Friday, June 17, 2005

Musings: Ode To A Ruffled Grouse

I have murdered!

And I have done so more than once.

And I’ve used three different guns to do my murdering with. A single shot .22 rifle, a Remington breakdown 4:10 and a Lakefield 12 gage shotgun - three in the clip, one in the chamber.

It was quite a few years ago now, but I still can see, in my minds eye, the head of each of my targets penetrated by hyper-velocity lead. Lethal lead released by my calculated actions.

My hand pulling the trigger each time, and each time another life snuffing out.

Every time I think back on it I feel pain and guilt.

Those poor ruffled grouse and spruce hens. I did eat them, but still.

I would take back those actions if I could. But we do not live in the world of H. G. Wells, and so my actions must stand. I would not kill again in that fashion. I swear I would not. Life, any life, is far too precious a thing to be so cruelly extinguished for no-good reason.

I have learned that we all make mistakes. Some of them we should atone for, and others, less severe, we should learn from. Those who never learn from their errors have either retreated into a shell so as to never make then again, or are too thick or afraid to analyze their actions. They will follow others with hardly a thought of their own. You could say they have been murdered by their own hand.

What is that, over there in the grass?

There, on the fields in your mind, stalking through the grass, unseen, unheard, waiting for your unsuspecting bare foot to get close enough. And it is never where you can see it, but always behind you no matter which way you turn. It scares the hell out of me. But these are waking dreams, not the kind visited upon me at 3:00 a.m. (most popular alien abduction time).

And if there were aliens visiting us, wouldn’t you think we would "really" know it - crop circles and missing time episodes aside? Or is that not even the point? We love the unknown, deep down in the dark crinkled-up lobs of our brain, but with that love comes fear as well. Most likely ingrained in our DNA when we lived predominantly in trees and feared the big cats, the ones that slink quietly through the tall grass until it’s too late for you or your mate. Leaping muscle, sinking fangs and. . . .

Another snuffed out. But for food, not fun.

But we, as a race, have learned.

We are still here.

Not all living things have been exterminated.

Life goes on.

And it is wonderful to behold.

I am glad I’ve hung up my guns for good.

Those who control their own lives do so without force.

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