Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why I do what I do

It's not finals yet but it's close enough. The first big thing due hits on Saturday and a torrent of other due dates follows. The week before finals will actually promise to be more all-nighter inducing than finals proper this semester. So it goes.

I have been fighting a database all day and I have settled down in to robot mode. Do things repeatedly and hopefully efficiently and by all means in a huge hurry. Everything is details. And all details need to be done yesterday. Don't think. Don't feel. Just finish.

So this morning I unwrapped a still slightly frozen roast and stuck it in the slow cooker and forgot about it. I shoveled breakfast in my mouth and started working on SELECT statements. I had to DELETE everything and start over. By lunch I had everything back in where it belonged. Leftovers went down rapidly and without fan fair. And back to SELECT statements. I'm sure by the end of this I will have lost articles from my speech and my capitalizing imperatives will be instinct not example. Dinner alarm goes off. Yes I have alarms to tell me when to eat. And to tell me when to go to class. When I get in to mass production mode I won't stop until I fall asleep. I hit snooze for a good half hour and I was starting to feel off. So I wandered downstairs nuked some frozen veggies and prepared to vacuum everything in and get as much done before class as possible.

I was on my 3rd mouthful of meat when the strangest thing happened. I stopped mid chew. My brain registered that it was not eating cow and gave pause to the whole system. The report came back: "This is not cow. This is deer. You killed this deer." And then all stress slipped out of my body. I was completely relaxed. I took smaller bites and chewed more slowly willing the taste to last.

I was on a rock. My father was behind me. I'd lost a deer once already in the trees. I couldn't see antlers. As I was questioning my shot my mind drifted to thoughts of steak and the sights were perfect and the rifle shot straight and then there was nothing left to question but where was the rope. He made one valiant bound and died mid air out of my line of sight. My father, my nephew and I (mostly Alex) drug him to the 4-wheeler. We skinned him in the garage over which his antlers are now displayed. And over the next few days I worked earnestly to wrap up parcels for such a time as this. A harried Tuesday not unlike any other day. I spent hours inside with my eyes focused on task and not on the mountains surrounding me so that on a begrudging future day in flat suburb in an eastern state I could take a bite and the world would stop. And I would pace out the events of the day, hear the forest, smell the trees, see the landscape, feel the presence of family and taste the victory of every part of that adventure.

Field to table. Amen.


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