About Ropes as a Practice

When I first started with rope, keeping the rope untangled and tying knots took conscious effort. I distinctly remember a period when I was playing weekly years ago where the double coin knot became something I could tie without any thought. At the same time I was practicing rigs exactly as taught. Then with enough repetition I could branch out and see new ideas. But only after pounding in the as-learned rig first.

I have had many many weeks over the years where I played or tied almost nightly.

Now I will often tie something over and over and then get an epiphany, and see a better way to tie, wrap or finish. I also look over knot books for ideas and pick up new knots with no idea how I will use them. Then synthesis will occur and I’ll later get an idea for something new that uses a previously learned knot.

I am also pushing myself with flat knots. At first they were cook book – follow the directions. The something broke loose and I can go rogue. I think it is along the lines above where the activity moves to a different part of the brain, freeing the frontal lobe to create.

I have had evenings and days where I will tie multiple times and try to not repeat a rig. This is especially true at events or performances. By the end of the evening I’ll walk away with some new idea.

Rope also coils easily and stays untangled now. I call this ‘talking to the rope.’ It is almost like I have a different relationship with the rope itself: how it moves and how I move. It is really very satisfying. I have also seen how the way I move when tying has changed – almost like a kata.

It is definitely a practice and can alter my state of mind. It’s funny how far it has come from the initial raw erotic thrill – I had no idea that it could become so spiritual. But of course it also is erotic and sensual; there are just more things I can access now depending on the partner and energy.

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