the test as we alternated exploring each variation—31 each—in our individual styles. Good exercise. Good press.
I always have the line nearby, ready to walk, but I never know until I step out if elevation awaits or if I will have to pull some scarves from up my sleeve.
I can shift to a favorite pantomime—a writer at a typewriter, crumpling unsuccessful sheets into balls and tossing them into a waste basket. At one point he falls asleep and has a dream. And in dreams anything goes—the audience is open to wherever my imagination takes me—making stuff up as I go.
Except for the fact that you put everything on the line it’s actually a pretty safe place—this entire metaphor here—this unique multi-ring circus I’m talking about.
In reality a building facade can fall down, but if you know where to stand the open window will save you.
Even with my fears, I never have a stuntman nearby to take the pratfalls. Otherwise I might miss one of those ascending flights. Can’t do that. That’s where I get to drop the Baggage for a while.
© AleXander Hirka 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Read RemingtonWrite’s version here:
In August 2020, I set myself the challenge of creating a daily digital collage based on an image and a concept. The image was that of the antique Omega watch that belonged to my Mom and the concept was Time.
In September 2020, the Anomalous Duo is challenging themselves to write a short piece of fiction for each collage — the Our Hours project.