Friday, January 23, 2009

Naturally Genuine and Beautifully Desperate

This afternoon I took a walk in the woods. I followed paths that had been set before me. Roads paved by the soles of dog walkers and middle aged couples. Usually when I am tramping about in the frigid air, I think of how painful and unforgiving nature can be. How animals kill one another for sustenance. How the old and fat and retarded are left for dead. However, today I felt the peace of it all. Nature is truly accepting. There is no judgement. It is just you and everything else.

Around my neck was a camera bag. Although I have a halfway decent digital camera, my dad has told me to keep it in a old, torn bag (as to deter thieves). There are a lot of factors that go into taking an incredible picture. You need to be in the right place at the right time, have a camera on you, and be prepared to operate the camera properly. The great images, the historically telling, generation defining photographs were the product of ideal circumstances. Some people have lives that are like great pictures.

Once at the edge of the river, I unzipped the pack and switched on my camera. My eyes refocused, touching the surface of the water. Swimming humbly down the river was a beaver. A great opportunity for a picture. After I stole the beavers soul via my Kodak Z650 and, after the beaver had drifted downstream and out of sight, I heard a single gunshot. Seconds later I could make out two figures, human, walking along the other side of the river a few hundred feet away. I experienced ten seconds of genuine fear. The kind you don't feel everyday. A foreign kind of fear. My corduroy jacket, deer hide brown, moved slowly along the river bend and disappeared into the forest. It would have seemed strange to wave and make sure that they knew that I was not an animal, that I, like them, did not belong. I didn't draw attention to myself. The trip back was quieter still. The man made path, the path I usually follow, stood out as solid ice. I longed for hand rails, but there were none to be found. Dogs are lucky, they never have to worry about falling backwards.

I made my way to another clearing by the river, upstream. It is a place that I revisit from time to time. There are wooden support beams buried in the ground and sticking out over a ledge. I'm not sure exactly what they are supporting (possibly some telephone lines) but they sure do make for an excellent place to sit. Sprouting out from one of the beams was a root. Smooth and thin, the root resembled a woman's leg. The kind of seductive leg stereotypically attached to beautifully desperate hitchhiker's (the kind in the movies).

How do you get two cats to hate each other?

- Have them share the same litter box.
- Punch them both in the face and throw them in the same bathtub.
- Tape their heads together.

Speak easy,

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