The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month

Liam and I went rock climbing this morning at REI. It wasn’t as successful as the Saturday before, when Yuna and I went. For starters, he is just plain uncomfortable with heights. And, while Yuna and I got to climb on the easiest wall, Liam and I ended up on the next most challenging wall, a difficulty of 5.6 as opposed to 5.5. What that means, I don’t know. But when I asked the young woman who was belaying for us, she said that one difference was that the 5.6 wall was more vertical, as opposed to the 5.5 wall, which leans in a bit. Liam had a difficult time coming down, because he couldn’t get his feet planted, and then, another consideration–just because of the way the wall was shaped and where the rope was anchored, if you lose your footing, you swing out to the side and hang suspended in midair. The same happened to me. I also noted that the reaches between the holds were far apart, even for me.

We looked around for awhile at REI, then drove over to the Mall of America. I was interested in buying some juggling balls at the store Airtraffic. I bought a set of three that also included three scarves and an instructional CD.

As we were wandering around, we came upon a large gathering in the central rotunda. It was hundreds of adolescent girls squished into a serpentine line, screaming at the appearance of four young male actors from a television show called One Tree Hill. I think one of the young men actually said into the microphone something like “this will make my boss very happy.”

The backdrop for the stage was a four-story American flag hung vertically. I noticed that colors of the flag reflected on the slides of the escalators across the way. It was a great image. I wanted to take a photo of it. But that meant that I would have to return home to get a camera. I did that–I dropped off Liam and headed back to the mall with my camera. The traffic was horrible. All the cpots the the seven-story high parking ramps were filled. (This was about 1:00 pm on a Saturday.) It was a three-dimensional traffic jam in the parking ramps, with cars coming from ahead, behind, above, and below.

I did make it in, found my spot, and took my shots. The idea that something which is a neato image may not necessarily be converted by me to an interesting photo is haunting. But here it is.

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