Today it feels endless. The heave of shoulder to stone. Each inch won with sweat and the scrape of skin on rough grey. The beat of sun and the visceral absence of wind. The burn of light and the grunt of just holding still. The cry of birds, mocking their freedom from the sky. The sweet, barely felt touch of grass beneath naked feet. Felt through skin thickened by an eternity of exertion. Up. Up. Up. No water or wine to quench a throat on fire. No bread to ease the strain of every breaking muscle. No voice of encouragement to move the soul. And no end to aim for. Just a tipping point. A tiny, fractured moment of release. Before beginning again. Nothing else. Just me and stone.