I have been walking through a narrow path locking arms with people who are locking arms with people who are locking arms with people. We've created quite a mess in our wake: peeling bark off trees and provoking more than one rodent, more than one hundred birds (fucking birds). We don't always get along: some people have escaped the clutches of our awkward network of limbs and scampered off to join other groups, some unceremoniously let go to do the same. I don't like letting people go. Once I've linked an arm through an arm, I like holding onto a pinky, at least. It's not always fun. In fact, sometimes it's awful. And sometimes the network needs to be broken, sometimes both parties are better off if you just let go. But at one point, you chose to link arms, and at one point, you enjoyed it. Holding on can be a pleasant reminder of the way things were, or it can be a reminder that things are no longer that way, at all. Things have changed, and were it today that you were making decisions to link arms, it would never have happened.
In the last year, we've been moving a little faster, causing a little more chaos. People have joined, people have dropped out, people have been kicked out, and people have been clawing to stay connected. In the last year, I've been making it harder on us, leading us toward steeper terrain, aiming for smaller spaces among the trees. Sometimes we are unstoppable. Then sometimes we stop. Bleed. Cry. Scream. Sometimes we take our frustrations out on an unsuspecting briar patch with our fists, or unprepared mounds of dirt with projectile rocks and sticks.
Right now, we're stalled. (Or maybe I'm just stalled. It's hard to tell sometimes if everyone is stopping with me or if I'm letting myself fall to the back of the pack. It doesn't always matter.) This hill has us losing our footing, so our grips have grown a little tighter and our breath a little heavier. But we’re almost there. (Right?)
I'm saying things here today, too.