Friday, 22 March 2013

Meeting the demon

I have tried to deny it but I have to admit, I do know him. However hard I try to push it away, the fact that I know him rests somewhere in the out of focus areas of my conciousness. I try to put him out of my mind and convince myself that he doesn’t exist, I find myself taking alternative routes to avoid the places that I know he hangs out. However, despite myself, I still find that I am drawn to seeking him out. If too long has passed since our last meeting I feel a longing starting to gnaw away at me, slowly growing, making everyday things feel mundane. I find that I am drawn to the places where I know he will be, where he will come and stand behind me, unseen but with his presence felt in the edges of my mind, the touch of his hand knotting my stomach and his breath chilling my neck. 

I gave into temptation the other day and sought him out. I was standing at the top of a mountain, where the top of the pristine, snow capped peak met the impossibly blue sky. Seeking the challenge and adventure of an off piste run down, I had hiked a breathtaking ridge line to the top of the basin. The sun warmed my skin like a comforting blanket and the crisp high altitude air breathed freshness into my lungs. I was feeling content and confident as I took some pictures and put my skis on at the lip of the ridge. Ready to go, I looked over the edge to pick my line, only I couldn’t see it, the top of basin disappeared into invisible, concave steepness - and suddenly, there he was. Like a specter from the night he materialised and stood behind me, tightening my stomach, firing pulse raising adrenaline through my system and sending whispers of doubt into my mind. I tried to ignore him but I knew that this meeting was why I had come to this place. To a beautiful wilderness where I could nudge against the edge of my comfort zone, pushing myself to the border where what I am comfortable with tips over into a mouth drying anxiety. Our meetings used to scare me but I have met him enough times now to know how he operates. I know what I need to do to, I acknowledge his presence and politely ask him to stay where he is, I have an off-piste line to drop. With that I made my first turn and the mouth drying anxiety gave way to the exhilaration of moving beyond my boundaries.

The summer breeze is starting to build in San Francisco and I can feel him calling to me from the wind whipped chop of the Bay, whispering to me from the edge of control bear away, from that teetering moment where the wand hangs, hovering above the trough promising a pitch pole. I admit, am looking forward to seeing him again, in fact I think our meetings are one of the reasons that I love to sail the Moth. I will relish the opportunity to looking him in the eye and nudge my personal boundaries a little further and maybe post a new top speed...

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