…nearly 2 months later…
I don’t usually work on Sundays, but this week I caught this afternoon’s shift.
Sundays are slow, slow, slow. I find myself just standing here at my terminal.
A little storytelling will help to pass the time…
The mosquitoes were so thick as we hiked to Medicine Lake, we decided to stripe our arms and legs and cheeks with snatches of the thick mud we were slogging through. I’m not messing with you. It worked a charm, too. But were we ever a sight to behold…
Jeremy and I are so different that it’s not always easy for us to hike together. He prefers to march double-time head-on for his destination, while I’m an ambler – my thumbs in my belt loops. As such, the only way I can keep my friend from zooming off ahead of me, usually, is to divert him from his inner drive to go go go by engaging him in conversation.
On the long, buggy, muddy way to the lake that day, I did my best to keep him interested in talking about religion.
“So but yeah, by my way of thinking,” I remember saying at one point, “the connection each of us has to God, to The Source, it cannot be severed. It cannot be broken.”
“Even by God?” Jeremy’s tone was laced with doubt.
“Even by God. There simply is no off-switch to flip. The light is always on!” I enthused.
“Well, what about the devil? Is the devil still connected to God?” Jeremy countered. He was just having fun, posing that question. I doubt he even believes in the devil. Although he has been known on occasion to recite passages of Aleister Crowley’s writings around the woodstove. So who knows what he believes. In all likelihood, the inside of Jeremy’s mind is very much stranger than fiction.
“Well, I’m talking about human beings, of course,” I hedged. “You know and I know that if there IS a devil, he – or IT or whatever – is not a mortal man.”
“Okay then, how about when someone goes to hell?”
“Hell is the delusion of loss of connection with God. People are only in hell when they BELIEVE they are. And that belief is the big lie. Because the connection is never lost.”
…And so it went for most of the hike.
When we finally got to Medicine Lake, the first thing we saw was an otter, a large male otter which had already noticed us, and was moving fast for shelter. I followed with delighted eyes as the sleek, fleet fellow hove his way to a jumble of down fir trees on the far bank of the lake.
Meanwhile, my buddy was breaking out his camera. Nowadays, everyone is Quick-draw McGraw with their phones, but back then… well, you know. Clunky cameras. Jeremy got his Nikon up to his face just in time to capture the otter pausing to shiver and growl at the portal of his den before diving in… an amazing shot, as it turned out. Of course, back then, you didn’t know whether a photo was any good until you got the film developed. Different days…
And there also you have another difference between my friend and me. I wouldn’t have wanted even to shell out the bread for a fancy gadget like that, nor to carry it around, lest I break or lose it, let alone fuss with it instead of really watching the otter.
I’m one to immerse myself in the pulse of the moment, whereas Jeremy is more into controlling what is happening, more into shaping his moments. Sometimes I wish I was more like him in that regard… Life kind of happens to me, but Jeremy… Jeremy happens to life. If that makes any sense.
At any rate, he’s awful handy to have around, because now – long after my clear memory of that shy otter has faded – I still have a print of the awesome picture he took. And it takes me back.
I used (all of) their word prompts to thwart the boredom!