At first, I stand tall; stable and intact. I feel full and free and easy, perched precariously on top of the world, looking down peacefully at the life around me. I am a significant part of the top of the world, and I can stand proudly and feel as if I am in the right place, at the right time. I am the solid footing underneath the lives of those I love, and I honour that role and stand strong, doing the best I can to help them get from here or there . Something about me makes people want to climb higher and higher and higher, when I am strong. Strong and earthy, gilded with multifaceted lights that shimmer and move with the slithering of the sun across the day’s sky. There are those who would like to climb my slopes, slide down my curves, erode away at the side of my self that faces the sun. I hold them up, let them trod on my back. I do my job.
The one piece at a time, they chip away, one demand at a time, one expectation; until I am left unstable and uncertain as to where I may find myself the next day. I beg them off of my cliffs, but for that one moment, they cannot see into the place where I find myself slowly falling to pieces. I feel irrational. Other mountains seem so certain, and yet, there is nothing certain about me.
One by one, pieces of me slowly fall, plummeting to great depths. I suppose part of me is aware that one day soon I will meet them all at the bottom. But for now, I erode, and I disseminate… and I rock on.
I try and gather myself and put back the pieces that have become detached, but I cannot reach them, for they have gone to great depths that is the opposite of my solid self. They have been reduced to dust at the bottom of my landscape, and all I can do is watch helplessly as I become less and less of myself, and more and more of what lay at my feet. Feeling that my back should be able to stay straight and strong and predictable, and yet, even the smallest pressure feels like the greatest weight, and no one seems to understand that what I could carry yesterday is no longer possible. But I do it anyways, because it is simpler than explaining the way a mountain really functions. It is simpler to stop drawing attention to myself. Now I just hate myself; easier than hating the rest. I am weak where I was strong.
I am frustrated and hurtful. Can’t they see that they have less under their feet now? That they must seek to repair the damage? And yet, it is not their damage, and they only walked where they found their feet. Where I put them. It is my damage, and perhaps it is too far gone.
I become furious. I want them all off of me NOW. There are so many! So much noise and talking and scrambling about constantly poking and prodding at my most exposed parts. I want to be alone. I tell them, but again they don’t understand. All this time they have had a place for their feet, and now…where will they go? But I see no purpose, I see no point. I feel disconnected from it all, and I want them off me NOW. I scream at the top of my lungs, shattering the peace around me like a fine chandelier that has become detached from its setting and now plummets to the ground scattering broken glass around its entire periphery. They all jump and shudder, scrambling for cover, seeking escape…from me.
Now I am furious and sad. Now I am frightened. Who am I in this scheme of things? Where am I falling to? How will I find myself to climb back up to my perch? I no longer recognize myself, and I don’t care. Just get them all the hell off me.
I begin to fall to pieces; it’s only the beginning. More and more of me escapes into the darkness and I hear the splash of the larger pieces landing with liquid resonance, sinking further to the bottom. I try to grab hold of anything solid, but it dissolves at my slightest touch. This makes me angry as well. Here my anger ruminates, churning and scheming, flares occasionally shoot up through my solid rock face. Now I am slamming down at an unwieldy pace, unable to even keep up with myself. But mountains don’t feel ANGER, so I pull it back inside of myself, into the depth of the place where it was first created. More of me looks down, away from the feet on my back, towards myself. Soon, all I can see is myself. I try to scream, but I seem to have forgotten how. I don’t even recognize my own plea.
I fall now – all of me even further than I thought capable. When did God move the floor? I look for it, but can find no solid footing. Those I love now hang in the balance, from a cliff bereft of my former solidity. I see them fading as I look up, and soon all I can see are clouds and darkness and their dangling feet disappear in the distance. It is hard to breathe at such depths. I no longer care if I breathe; and yet I do.
Now I am in pieces at the bottom, everyone looks down on me as I lie incapable of being different from what I am. I try to put the pieces back the way they were, but they don’t seem to fit. I drop a final piece, and lay still, no longer caring about what shape I am in. Nor am considering the fact that those people now have nothing to walk on. They can create their own footing, because for today, I am not it.
I watch the days come and go. Sun rises and sunsets all look the same after a while. And the spaces in between the courses of the sun are all bereft of light, like a profound darkness steeped in hypocritical light. I don’t want to be your ground! I want to slide away into everything and be invisible to it all.
I hate the sun. I remember a time when the sun would infuse me with all of her power, and each day I would begin anew, rapturous and elevated by her heat and desire to plunge myself into the miracle of a new day. I ran like this with the sun once. But now, I only feel irritation at the suggestion that I rise again. Can’t they see all of me in pieces around them…where they found me. I cannot be your ground!
Life drones on and I wish for nothing more than nothing.
Then I see a small certain hand reaching into the darkness towards a part of me that had been left aside. It grasps the part and tosses it over the water. I skip and laugh as I glide along the edge of the top, skimming and hopping joyfully, 2,3,4…SIX times! I feel alive, and joyful. I surrender to the pull of it all. I sink to the bottom but am quickly washed on shore. The small hand grasps another part of me, and I am again propelled into joyful unnatural buoyancy. I sink again, but I feel the small hand strong and certain.