1. AS A MARRIAGE SYMBOL 结合象征
Japanese Shinto priests first wed these two hulking rocks off the coast of Futami more than 1,300 years ago to symbolize the sanctity of marriage. Today, husband rock (the strong, silent type at 30 feet high) and wife rock are still yoked together in the Pacific Ocean by 100 feet of braided rice straw, which is replaced three times a year (the priests do that at low tide, when the rocks aren’t separated by water, and worshippers join in the ceremony by handing the rope from person to person onshore). in the summer, the scene is perhaps most divine: The sun appears to rise between the two points, with Mount Fuji visible in the distance.
2. AS HOMAGE敬意表达
Air-devil Philippe Petit said in 1975, “Many high-wire walkers have died on their last step, thinking they had made it.” The then-24-year-old Frenchman had to do more than step carefully in order to complete his most famous stunt—an illegal walk between the Twin Towers, captured in the 2008 Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire. Petit termed the challenge “impossible” but spent six years planning it. As for the execution, a troop of New Yorkers helped him haul a ton of equipment up the just-built towers in secret, and Petit huddled for hours on a beam to avoid detection before spending all night rigging the tightrope. By 7 a.m., he was faint with exhaustion but succeeded in making the quarter-mile-high crossing eight times in 45 minutes with no safety net as thousands watched below. Why did he do it? Because “life”, he says in the film, “should be lived on the edge.”
3. AS COW CONTROL 控牛之索
It gets a little crowded in New Deihi—for the stray cows, that is. Considered sacred by India’s Hindus, the animals have long roamed city streets, protected by law. In 2002, enough residents complained about traffic jams created by the roving bovines that the government authorized regular roundups. Designated cow catchers now rope the ornery beasts for shipping to the suburbs. So far, the city’s chief veterinarian has reported catching more than 100,000 cattle, with 20,000 more to go.
4. AS RODEO ROUTINE马术表演
Throwing a lasso takes a lot of skill—and purpose. Ranch hands often pick up a rope as early as age three, with hopes they’ll one day be able to keep a steer still while it gets branded or receives medical attention. “A very skilled person can even restrain a bull by himself,” says Bob King, who runs Cowboy School clinics around the country. To be a star student, you have to be able to swing a 60-foot rope overhead, keeping the loop open, which can take years of practice. Novices get used to rope burn, and be patient. “It doesn’t have to be rushed,” says King. “You have all day to rope a calf.”