I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Friday, April 22, 2016

A claustrophobe walks into a cave...



There was plenty of opportunity to opt out of the cave visit and I was sorely tempted -- I am so claustrophobic that I would only take the New York subway in a matter of life and death, and metaphorical use of that phrase wouldn't count. And after the first time we had to duck to get through a passage where the ceiling was too low to stand straight, I was sorry I hadn't.

It didn't help that the only way out was to go back the way I'd come - short passages, narrow passages, and a long, long spiral ramp at the entrance. I don't have a problem with small spaces in general; it's only small spaces I can't get out of.

But I was mostly okay. It was beautiful: cones and curves and odd sheets that hung like curtains. Mix a little water with a little calcium carbonate and add a lot of time, and the results are quite magical. I took a lot of pictures, even though I knew they wouldn't come out because I had to focus manually (a less expensive camera would probably have done much better) but focusing on the light and the shapes kept me from thinking too much about where I was and deciding that I'd forgotten how to breathe.

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