My boy and I went to a local rope event. On this occasion I knew it was largely going to give me a chance to practice, rather than to learn specific new ties. I went with a few ideas of things I wanted to try and with an open mind.
As always, starting was the most nerve racking part. Once I had the rope moving through my hands I began to relax. I concentrated on my work until it was done and I could sit back and watch my bunny try to escape. Apparently my face was a picture as I enjoyed my boy’s antics. I also paid attention to his movements and how the rope moved as he wriggled; learning what worked and what didn’t. I mentally adjusted my ideas of what to try next.
About half way through the session we took a short break. The experts gave a talk with some demonstration of how the process of tying a single tie could be varied to give a different sensation and emotion to the scene. I watched and learned.
One of the other comments I really took to heart was that you can tie quickly, beautifully, or inescapably but not all at once. You have to pick one and go with it. With that came the message that the bunny and rigger really need a common understanding of what is being achieved.
I also took advantage of the afternoon to ask for feedback from my boy and for once I got it. A straight answer and specific criticism. He thought I was too close and the rope too loose. I fought down the inevitable insecurity caused by his lack of confidence in me (helped by a long cuddle while we listened to the above talk) to start the second half of the afternoon with a different approach. I was determined to do better for him.
This time, I took the rope more firmly, worried less about where it might go or indeed how comfortably it might lie and instead concentrated on keeping the tension; made trickier by the stretch in what is, after all, just cheap practice rope. I pulled it firmly, almost a little bit roughly, and amazingly watched my boy melt.
From that moment the connection between us grew. I continued working, pulling, tugging, tying. The intensity built, ropes pressed into flesh and we were lost in the experience.
Finally it was time to release the last tie and prepare to leave. He didn’t want to be untied and I didn’t want to untie him but still it needed to be done. Reluctantly I untied all but his wrists and let him lie, eyes closed, floating in a happy place while I watched over him. When I finally untied the last rope we felt close, euphoric, amazing (and hungry).
I learned some important things at that event but most of all I learnt that the rope itself is valuable, most of all, for the connection it enables me to make with Mat. Because the feeling that connection gives me is wonderful.