Sunday, January 10, 2016

Life is Like That

Searching for a way down

I don't believe my cat thinks about how he is going to get down when he goes up. Maybe that is why you always hear those tales of firemen rescuing cats out of trees. I have heard the explanation about the direction of their claws but one of my expert tree climbing cats always came down tail first rather like us humans repelling off a cliff. Thicke is great at getting up. He mostly jumps to his position of the panels.

Balancing act

But once up there he seems to be mostly looking for an alternate way down. A way which does not involve jumping down to the mat table from where he ascended. I can understand that. Down is always more scary than up. I will climb a ladder easily enough and then stand near the top and ponder the first step back down.

I tell people I am afraid of heights. Inherited it from my mother. But that is really not true. I walk to the tops of mountains in search of the best camera shot. I stand on overlooks, sometimes lean out,  to get the best view. I am afraid of going down. There is the slow way. The way you got up. And there is the short cut. I do not always feel I have a choice. The route will be thrust upon me. And while I feel in control going up. I feel totally out of control going down. That is true for cars and ladders, and stairs, and paths. I am always missing the bottom rung on a ladder.

It sometimes even feels safer to stay where you are until rescue arrives. My brother and I would lead our kid sister on trails we had no business being on ourselves let alone with a six year old and a Toy Manchester dog. Our parents, standing at the bottom of whatever cliff we were on, always made the most horrible faces. Mom was total fear and Dad seemed to be harboring thoughts of what he would do to us if we made it down safely. Neither inspired a return to base.

Life can be like that. Going forward is more natural than a return. And sometimes just staying where you are is what you want to do. But life rarely allows that. It has its ups and its downs. Its joys and fears. If we are lucky we have a nice basket or easy chair to settle into after our adventures.

And a caring friend or two ready to welcome us back to earth.

But beware. What we consider safe ground isn't always. Yesterday after his adventures, Thicke, decided to jump out of his basket as opposed to taking the ladder, just to the right, down. He can be a risk taker. I think of myself as less than that. But I have friends who play it way safer than I do. But then we all define our risks in different ways. Maybe Thicke fears going down ladders as much as I do. My safe haven in New Mexico is for some city friends entirely too risky. My treks solo off road too dangerous. But if I lived in a managed safe community in Dallas I would never go out the door. Too dangerous.

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