Can you see the red dot? That red dot is it a worm, or French Husband on a rope?
French Husband and I went hiking in the calanques, along the rugged coastline between Cassis and Marseille. Our starting point was a charming obscure little port called, Morgiou. French Husband told me to bring a book commenting, "I'm going to rope down the Cap de Morgiou, while I do that you can read in the sun." Thoughtful isn't he? The day was cold with a strong Mistral blowing. "...Sit in the sun," he said, "... and read a book." While he ropes down a sheer face cliff? Every voice inside of me was screaming, "Don't go!" However would I be calm enough to read a book while Crazy Frenchman was hanging off a cliff?
Foregoing the book, I grabbed my camera and went.
French Husband's back pack was full of ropes, hooks, clips, things-I-don't-know-the-names- of, plus water, some granola bars, a helmet and other paraphernalia of fear-fun. His backpack was bigger and heavier than me. I carried myself and my camera.
(If you click on the photo you will see French Husband hanging midway, on a rope. Doesn't that look easy breezy?)
It reminded me of my Father... every Friday night after he had milked the cows, we would hop in his pick-up truck and go to Cycle-Land, a flat track, motorcycle, speedway, where he would race. Sitting in the bleachers I would feel the same feeling that I had on those cliffs. Terrific fear. The sense that my stomach was in my mouth.
I don't dig the feeling of fear. Not at all. I do not see scary movies 'cause I do not dig the feeling of fear.
Half way down the cliff the wind caught French Husband, he started to swing back and forth, twirling around and around. Who could even breath while that was going on? There were other hikers behind me, they stopped, pointed and commented on how crazy that person was... "Is he out of his mind to be rock climbing in this wind." I agreed with them, and didn't mention that the crazy person was my husband. "Is he mad? Is he trying to kill himself? What an idiot!"
Oh Lucky me. Such comfort in the words coming from strangers, and the mistral blowing, and my vomit inching closer to the outside world.
Standing there watching French Husband I forgot that I was cold, I forgot that I was very close to the edge, I nearly forgot to take a picture of him hanging there, but I did not forget how mad I was the entire time. Most of the time I wished I could clobber that Freak I was married to, I prayed in short choppy sentences, "Damn, oh God, oh please. Shit. Oh God why? Oh Lord." As he hung off the cliff, being twirled around by the Mistral, he waved to me.
He was mad,
as in crazy mad,
not angry mad.
Yes, flat out, crazy mad.
But I was madder,
And that somehow made me want to jump into that wave of that beautiful man.
I prayed: "I will never complain about any form of housework again, or my weight, or anything unimportant, if he makes it back alive God. Then I thought, "Great! Now, I am bartering with God over the life of my husband and housework."
Slowly he made his way back to the top, he was smiling and his enthusiastic energy was evident, as I ran back to his side of the cliff. The first thing he said was,
"Did you take a picture of me?"
I stared at that mass of fearless wonder.
"Yann!, You looked like a worm on a hook! Ready for some starving fish to jump out of the sea and swallow you up in one delicious gulp!" He didn't hear my fear, nor see my anger, nor my desire to kill him so that he could never die by doing that crazy madness again. Instead he shook his pretty head, and laughed with utter joy, grabbed me and kissed me deeper than the sea that was below us.
My Frenchman, and no complaining about housework again. But then again, God knows me.