Hunting Days

Aging writers recollect.

Remember the silence of our thoughts where we would wait, crouched in corners with pens poised to catch them, spectral geometry flickering in the shadows as they flew across our line of sight? They appeared and disappeared like bats, to and from nowhere––and us beckoning, show yourself! Our own thoughts, retreating. The nerve. We would tame them. 

We were young and eager to tie them down, to possess the authority of others who had managed to do so, somehow. Only by evading our pens could they find any haven.

Even a small one would be good, we thought––squirrel-sized, perhaps––anything from beyond the veil. If we could just catch one, we could prove ourselves successful hunters of what moved in the wilds of that other place. We could remove the skin, eat the meat, accumulate proud trophies. Others would envy what we had. But it was no good.

Rabid as we were, we didn’t see ourselves this way; we thought we were gentle. But they must have heard us, our pens poised like arrows to fly at them when they dared to run. No wonder they fled. We were starved for what we feared we would forget, but they knew it was worse than that. They knew they had already left us, and they recognized that we were in the stage of those still unwilling to accept the loss, who are willing to do anything to pretend that it is not what it is. 

They would wait until the visions of trophies had left us and we were bald and frail with grief. Then they would come and sit at our feet, on our laps. We would let them build nests where our hair used to be. Okay, we’d tell them, have it your way.

Earthling vs. Surrender

Earthling may not know why she is waiting. But sometimes it’s like this when the only thing to do is sit and be.

In this scene, earthling doesn’t look so hot. It appears that earthling is just very tired. Always seeking, always questioning. Always trying to figure things out. Earthling gets like this from time to time. They are good at getting things done, but sometimes the thing to do is something else. Earthling is stubborn and sometimes gets tunnel vision. On such occasions,  wise woman may visit.

[Enter wise woman. She finds a bedraggled-looking earthling, walking in a dazed manner like they have forgotten what it was that they meant to do. She approaches gently, waits for earthling to notice. Earthling is preoccupied, so wise woman speaks first, placing a gentle hand on earthling’s back.]

What do you do when the walls are breached, defenses crumbled, when strategy is suddenly a moot point?
I shall defend! 

No, listen. I just told you that your lines of defense are gone. 
Oh. Then I shall get away! There are lots of alternatives. Just look at this list!

It’s silly to run at this point. Where would you hide, you and your long list?
Well, then. I shall rebuild!

Sure. Maybe, but you’re still without walls for the time being, aren’t you?
Sigh. Damn, you’re right. Well now what?

Just wait.
And?

Sit.
And?

Listen.
That’s not very much. I prefer lists. I like to cross things out, one by one. See? Post blog, get groceries, send that email you don’t want to send, check that email you don’t want to read, remember to run, walk, or swim in body; remember to call, remember to read for restoring of soul, remember to sit so as not to forget point of connection between body and soul, mind and everything else; remember to remember, remember to forget.

Dear, just stop.
Stop what?

Doing.
Doing what?

No, just stop doing. 
And?

I already told you. Just wait.

[Earthling may not know why she is waiting. But sometimes it’s like this when the only thing to do is sit and be. She’s practicing.]