Wednesday, May 12, 2010

132. From the rafters

There is an elemental quality to rope, similar to rust or bark or clay. There is a solidity, a strength, to the image. The difference being that rust and bark and clay are naturally occurring whereas rope, whether twisted from hemp, coir, sisal or jute, is created by man rather than being of first principles.

One length of thick, knotted rope can be used to determine the comparative strength of two teams in ‘tug-o’-war. Another length of thin, knotted rope can be used in a ‘cat-o’-nine-tails’ to determine the strength of a man’s back.

A twist of rope highlights the benefits of working in cohort. When braided together, single fibres are imbued with a superhuman strength. A single strand of jute would struggle to hold an ship to its bollard, or hoist a pallet of bricks to the mezzanine floor. Or hold aloft the condemned man over the yawning gallows.


Joan Elizabeth said...

I thought there would be a yukkie ending when I saw the title and the story began with rope.

Setting that aside I like the this "meditation" on rope. Made me think of the long skipping ropes we had as kids in the school ground. And rope burn from mucking with my brother. And the verses in Ecclesiastes which say "Two are better than one ... Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

Julie said...

The biblical verse is thought provoking. I am in that sort of mood. At what point is a higher number enough. Does one call 'desist'!

I am meditating on the ways in which three is better than two. And does going to three stuff it up?

Joan Elizabeth said...

Your daughter and SIL will certainly be thinking 3 is better than 2 soon.

The book the Tipping Point had a section of research showing that when businesses go over 150 people things start to break down. I certainly prefer working in companies about that size.