The belief
in another
human being

text
Kyre Chenven

photography
Ivano Atzori

THE NEW LIFE OF ROCKS

There are places that seem rough and barren at first glance, significant only as scenery, only viewed from afar. Upon re-examination, though, they spring to life - they aren't just visited, they're venerated. They nurture local economies, have created jobs, inspired books and articles. They've brought together people from different countries and cultures; they've created a world.

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Sardinia is full of stark cliffs and crags, of walls of stone in hundreds of diverse formations. Most often they are empty; at times herds of goats clamber from one narrow shelf to the next, nibbling on stubborn plants that grow in the cracks. And, ever more frequently, they are inhabited by eager climbers.

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Climbing, as well, serves no evident purpose at first glance. A person puts in massive effort and expense to climb up a rock only to get back down again. But here, also, hide a multitude of emotions: the belief in another human being that holds your ropes, the puzzle of the rock in front of you, the challenge of a direct mission, the satisfaction of triumph. Sweat, scrapes, dirt, faith.

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*Many, many thanks to Terra Lawson-Remer, the toughest chick we know, and to Marco & Tiziana of Arrampicata Sardegna for being our patient and competent guides.

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