Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Letter To An Animal Concerning Its Greater Role In My Universe

Hey, everybody. How are you doing? Good?

Lately, I've had the bug for letter writing, and, on a regular day that would mean that I have been getting my last nerved stomped on by an army of country line dancers. But, today, I just want to write about something.

I just want to take a thought, a conviction, and send it to someone or something just for the sake of expression. I'm not really angry. I'm not feeling vindictive or persecuted. I'm in a rare form today. One that I usually try to hold on to with both hands and keep tight to my chest until the sun punches out and the moon takes up the sentry.

I'm in a good calm mood. The kind of mood a snow bordered brook brings in the stillness of a winter wood. The kind of calm the clouds bring when they fill every inch of your peripheral vision as you stare up from the reclining position on your front lawn after wrestling the mower under that last thorn bush.

I'm just happy, and I want to record it for posterity. Because, just like the rare beasts of the world we call Earth, happiness is not something to be captured and bread in captivity. It's better to just set up your cameras, wait, and record, for the shared experience of everyone to come later and see what you saw.

So, without further ado, I bring you, my first earnest, honest, and benign Letter to The Internet.

Dear spirit animal of my road to work,

I noticed you again today, walking along Buncombe Road with your sleek black fur still shiny as the day you were born. How old could you maybe be now? 2? 3? You look my dog's age, so I think it's a pretty safe approximation.

As always you were walking towards my oncoming car. Not directly at me, but off to the side, in the grass, casually trotting the opposite direction I was heading so determinedly. You noticed me, but not like I notice you. You glanced and sniffed and meandered off further down the incline of the ditch to make sure our paths wouldn't intersect.

And then I was gone from your day. As you so often aren't gone from mine.

I wonder about you, animal. I wonder how someone so stray could stay so fit and comfortable with their day to day.

I suppose there are no mortgages in the spirit kingdom. There are no 99 cent menus or fine print on contacts. Your day is the day that I would be having thousands of years in the past. Your day is the day we shared before my kind decided there were better things. You kept your appointment, and still do, as your kind is the kind that keeps their promises.

I've noticed you many places around my home and wondered where it is that you live. I didn't realize that I had already answered my own question.

You live where I see you. You live where I don't see you. My home is your home, but your home is not mine.

You've seen me many places, around my home, but still in yours, and maybe you've wondered why I go so fast, when in your eyes my origination and destination are one in the same. You watch my car whoosh by, traveling from your train tracks to your field like I watch the bees that fly from my flowers into my trees.

I think about how they live their lives in my back yard, as I live my life in yours.

I'm glad you were there this morning, animal. It always makes me question my actions when I see you. It makes that part of me that is sure die, and lets the uncertain offspring grow fat on its body.

So, animal, I'm always glad to see you.

But, I dare not do more than see. I dare not name, or feed, or attempt capture. Because names and food and fences mean that you are not a spirit animal. They mean that you are a dog, like my dog now, and my dog before. And you can't be a dog. Dogs are mortal and dogs are seekers of guidance.

And you are neither.

You are the spirit animal of my road to work. And, if one morning I see that a car has struck you from my road to work, I will know that is because you kept your appointment, and I wasn't there.

I will know that your body's death will be an ultimate reflection of my failure, as your life has been an ultimate reflection of my desire to turn around and casually walk the other way.

But you will not die from the blow. Your body will remain in your old home, but you will not die. And when I move, I will look for you on my new road to work. I will try to subvert my ignorance and my impatience and I will try to find you, spirit animal, so that I may see you again.

But dare not do anything more than see.

Chiggie Von Richthofen
Your faithful follower, always traveling in the opposite direction

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