Friday, September 12, 2008

In The Moment

We spent a good part of the afternoon with Indigo and her wild mustang. She wanted us to meet him before we left Humboldt. She's been working with him for a year. Three weeks ago he finally felt safe enough to let her put a halter on him. He comes now when she whistles. We watched her put the halter on, take it off, put it back, talk to him tenderly, teach him with the most minimal hand movements to come, go, step forward, step back. She taught us how much she knows this world, this language of animal. We were in awe. He had been a feral horse for five years, just two years ago. Now he takes apple from our outstretched hands. Indigo took the time to earn this trust, this moment.

Later, she came over for dinner. We had a conversation that reminded us of this Gary Snyder poem. We lamented the times we're living in, but we also regaled each other with the stories of the incredible cosmicity of the moment. We asked each other, when did you wake up and see the universe for what it is? We told the stories of our own awakenings to the biggest picture of all. How different they were, how much the same. Our eyes sparkled in the telling. In the moment on earth, wondering how we got here: in our skin, in our families, in our country, on this planet. Then we remembered now, the day and times, Ah America we could almost love you again.

So, I looked up Snyder's poem, googling American I could almost love you again. How wonderfully coincidental that Gary Snyder walked into the Maverick Bar. We have our own Maverick these days, and don't you forget it. Oh America...

I Went into the Maverick Bar
by Gary Snyder

I went into the Maverick Bar
In Farmington, New Mexico.
And drank double shots of bourbon
backed with beer.
My long hair was tucked up under a cap
I'd left the earring in the car.

Two cowboys did horseplay
by the pool tables,
A waitress asked us
where are you from?
a country-and-western band began to play
"We don't smoke Marijuana in Muskokie"
And with the next song,
a couple began to dance.

They held each other like in High School dances
in the fifties;
I recalled when I worked in the woods
and the bars of Madras, Oregon.
That short-haired joy and roughness--
America--your stupidity.
I could almost love you again.

We left--onto the freeway shoulders--
under the tough old stars--
In the shadow of bluffs
I came back to myself,
To the real work, to
"What is to be done."

(Poem borrowed without permission.)

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