Last night’s bouldering session was no less than exceptionnel. The skin on my fingers felt sandpapered thin, almost bleeding, pink and raw. There wasn’t any blood coming out through the skin but they felt just as sensitive. The once cabled forearms that held me hanging on the small edges burnt deep and began to limp and feel heavy. We sat on the old, worn out bench press, its inner lining foam gutted out from the small patch of an unleathered hole in its middle. We stared at the usual suspects for the pain we nurtured on our finger tips. The boulder problems on the wall stared back just the same. Whether these problems minded us like girls unwilling to be persuaded into consent was impossible to know. They could also be just impassive. We occasionally glanced on our hands, the way they were bruised up, the way they were chalked up, the way they felt dry, the way they throbbed with our pulse. In no time we found trente, no, quarante, cinquante, I soon lost track of the digits that hung in the air, in a formed arc beneath our stark glares. The amount of abuse we exacted on our bodies is so mirrored on our worn out hands and fingers. Flakes of old skin slowly peeling off and spots of blood forming beneath the skin on the very tips of each finger featured our heavily callused hands. I wondered how much more was needed before we are ever satiated, how much more I need before I am satiated. It has been an obsessive journey and I wondered which will come to the foreground faster. Will it be the gradual decline, the wavering of the fire within or will it be the failure of the physical shell that held my spirit? Already there is no denying the reality that both my middle fingers showed tell tales of calcification at the joints and I have to exert added effort in digging deep to awaken my will. I never did put too much thought into reasons or any rational verification for my climbing, not until now, or more or less somewhere between now and a yesterday that seem not too long ago. These things slowly are becoming an anvil that weighs me down. Looking into the future, like a prophecy that unfurls, like an end that is certain to come isn’t exactly all comforting. The only way to unload these divinations would be to pour out some of my thoughts into Dumbledore’s Pensive. Such accoutrements could exist somewhere, somewhere but not here. This blog entry could be good enough, or at least I think it should.
I stared and listened to our comparative study of our individual fingery personas. I should have taken a photo of my hands and fingers before I started my climbing career. My fingers are now fatter, stubbier and seemingly heavy and numb. They sometimes feel incapable of a more sensitive touch. Save for the skin at the back of my hand, a thick overlayer now covered my hands. A “career”. That sounds like a little too serious but I’ve no other way to express how deep I am in this leviathan’s throat. Sometimes I have to remind myself what comes from this practice. Like a runner, we see the horizon ahead but never its real end entirely. We never exactly know when we’d get there. Even if we reach a milestone we’ve set, there is always the new horizon, always farther away. Maybe it is exactly for this reason that it captures me. Like a good book, you really don’t want it to end.
I’m slowly taken into a new world. I’m becoming aware of some differences which I’m appreciating more each day. Where I came from, I jumped, ran, climbed… never have I reached fully into an alternity that asked more of me than to exert physical effort. Magic…the world of magic is not at all too impossible to understand. No, not the illusionary magic nor card tricks or any other sleight of hand. I am talking about conjuring, worded magic. The search for “true” words and the ability to arrange or disarrange them to produce a sensitivity, a vulnerability, whether mine or somebody else’s doesn’t bear too much difference. It is difficult. The simple weaving taxes me out. The spindle from which my threads of words come from is too new. I’ve still to learn much from its workings. Wiser wizards and witches inspire me to try harder, to conjure up greater magic but as of now I am an avid learner, much like the way I was when I first took up the sword and learned from stronger warriors.