96 Comments

The Fall

The ledge was impossibly high. He could never conceivably have known how far they’d climbed. The ascent had been made in breathless staggering bounds, week after week for nearly ten months and yet despite all the investment of hope that he and his fellow clamberers, crawlers, strugglers and stragglers had put into scaling the height still they were amazed. And then they fell. The sudden free falling tumble into the apparently bottomless abyss took the breath from their lungs and whipped the understanding from their minds.

It was always going to be like this, he tried telling himself. The fall is as much part of the journey as the climb, the rushing wind which ripped the screams from their throats as they’d stepped into the limitless nothing like a breaking wave crashing from the edge of a flat earth into the howling silence of space was as much a part of this life and this boundless adventure as the pain or joy filled days of their upward march. As he slowly became accustomed to the falling the never ending falling, he tried to find a peaceful place inside himself, a stillness at the heart of the maelstrom. The sheer empty terror of the irresistible momentum that had sent them all over into the void was slowly settling. He began to take stock, to examine the path they’d followed which had led them to this inevitable plummet. The sense of falling sometimes left him and he felt more as if he were floating, buoyed up by some huge turbine many miles below which pushed just enough air up the face of the monolith to keep him in this rushing stasis.

In these moments he wondered at the apparent futility of their shared adventure and he took the time to consider the plight of those who hadn’t been able to maintain the pace, whose bleeding feet had betrayed them when the surface of the mountain turned unexpectedly into a jagged razored nightmare. He had been staggered by the betrayal of some, especially those who had made the journey many, many times before. Men who had previously earned a reputation for helping others less certain of the route, daunted by the apparently Quixotic idea of even attempting such an ascent. Men who had lifted the weak over boulder strewn paths and sheltered them from storms which threatened to pluck them from narrow vertiginous ledges. He had seen even men like this falter and fail. But that hadn’t been the worst of it. It wasn’t that they had turned themselves inside out and questioned the folly of the climb. It wasn’t even the ones who allowed their fingers to release their tenuous hold, their feet to stop taking each difficult step. It was the men who, merely weary of the journey, had plucked out their own eyes so rendering themselves blind to the mountain itself. As they simply refused to see and in so doing denied those very many parts of the journey which were radiant in their beauty. The gentle sweet verdant meadows, criss crossed with dancing ice clear streams where the weather was always benign and the views simply took people’s breath away. What was beyond the pale, beyond understanding and acceptance was that these men, in agonies at their self mutilation, had turned on other pilgrims and tried to convince them that the path was not worth treading.

He could understand if anyone chose not to go on. Life was nothing if it wasn’t about choices but he could never understand nor forgive the kind of man who would insist on dragging others down with him. Deaf to the music, blind to the beauty, these once great men had grovelled in the dirt at the side of the track and begged those who passed them not continue but rather to join them in self flagellation as if in some masochistic penance for ever believing the mountain was worth climbing in the first place. He and his closest companions had left these tormented souls behind and continued the journey, the fire that burned within them undiminished by passing squalls and blazing ever brighter for the attempts of lost pilgrims to douse the flames. They basked together during the long sun drenched days when the path was truly a joy to walk upon and they drew together for comfort and warmth on the rare occasions when the cold winds of winter blew. But no savage storm could daunt them and through their mutual strength they faced down the pitfalls and venomous reptiles which sometimes barred their way.

Two weeks he thought. It has only been two weeks since they’d achieved the summit and plunged into the silent screaming void together. Conversation was barely possible in the onrushing wind and no matter how much he told himself that they would surely gather together soon and set out on the foothills of another climb, he was aware that their fellowship was dissipating. Each man and woman was spiralling downwards as if encased in their own intangible field of memory and distant hope. He caught the odd shouted word before it was snatched away but much of it was speculation about the end of the fall and what would follow. How would they land? Hard or easy? How would the impact affect their ability to face the next mountain, and what could they expect from their next journey together? What lay in store for the pilgrims? What indeed. But he found himself unable to concentrate on their conjecture, their words, insubstantial and without the mass to withstand the force of the savage gale, were snatched away like dry leaves before a hurricane.

And so he found himself alone. Separated from his companions until their descent ended, which he knew it must, as abruptly as it had began. How many times in his life would he make the climb, just to endure the fall, he wondered. And how could such a repetitive experience so surprise him each and every time? Despite these musings he knew in his heart that nothing would stop him rejoining his fellow travellers as the long days began to draw in once more, as Summer turned to Autumn and as, with equal inevitability, their fellowship would be reborn. What had he once told them? ‘Hobgoblin nor foul fiend can daunt his spirit’ for when they walked upon the lush grass in the meadows at the foot of the mountain they would contemplate the climb with renewed relish, with hope in their hearts and a glad song on their tongues.

