Cliffside Guru


Because I am my guru and you are my guru and so is this cliffside, I find myself here. I can’t go any further. I’m afraid.

The foot trail is no longer the width of my foot. To the left, it’s rock. To my right, a sheer drop.

I can hear and see cars going by fast. They are crossing a bridge going over the Connecticut river. The sound makes me sick. My knees are weak. I inch back to where I just came from staring at this impasse.

I place my water bottle down so I can use both my hands. It almost slides off the cliff. I lean back against the rock and sit down. I look down the cliff’s drop. Vertigo has set in.

I bend my middle fingers to my palm and place my pinky against my left nostril. I breathe in, close off my right nostril with my thumb and hold my breath. I release my pinky and exhale. I breathe in through my left nostril and look down at my legs.

I am perched unevenly and root into this narrow ground like the tree a few feet away that grows out from the cliff. I continue to breathe this way till I feel calm.

I take off my day pack. I have come here to draw. I have come here to strengthen my legs and grow stronger. I’d been feeling confident. I was going for a view.

I think to myself if there was no sudden drop off the rock face could be called a slope. That sounds gentle.

I decide to sketch the tree. Underneath it the tufts of grass look soft and sway in the breeze.  The new green is perky. Today is the first day of Spring.

I see how gentle combines with tenacious.

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