Monday, June 16, 2014

I MUST fall.

Glacier (MA. Reilly, 2007)

John Muir on Mt. Ritter

    - Gary Snyder

 After scanning its face again and again,
 I began to scale it, picking my holds
 With intense caution. About half-way
 To the top, I was suddenly brought to
 A dead stop, with arms outspread
 Clinging close to the face of the rock
 Unable to move hand or foot
 Either up or down. My doom
 Appeared fixed. I MUST fall.
 There would be a moment of
 Bewilderment, and then,
 A lifeless rumble down the cliff
 To the glacier below.
 My mind seemed to fill with a
 Stifling smoke. This terrible eclipse
 Lasted only a moment, when life blazed
 Forth again with preternatural clearness.
 I seemed suddenly to become possessed
 Of a new sense. My trembling muscles
 Became firm again, every rift and flaw in
 The rock was seen as through a microscope,
 My limbs moved with a positiveness and precision
 With which I seemed to have
 Nothing at all to do.

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