April 10, 2017
The wild is a terribly harsh place….everything about it has sharp corners….everything gets broken down. Razors blunt after only one shave. Steel corrodes into dust. Light bulbs fog up. Clothes are always damp. Leather turns moldy after the rains. Food spoils within hours….everything get broken down in the wild.
Including man if he is not mindful.
‘For things to keep well in the wild…they need to be constantly nourished. Leather needs to be regularly buffed with mink oil. Steel could do with a swipe of oil. As for the soul…it too could be nourished with humanity.
Humanity can die very easily in the wild. It could just as well drop off and you wouldn’t even notice it. Only this time when it begins, I am acutely aware of these changes coursing through my entire being. Perhaps my newfound awareness has something to do with having being here so many times…that I’ve lost count.
The first thing that happens is razors tend to lose their edge faster. This is followed by a gradual perceptive shift in form, symmetry, color and texture –shapes and especially colors…colors acquire an uncanny precision. Reds aren’t just splashes of clumsy reds as they gradually acquire exacting mixtures of ochre and maroon patinas as for blue they are filled with nuances of hues of lapis, aquamarine and paraffin. And when it comes to smell – civet, ambergris, musk, and castoreum…I know I am slowly changing…..I am turning into a monster.
Just the other day I spotted a hog during one of my walks. I was suddenly seized by an inexplicable desire for flesh…not just any slab of steak, but the raw variety dripping with thick blood. I shadowed that hog for a good five or maybe six miles in the thicket. Slaved by what I can only describe as an unholy primal desire…. tasting it with my hungry eyes…watching it intently with a burning yearning…I could even sense it’s heart beat growing louder and louder as I walked alongside it…I could feel it’s life force pulsating thru my veins and transposing themselves on the swaying palms, the leaves and gravel as they all moved ever so slightly to some primal rhythmic drum beat…all the while getting louder and louder drowning all other sounds.
At one point when I could bear it no longer I buried my face into the hollow of a tree to silence the sound in my head…but it only grew louder in darkness. There at that moment – I could see the image of a blurred figure running like the wind towards the stunned hog followed by a flash of steel then a crimson splash of blood….I could feel the warmth of life even taste it as it ebbed slowly away…..
I realised then I must have dropped my water canteen.’