Bent and swaying on the path
If, like me, you suffer from vertigo, you will understand
that the time I found myself part way up
a precipitous cliff path in Devon
was not a happy one.
The haven of the cove, with its attractive beach,
was a long, long way below;
the security of the rolling land at the top,
with its absence of death drops, was way above.
I was in the middle, finding it increasingly harder to move,
as powerful images of my imminent fall
through empty space
crowded in on my jagged and petrified mind.
Under the pressures of the ordeal,
my being bent and swayed on the path;
I looked to bale out from reality, but I had no parachute
to float me down to the warm sands below.
Instead a question rose up to save me,
perhaps emerging from the solid path
on which I stood so shakily:
am I falling at this moment?
The realisation that I was not falling in that moment
enabled me to take a non-falling step;
in the next moment, it turned out, I was not falling either;
a succession of non-falling moments took me to the top.
From there I saw the sun shine on the waves
creating sparkling momentary light in the world;
I saw, while gulls soared on the warm air,
that at the heart of each moment, fear is not possible.