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Bound Twist: Ropes & Cactus Spines

Ropes are made from multiple strands of material twisted upon themselves. Ultimately, after enough rotations, the twisting will cause, at a moment when the tension has peaked, a counter twist. Perfect tension results, and the process is repeated again with another length of material, combined and twisted together, so there are multiple twisted sets that turn on each other like infinite tight embraces. This technological logic is the same for all manner of threads, strings, yarns, ropes, and the better and tighter the twist, the stronger the form.

A loose rope never helped anyone. But a tight one can bear the sacrifice, even with disintegrating edges. And I say this of form, and of the formless. Of the experience of a seated twist as a metaphor to hang this concept on, as well as the twisting of our experiences.

I went to the desert last year (the origin of this piece) and again this year. The cactus, at least the saguaro, is built on a frame that registers similar. The skeleton, when you have the opportunity to gaze upon it, it looks like a woven spiral. It's the cellular structure that has held the plant life together, and all the water and nourishment in perceived stillness amidst the conditions of the desert. And, as we witness cacti in companion with others, we often see that two species appear to hold each other - a saguaro and an elephant tree, for example. I imagine that in the night skies, the two hold each other for warmth, and in the days, twist upon each other's armatures to guard sacred spaces from nesting creatures, and shade each other from the epic and often brutal, light. Between the two forms of magnificent resilience, there is yet another form that offers shade, protection, and deeper resilience.

I spent a day captivated by these embraces - roped up for unified strength by inevitable twists upon twists upon twists. There is resilience here, experiences twisted upon themselves, making a mutual strength between life forms.

Without erring on the side of obvious and dictated suggestion, I invite a dip into the reality of now, when we are quite shorn on the edges, but the tighter we are wrapped in a strength-building strategy, we utilize the perceived and yet-to-be distilled traumas... we can actually embrace the other despite all the twists it took to get here. And be all the stronger for it. (something like this...)

related ratios:

cellulose technology -> cellulose life

bound twist on the inhale, seated or lying down -> taller still on the exhale, empty and rising

twisting traumas into new strengths (inevitable)

image: Paul Moore

the embrace (La Ventana)

How ropes are made

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