Imagine a deep gulley with muddy slippery sides. Along the bottom of the gulley runs a stream of water.
The water was once clear, but since it ran its course into the gulley it has turned murky. The polluted water churns up rancorous odours.
A raft of strapped-together flotsam and driftwood wobbles on the surface, rushing along the gulley. I stand upon the raft, balancing precariously and feeling slightly nauseous — a result of the combined influence of the fumes from the water and the rocking motion of the stream. I take a wide steady stance, and ready the rope and grappling hook I hold in my hands.
I look up to the top of the walls of the gulley. I see branches of trees up there, rushing past. Perhaps the stream will eventually lead to a tranquil pond, but right now the only way out seems to be to cast my rope at the branches of the trees. I’m not very good at casting rope at tree branches.
The grappling hook actually caught firmly a couple of times, but every time I lost my grip on the rope and fell in the muck.
I managed to scramble back on to the raft those times, but the ordeal left me exhausted and I just lay still for a while and let the water take me where it wanted to. The gulley seems to go on forever, as does my supply of rope and grappling hooks.
Another branch approaches. I cast the rope. The hook scratches at the muddy soil at the top. Puffs of dust rise up from the impact. Grains of clotted sand run down the embankment and splash into the grey-brown water. The hook slips past the branch and plunges downward. I draw the wet and smelly rope back on to the raft.
The above is essentially the news of my life at the moment. At any particular point in time I am either on the raft, in the crappy water, throwing hooks at tree branches, or stuffing about with a rope. It isn’t worthwhile to write about it much because, frankly, the story is quite dull. The raft never changes. The water never changes. The steep incline out of the gulley never changes. The branches I attempt to catch a hold of all look roughly similar, although the trees to which the branches are attached are probably all quite different.
Once I finally get a firm hold of a branch and drag myself out of the gulley, I’ll let you all know what the new view is like.