Peering into the Mist

 Posted by at 7:24 am  Atelier
Oct 042011
 

Last week, as well as suffering thoughts of retirement,  a pilgrimage, I had the opportunity to climb an active volcano.

Vulcano, it gives its name to the Aeolian Island I was visiting. The volcano is constantly smoking, a mist of sulphur rising from around the smooth curve of its crater's edge. Sulphurous, these places were often described as gateways or entrances to hell in past times, but I sense no evil. Two blackbirds flying over I take as an auspicious sign, and I wave at them foolishly.

Vertigo on the way up of course, the steep track up the volcano's side riven with rain gullies, but it is not a difficult climb. Still, moments the same sense of panic as on a Dartmoor rock edge once before, and the voice "Go Baack!" in my ears. This time however I walk on.

This time intoxicated by the warning, the sign at the bottom warns against not peering into the smoke holes too closely. Vertigo of course can have tragic consequences; tragic in the sense of moments that are capable of changing something or somebody.

There is the possibility of being given something here, and I struggle forward trembling to find out what it is. Next week… I shall be all at sea… and will return our meeting place here in two weeks time.