But that was for the future. Now it was just the endless falling, falling with nothing to do but fall and fall some more. And yet like a burgeoning seed nurtured in that still and silent place he was already beginning to dream of the distant day when they would link arms and stand together on the summit and savour that longed for moment when they could gaze down upon the lesser peaks all around them.

About steww

Arsenal, books, photography, bass guitar, dog walking, mountain biking, being on the radio, writing, talking too much, failing, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

96 comments on “The Fall

  1. Women in Love – fine film, Reed’s best – Ollie rolling around with Glenda in the pit – wrestling naked with Alan Bates on a bear rug

    and they said the man could not act ? Pffft

    Like

  2. H13, you been reading Cormac McCarthy? Blood Meridian? Just a thought. Maybe, in historical sense, the most important American writer of recent decades, he’s re-written the American narrative of winners and losers.

    Like

  3. Naturally, Wenger will sign. Naturally, the media will report on the minority who feel disaffected by this. Naturally, Wenger will go on to create history. Naturally, “feels like the end of an era” will delight in all the victories to come. Naturally, Wenger will finally leave a club in fine stability and ever-upward momentum for next generations to reap many rewards. Naturally, few will claim ownership, then, of that scornful itch they once had to scratch; and even if they do, it will always start “I always supported Wenger …. “.

    Like

  4. Yes ZP, bang on about Cormac Mcarthy, great great writer. “All the pretty Horses” is one of my favourites. I believe Steww is a Cormac fan as well.

    There’s only one Arsene Wenger.

    Like

  5. My haunting favourite remains “The Road”. Visionary. That alone deserves a Nobel Prize for Literature.

    Like

  6. “it will always start “I always supported Wenger …. ”

    And that.

    Like

  7. Yes ZP, very few befitting of the word “visionary” in whatever their chosen art/field, but he certainly is.

    As is Arsene come to think of it.

    Like

  8. Sad so many can’t see the stature what Wenger has attempted, already done, and how. That is the fate of too many visionaries, ahead of their time, amongst petty, greedy agendas. He’s not faultless, not some superman; he just applied principles, honestly. Some don’t understand the principles (ethos?) were more important than trophies per se. The accolades will come, but without the principles they would be nothing but a meaningless statistic.

    Like

  9. nah zim i aint got a clue who they are ….sorry to disappoint …i just mentioned the title of a movie i saw recently with daniel day lewis and the oil business vs the church…real history lesson.

    when it comes ot american authors i read the daddies like henry kissinger (lol) and the freak of freaks s. thompson

    Like

  10. Anyways, cheers and thanks to Denilson! Good luck fella. Never forget two kids, Denilson and Song, keeping things together in the middle over that tough injury-hit winter. Also Skilly, thanks for stepping in. And who else. Arsh I think, officially. Or Bendtner, who had a couple of bright seasons. Hope you get your mojo.

    Like

  11. “Some don’t understand the principles (ethos?) were more important than trophies per se”

    and you know what else….this ethos is what i classify as THE ARSENAL ethos whereas some uneducated folk want to tell us that these principles were always there….before him…when we had junkies drunks and thieves on the bench…..

    that is imply not the case…

    the principles wenger has installed is what is the biggest change in the club hence i go nuts when i hear read nd see some shallow minds insisting on telling me that arsenal was always about creating its own style of play, rely on its own academies, live within their means etc etc…these are all idea/principles and ethos imported to the club by Wenger…noone else. it is why i consider him bigger than the club, much bigger….in fact this club is his club now and he can do whatever the hell he wants with it. since we know he is good at what he does and that he does have principles i feel relaxed and secure. i have no reasons to complain.. i was here before him and i can tell the diffference…its like previously we drived a shitty vauxhaul and now we are driving the audi a6 quatro xr gt whatever

    Like

  12. bill feels its a mistake to give another contract to the company;s most valuable employer /asset who happens to be the best manager that has ever set his food in this club. its a mistake ..arsene has to prove himself to us first…he hasnt achieved that the last 16 years you see…

    man ive tried lsd too but i never talked such shit….

