The moment Michael heard I was leaving the office early for a family reunion, he immediately started to assemble a “to-go” stilt bag. I would be going to a gathering of family members of all ages, from all over the country, who only see each other every couple of years- of course I had to bring the stilts! In a magically compact bag, Michael threw in my fancy, newly crafted personal stilts, two extra stilts, stilt pants, and some juggling balls (just in case). I managed to lug it all to Penn Station and arrived, stilts in tow, in Lyme, New Hampshire the next day.
|Zoe taught her entire family to join her up on stilts!|
The first sensation was pretty much what I expected. No balance, no security, just hold on tight to everything within your grasp and you'll get through without major embarrassment. But then I took a few steps and I felt this rush of courage and conviction. Watching Zoe hover above me on her much longer stilts with that glorious smile on her face gave me the last bit of courage that I needed. And without thinking I let go of my two handlers and ventured out on my own. Wow. I felt like a giraffe. Maybe a baby giraffe, but a giraffe all the same. With wobbly legs, every core muscle tightening in response to the new challenges, I took bigger and bigger steps.
And then I decided to turn. And turn I did. And then I found myself just rocking back and forth, foot to foot, stick to stick - just like I had seen Zoe do so gracefully. And it was in that moment that I knew I was totally on my own. That I had accomplished something that I had never seen as possible. A new experience of independence, floating high above the masses feeling oddly empowered.
I think my favorite part of my short stilt-walk was when I was dancing with Zoe. One, two, three, Kick. One, two, three, Kick. A beautiful moment of abandonment, fearlessly dancing on two sticks. A great metaphor for how we could all live. Maybe we are more secure when we place ourselves at the edge of disaster, maybe we are more connected if we elevate ourselves, not so we can be better seen, but so we can see better. Maybe we will slow down and be in the moment when we can't move so fast and when every muscle in our body is focussed on staying upright. Maybe...
Thanks you, Zoe. It was a moment I will cherish forever. Cheers, Mark"