[personal profile] lhexa

I would like to document one of my stranger moods.

I want to see the dawn from the top of a mountain. On a previous attempt I walked for the sunset, but walked too slow; another caught me in the unchanging light of a few hours in the afternoon. There is this disadvantage to life in a city surrounded by bare, impressive mountains: they mask the comings and goings of the sun, though they show their own attentiveness to the deed by acquiring a pink hue at the right moment. Since I am to leave the city in a few days (to spend a week in Virginia, the region of my mysticism), I might as well end it in emulation of the mountains that are so favorable to me. Within a few hours I'll bike my way to the base of one "Mount Olympus", climb fearfully and shiveringly to the top, see the dawn, and fall asleep.

Have I been poor game for that huntress Sleep? I feel as though, bereft of any desire for wakefulness, I have often run wilfully into her traps, crouched fatefully still at the approach of her hounds, or stood on some forest rock, alert to other things, while she levelled her gun at my back. Finding her pursuit to have been a disappointment, she has, I suppose, merely skinned me, frozen me, gotten some utility or at least satisfaction from my capture before conceding me back to my reanimation, to the late daylight, in which I find myself alive again without particularly enjoying that fact. It is sure, at least, that I have not yet enjoyed a trophy's view of her hearth: I have not dreamed much for a long time, and what I have dreamed seems but the brief glimpses of an animal thrown from hounds' teeth to plastic bag to cold freezer. Well, I will provide a better chase tonight. There is a certain wall on whose back I will run for a ways, deceiving her for a time; maybe she'll be more thankful, or more proud of her skill, after I am captured. It is not as if this hunt, which late every morning finds me alive and belatedly young (not yet anticipating the recurrence), is the real pursuit of my youth, the one which finds me expending all of my speed and guile in order to escape.

This last spring, in Virginia -- as I said, this is the place of my mysticism -- I was invited by a Virginian farmer to go 'coon hunting. He had the hounds for the task, and a suitably powerful gun. I was, as I am wont to do, wondering about my capacity for violating my every sentiment and bias for the sake of knowledge and experience. Probably I am willing to do many an evil thing for the sake of some human scholarship. At the very least, every T.H. White must at some point kill a swan, if only to lament again. Chip -- that is the farmer's name -- and his son drove the dogs in an old pickup truck to an appropriate place, released them; then we all sat on the tailgate to listen to their ecstacies. The two were privy to some hidden meaning in the dogs' barking, a varying import which I could not discern even after their attempts to explain it to me. The ongoing reports of the hounds eventually acquired a different tone (again, I did not discern it), which indicated the treeing of the 'coon; the gun soon added a report of its own, and this series of expressions was, I suppose, put to an end by the dogs after the raccoon's drop. As I have said, and as I will say again, all of this was lost on me; but I did impress the farmer and his son by my ability to carry a heavy corpse blindly up a steep hill.

I do not know what they did with the body, nor have I any surmise. I sat several times with that family for dinner, and concluded that I would only have been served raccoon meat had I requested it. But I was shown several other prizes of hunting: some squirrels, a rabbit, and a fox. I discovered that I haven't the perversity of a T.H. White; whatever the depths of my morbidity, I would have refused to hunt a fox.

Date: 2007-10-12 02:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] guardlion.livejournal.com
Wow! Wonderful imagery. :-) And I'm afraid I'm forced to concur that age lends to each of us being less of an exciting hunt for the huntress.

I've never had the stomach to go hunting with anyone before. Guns scare the $**t out of me, and I don't like killing. But I have wondered what it is people do on them. Now I know a little, at least.

Were the farmer and his family friends from the net or did you meet them otherwise?

Date: 2007-10-17 01:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lhexa.livejournal.com
Thanks. :) Though in my case it wasn't a matter of age.

I met the farmer because he's my father's neighbor.

Date: 2010-01-20 04:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tofufox.livejournal.com
"I would have refused to hunt a fox."

Why?

Date: 2010-01-21 05:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lhexa.livejournal.com
T.H. White identified with swans. He also shot a swan. I am not so morbid as to kill what describes me.

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lhexa

January 2012

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