high noon vertigo

The white opens its mouth and swallows me whole.

I feel along the floor of its wide belly with the bottoms of my feet and pole tips while my eyes register nothing but blinding flat whiteness.

I am a tiny feather floating above a place I no longer recognize.  No sense of time or space.  Weightless.  Riding gentle waves of true calm.

My body turns and the wind bats it.  Fumbling to recover, I spin and blur in an unknown direction.

Free fallin with my mind unhooked.

Seconds after a soft landing, my eyes still probing, I am surprised to feel the mountain behind me.  When I stand, I lose my balance.  Drunk dizzy.  Pitching downhill, I lock my knees and clench my fists.  Slam my eyes shut to make it go away.

A deep breath later the rest of my party reaches me.  Our frozen lips mouth “this — scares — me” together.  We tighten ranks and keep moving.

Soon enough, it’s time to laugh again.

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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