    Like

  13. but ok …what can you do when the chief of the asylum begs the question

    “Arsène achieved the minimum target he sets for a season so is it remarkable if the squad he put together, attains that? ”

    i hate to do this to yogi but eihter he is doing it for the clicks and discussions it will generate therefore his blogging role is taking up a “commercial” element and its not pure ….its not about arsenal…. its about the blog then.

    when a manager puts together a squad of teenagers to bring him,at worst, 4th in the epl of the 2007-2014 and they get it for him then you just bow your head down and say : “wow, others cant even do it with 20m purchases per position and we did it with clichy and cesc? …wow what a manager…”

    it is very strange that otherwise intelligent people are acting as if getting 4th with teenagers and repaying stadiums is a bad thing. if they claim that they thought moving to emirates would mean trophies gallore and players like henry from the off then they were mistaken and they have noone to blame but themselves.

    i didnt need anyone explaining anything to me, i have eyes and i can see…when others were investing to go for the titles we invested to build our club from alpha to omega. this period should have been the last period in the fans mind to moan about titles and shit. this was the period where the fan, the true fan would say
    “okaaaayyyyy we bite the bullet and we support what we do wholeheartedly for as long as it takes, its not like we are managed by thieves, thats arsene ffs, the manager who gave us the BEST ARSENAL TIMES ever” …and dont anyone dare comnapre to me the gg era with this one…its like comparing my aunt with michele pfiefier and belucc. yes they both have tits but monicas are a lot better. see stew i can do that allegory thing too mate…

    Like

  14. loomer wait …im trying to get in !!!! we shall feast!!!!

    Like

  15. Any reason a different blog is getting so much coverage here? I thought we were above that kind of name calling and finger pointing. I’m here for a different reason.
    I left the comment section elsewhere because I was out of step with it. I don’t want to take part in this blog if it’s just a one sided argument with people who can’t answer back.
    The simple fact is without Yogi we wouldn’t be here.

    Like

  16. Having had an opportunity to think about it I doubt Arsene and Ivan will actually get down to signing off the contract will mid Autumn

    Arsene is a redoubtable negotiator, Ivan a robust businessman aiming to get the best deal for his ultimate employer

    My recollection is the dancing goes on til Autumn usually – at which point no doubt the ARSENAL IN WENGER CONTRACT CRISIS headlines will be twelve feet high

    But we know, oh we know

    Like

  17. fair enough steww i agree with what you say principally but then again if it werent for otherwise intelligent loyal fans creating hot topics for “debate” perhaps we wouldnt find ourselves in the position where the best and most succesful manager in the clubs history would be questioned and doubted by idiotic supporters…..

    ok i wont go as far as calling them trolls like them journalists friends of george (hahaha) who seek to stir things up out of nothing but i will laugh at them…just not here anymore…you are right.

    Like

  18. oh well, im pretty sure yogi and others would come down on me like thorr when i was talking about that gg era…switch to now where others talk with such contempt and disrespect about wenger..judging him as if he is just another manager…calling him naive and out of touch..

    if tis a generation thing then ok ….i suppose some identify with bangers and mash and others identify with bon fillets…

    each to theri own i suppose but when one gets targeted for his bon fillets and is called deluded or told he dont know about cuisine in favour of the bangers and mash brigade then something needs to be said.

    when some things are proved by science..preference goes out the window. thats what them twats there dont realise. wenger ;s science on the development and oimprovement of our club in all aspects is at such an astonishing level that noone has the right to complaion about anything no matter how much his ticket costs.

    i dont like brocolli but the day i turn to a food expert and tell him that macdonalds is healthier than brocoli thats the day ill become an arsenal doomer. haha…..

    sorry but thats the way i see it…..we have the cultureless peasants trying to tell us that the scientist is wrong…no way that can happen… no way.

    Like

  19. bill humouring about wenger’s wage? are we serious? who the fuck is bill again? what does he do? where does he work? lets go and judge his performance see if he is worth what he is getting…. and then debate about it on the internet…..oh wait we wont bill is insignificant compared to arsene…hehehe….

    only frank and george understand me …

    Like

  20. Hunter, they are like that. Dont let it get to you. Yes, you should certainly be wary of them, but ignoring people like that and focusing on just enjoying everything positive about Arsenal is better and will certainly bring this blog more into the spotlight.

    Like

  21. Hunter, a troll who has been caught lying by many many times is as Evil describes: A troll. No offence my arsenal brethren but I agree with Steww.

    In the mid 1980s DDein came home one evening and said, bloody hell, I’ve just seen an arsenal kid who plays like a Brazilian! Rocastle, who stopped playing due to injury. Fast forward to 2013 and Pearce is (still) the U21 coach, and even with an injury ravaged squad he left josh mceachran on the bench (A player who really should have left Chelsea s long time ago), I don’t think the hyped Zaha had many caps before his big money move. Hell, he barely managed to play Chamberlain even though he’d had a full season before he joined the Arsenal. 8 caps after he’d joined Arsenal. been seen by our scouts etc. He has been managing kids as if they are fully nature professionals, if they are not playing in the first team “they are not ready”, which is not how it works. He is the archetypical angry and bitter father coaching / foaming from the sidelines.

