Hunting and Gathering

I think that my life is based on a peculiar anthropology.  Its vague miracles and modest wonders were not found in a manicured garden of curiosities.  They did not grow from seedlings and groomed saplings. I did not wait for them to grow, or to rise yawning, from their fragrant beds. I did not cultivate them out of confidence, or the expectation of what such a harvest could bring.

Instead, I hunted.  But my cache of weapons does not include guns or arrows.  I do not need to destroy in order to make my life remarkable.  Rather, I hunt with my eyes and my mind; making sure that I’m always accompanied by that map of whimsy and caprice, the imagination.  I hunt for what is hidden, for what lurks – for what waves its banner of lively beauty before disappearing, forcing me to give chase if I was quick enough to even notice.

And then I gather what I’ve found.  It might be thought that my yield is an unpretentious one…but to me they create a pattern of worthies which keep me warm throughout the year.  A sunset that melts like gold silk; birds that fly in a in a filigree of panic and hunger; autumn leaves the color of kitchen spices; the eyes of a 1905 beauty staring at me from the bottom of a box of sepia photographs; a statue of three sheep dancing the can-can – carrying a bouquet of orchids that someone had placed in their dainty, flamboyant hooves.  How thankful I am for that unknown person’s fey creativity.

Did You Think I Was Kidding?

Did You Think I Was Kidding?









These memories hang about me like jewelry heavy with charms:  I can stretch my arms out to watch them dance in the light once more; I can finger my neck to feel the decorations that hang there.   Like the richest of quilts, they keep me serene and content in the knowledge that I wear as fine a blanket as any that the nimble-fingered Fates could have woven.

So in a way I am a nomadic throwback:  a hunter and gatherer.  I’ve grown beyond the limitations of farming and its irksome patience.  Instead, I range far to bring home what memories I find:  to admire, to appreciate and to embrace all of their attendant joys.


8 responses to “Hunting and Gathering

  1. Do “ewe” think….sorry it was just out there. I apologise for lowering the tone of your beautiful post.

  2. I imagine William Blake, standing before your sheep and saying, “Little lambs? Who made these?”

    Here’s to a new year of hunting and gathering, trading and sharing, collecting and preserving memories. What more could any of us ask?

  3. Sheep are not as musical as cows, but they are pretty fair dancers.

  4. Some cool logic there, great article

  5. Flamingo Dancer – How dare you abewese our beweutiful language in such…oh. Never mind.

    shoreacres – “What more could any of us ask?” Indeed! Especially when the world is so generous in its offerings, both subtle and stunning. Everyone keep their eyes and minds open!

    Doug – Sheep vs. Beef; it’s the eternal conflict…

    A Humble Shadow – Didn’t know the cafe ever had much logic going for it; thank you!

  6. Here’s to all hunter gatherers of the eyes and mind.

  7. I LOVE this! It is such a gift to be observant. And not only observant, but consciously observant. We see so much that others are unaware of.

  8. fifepsychogeography – INDEED; there are times when I think we should pack only what we need, the better to bring our rare visions home safely!

    Lauri – I sometimes have to push myself to see art in all things: a garage? Stripped tires? Nikes? North Hollywood? But it’s there, hiding – and waiting for their fortunate discovery. If not by me, then by someone far wiser!

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