Log 2 – 19-07-13

July 19, 2013

Task: Manured the lower section above the rubber estate – planned to broadcast 10 bags of NPK. But had to settle for just two as the wheel barrow needs fixing – the physical work was good.

Bird House: Observed BH till 2015 hr – few birds fly back through side entrance – or maybe I just can’t see them from the main entrance as its too high – need to conduct a visual check tomorrow at 0600 hr.

Harvest: Completed harvest today 11 T. Went over to SC to reassure him that I will begin harvesting on 18 days from now to help him out with the stringent oil content penalties issued out by the greedy oil barons recently – this is the time to build relationship with the disenchanted, marginalized and powerless. One day they will remember me for my reasonableness. That at least is what I hope. We shook hands. W looked happy.

Hunt: This is should be the supremo highlight of my day, but for some inexplicable reason it isn’t – I didn’t feel this one where the bow hunter merges seamlessly with his weapon of silent death. Not this time. I am not saying it didn’t go textbook wise well. It did. But I just couldn’t feel this one, not even at the moment of quickening.

Strange….very strange.

This morning before dawn, went out hunting. As sleep still eludes me. Or rather pretended to go to hunt. Otherwise it would have been odd to the servants.

Due to my diminishing self confidence that I can only describe in terms of a degenerative disease – all I excepted this morning was maybe to bring back a dead monitor lizard run over in the night by a car on the main road – just didn’t feel I had it in me, not even if the quarry presented itself to me like a barn door painted in fluorescent.

Somewhere between two palms – I caught sight of them in the western terraces – a pack of hogs – 300 meters away and closing in to the river at roughly the pace of motorized wheelchair – they’re slow at dawn – I could just make out the mother with 4 piglets togging behind / shifted by position on the terraces to stay down wind and took a position behind a row of ferns – I had to shift my position to get a clear shot as the river’s edge has tall reeds this time of the year – when they approached and stopped at the river’s edge. They were still too faraway.

They were still too bloody far away for a clean kill- I felt that if I closed in, the chances of giving my position away and scaring them off was high – as the twigs, branches and fronts are crispy this time of the year.

So I waited for them to come to me – or maybe I secretly hoped that they would go further and use that as an excuse that the right conditions simply didn’t present itself.

I say that to myself every time I come home empty from a hunt – why not just wait and wait and use that excuse to explain away that I am not really losing my edge – it was just bad luck.

So I waited… till eventually the nearest hog was within the kill range – at 80 yards. This one had wandered off from the pack – I decided to go for this one of the piglet – the wind was changing direction, picking up even as the ferns began to ruffle – I brought along the wrong type of arrows to bring down a hog at that range – a bullet tipped 300 grain arrow would have to do.

In bowhunter parlance that means a through the heart shot – roughly the size of a packet of ciggies – I can’t really say what made me go for that shot even at that range using the wrong tool for the job. Maybe it was the light, it was at exactly the moment – when light just begins to flood the plantation – it bluish and everything is rendered clear like cut crystal – I could see the profile of the target clearly, judged the windage by how the ferns swayed and adjusted by making a few mental calculations.

That part went well – that’s good. I know, I can still think when I am under pressure – at that moment, when that hog dipped it’s head into the river – I took him out. Right through the heart – a clean and professional kill. No fumbling – everything was smooth like a well oiled machine from the judgement of the yardage, angle and even the moment of release. Perfect. 

I am very happy about this hunt. Even though it’s just a modest piglet hog. Felt that all familiar rush of adrenaline coursing through my veins before, during and after the shot. I needed that as I carried the hog on my back all the way up the hill – prided myself with even the idea that I stayed calm and still through out the opening and closing which lasted at least a good hour.

It felt so good to know that I could control my emotions and detach myself as I always do during a hunt – to be there and still somewhere else like a lotus on a calm mirror lake.

As that is what it takes to live off the land – one must learn to wait and be so very still – to be there, yet so detached that there exist no such state of mind known as excitement, pleasure, rush or even the slightest flutter of emotions – waiting…the ability to still the mind, control ones breathe even – is what it takes for an arrow to fly through roughly the distance of two street lamppost to hit a pack of cigarettes – any larger it would strike cartilage, bone. It’s no good.

But I pulled it off.

But as soon as I approach the dead hog – in truth, I can’t be sure it was skill at all – maybe it was just a fluke shot.

I can’t explain why I was suddenly assaulted by self doubt. Maybe it is the anguish that I still feel. An indescribable pain that runs so deep that all there is a darkness – I can’t be sure – not at that range – it was skill – that’s the problem – nonetheless, it’s good as even the servants have been whispering lately why hasn’t the master brought in any game recently – this would go a very long way to create the image that everything is well and fine.

What bothers me is I have been hunting long enough to realize – a good shot can only come from deep within – only in this hunt. I couldn’t quite feel the shot, get into the grove where its so smooth that its even intuitive – and know deep down it was good.

Like I said, I can’t be sure – was skill or luck. It’s just a niggling thought. I want to be sure as an indication to show that I am not crumbling away bit by bit – Nonetheless, I am happy for whatever progress I made even if it’s a fluke.

Beggars can’t be choosers, it seems…

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