    The road is long. With many a winding turn.
    Praise be to the football gods for Arsenal, and Arsene! : )

    Like

  22. Steww’s advice is good advice y’know h13. This is about PA. If folks want to have a sly dig and call us “posidivas” or whatever, who cares? some take the piss and it’s actually funny (hello Dukey if your reading!), some do…and it’s not. And Bill is Bill, nothing you or I say is going to change that, I enjoy a bit banter with him now and again, but it doesn’t bother me what he thinks. However ridiculous or near-sighted I may think it is. He’s been going on much the same themes for years now. He’s very mild mannered when you compare him with some of the gargantuan numbnuts you find elsewhere. I’d rather converse with Bill, than say, for example, Tim Payton. And he is a head boy at AST.

    I’m sure some here would rather than stick a fork in their eye than talk to either though.

    As long as you believe, you can’t make everyone see the light. Ying and yang innit. Arsene will extend his contract anyway, wiser heads will prevail regardless, whatever Bill or anyone else says.

    I like to think they are having a knees-up at Le Grove as we speak. I only hope there are enough cyanide capsules to go around. Party on dudes!

    Like

  23. Steww, you ever read Do Androids Dream of Electric sheep? There was this practice for some of the main characters of climbing illusionary rocky mountains whilst talking to spirits and having rocks thrown at you that was not in Bladerunner. Another empathy test of sorts. An amazing book.

    My draft for my west ham match review went straight in the bin after I read the post. Just kidding. I haven’t written anything. Still a long way to go till pre-season starts. And the sun is out. Have fun all.

    Like

  24. Don’t you worry Harry – out their in the Goonerverse there is a loyal fan putting together the Hitler Downfall parody version for You Tube featuring the arrival of the bad news at Le Grove bunker earlier this afternoon

    Like

  25. If Hunter was allowed too,I am sure he would partake in a two sided debate.He didn’t ban himself.
    I see no reason why anyone should be beyond our critique,Can we not discuss what Arseblog says? John Cross? or anyone else who commits their thoughts to paper.They are ,so to speak ,asking for it.

    Like

  26. Here’s hoping ‘coll!

    It’ll be like the Somme over there, once the dust settles.

    All that effort over the years, all that bile spilled, venom spewed and tireless encouragement of ignorance…….and it’s come to f*ck all.

    Warms the heart it does.

    Like

  27. Might need to mute this one

    Like

  28. & finally a comp of all goals from 12/13:

    Like

  29. Brilliant stuff Fins!

    Like

  30. i agree with Steww, Why are we bigging-up another blog with petty name calling and shit stirring? There is a much better way to deal with the issues. There are far more insidious and extremist attitudes to Wenger and the club which need to be addressed.

    Like

  31. Finsbury thanks a milion times.

    Stew , sir, one word. HOW?

    Like

  32. Love it Fins – Ta

    Like

  33. Good job Fins. Way to change the mood.

    Like

  34. How people behave and what they do or not say online is a topic I scrupulously try to pontificate on – I have spewed some utter bollocks forth on occasions sincere at the time as it was

    I have been thrown out from a few too

    But I tried and try not to snipe, not to pointlessly stir shite, to do it diminishes me not the target

    Total silence thereafter

    Like

  35. My mate tells me we are making a move for FELLINI. no confirmations anywhere. Has anyone heard anything?? Suppose to cost us 2omill.

    Like

  36. goonerkam,

    a week back i thought williams was coming and i completely flipped out.

    Now fellaini.

    who next?

    wtf really! i am just happy to watch the arsenal compilations over and again and let the club and arsene worry about the rest.

    Fellaini would be a good addition though..but who will he replace?!!? what is the point of shelling out 20-25 mil if he is not going to be a starter? or is it not that simple?

    Like

  37. George @ 8.20
    True. ANR receives no mercy and someone who chooses to write in public that Arsene drove out Dein in order to get his hands on all the money ( I kid ye not ) is asking for the full Arsenal!

    Like

  38. Finsbury @8:56

    Wonders never cease with ANR…..MP wrote the most withering attack/character assassination of Thierry Henry after his controversial ‘handball’ incident against Ireland (Nov 2009?) I cannot emphasise how offensive that article was. I was left speechless. He even managed to blame Wenger for Henry’s actions…I’ve tried to locate that piece in his archives…to no avail…I think he regrets writing something so damning and has removed the evidence…..

    Like

  39. Sorry GP, I was being vague. The comment I referred to wasn’t made on ANR!

    I never read ANR but I hear some of the gems when they surface amidst the muck. Such as last season’s special about Arsenal’s two leading goal scorers being ‘ unable to play together’. Priceless.

    Like

Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: