“My road to Sunk Creek lay in no straight line. By rail I diverged northwest to Fort Meade, and thence, after some stay with the kind military people, I made my way on a horse. Up here in the Black Hills it sluiced rain most intolerably. The horse and I enjoyed the country and ourselves but little; and when finally I changed from the saddle into a stagecoach, I caught a thankful expression upon the animal’s face, and returned the same.” – Excerpt From, The Virginian, Owen Wister
Reading the book The Virginian; one of the things that strike me most is how people interacted and viewed animals, back in 1902. If I may take Owen Wister’s sentiment of the world as the general one. As if an animal, a dog, a steer, a chicken, had a life on its own. As if they had their own thinking, feelings, their own realm of being, imagine that!
I flip through my ebook collection, stop at a book by Arno Gruen. “These young people have been trained not to respond to experience with feeling, but by distancing themselves,” the randomly opened page reads, giving account of Arno Gruen’s thinking. Arno Gruen, the famous Swiss-German psychoanalyst, as he wrote in the early 1960ties in New York. He wasn’t talking about animals though, he was reading rather disturbing texts by Henry Miller to his clients, who found these texts not disturbing at all; thus making his students aware of the alienating power of abstract thinking.
I myself, I mostly try to write and think in relation to movement, movement learning, and the physical representation of ourselves. I try to have one foot in the physical body. Through this I try to have an anchor in the real world. I believe this is one of the distinguishing features, distinctive characteristics of my writing.
Are you standing right now? Sitting? Where do you lean the bulk of your weight against this Earth—on your behind? Your thighs? Your feet? Your back? Are you leaning more on your left or right… sit-bone? Arm? Leg? In your holding right now, is your chest bent more to the left or to the right, slouched over maybe? Into which compartment do your lungs fill easiest right now? Are you breathing more through your left or through your right nostril? Or through your mouth, maybe? I would reason that the mouth is for speaking, eating and drinking, and kissing maybe, but for breathing? Only in life threatening situations of emergency.
On the other hand… yesterday a strange sadness did overcome me. A sadness I’ve encountered many a times in the most recent months. I was thinking, “Is there really no magic in this world?” Or did the magic die with the old forests? With the animals of the wild? Humans are on the verge of turning even the last spot on this planet into a landfill, and uprooting even the last free animal and putting it onto a plate. At the very least, shouldn’t Earth have become the kingdom of some dark lord, like Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor? Is there no all-seeing dark master who seeks to enslave just about everyone?
I took the elevator down to get me a bottle of sparkling water. Those face masks, why do we still have to wear them? On the way back up there was this cute Korean-American dad with his small son. I’ve seen them before, in the elevator, a week ago. At that time the father was carrying his boy in his arms, and they were jesting and joking and it was lovely to hear… lovely to hear the absence of child rearing for once.
This time the small boy was standing next to his father, at the back of the elevator. With big eyes gazed the boy up upon the many buttons and numbers of the panel. “One Five,” said the boy, looking at the numbers illuminated in bright red color. The elevator came to a halt, one person got out, the doors closed, and the elevator continued its ascent. “Two Two,” the boy called my floor, “Two Two You-tiu-ber,” the boy said. “Youtuber,” he repeated. I turned to look at him in surprise. He slid behind his father. How could this small boy possibly know that I’m a Youtuber? I said “Good evening,” to them both on leaving. While walking down the hallway to my apartment I took off my face mask and was thinking, “Maybe there is a little bit of magic in this world after all.”