Sunday, February 10, 2008

Having fun in Paris

I can't think of anything more beautiful or joyful than my Abigail in "I'm full of life and I've just got to leap" mode. I wish all of you could see what a beautiful dancer she is. I feel soooo guilty that I never put her in dance classes, she has a gift. She moves with perfect feeling to music. And besides, she's got the best booty for shaking I've seen, since Beyonce. She's a little shy though, so if you see her, don't come right out and ask her to shake it for you. You are gonna have to warm her up with some good music; talk about nature, art, and poetry, then - bang - you'll have her doing anything you want - (of a pure and refined nature, of course)

NOTE* This blog, is not meant for any young men looking to court said booty shaker.

Friday, February 1, 2008

My Ram in the Thicket

Recently Muslims in parts of the world,as part of a religious rite, slaughtered a ram in rembrance of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac to God's wishes. I saw a picture of a young muslim girl kissing her pet ram just before the slaughter and it brought back vivid memories of when I participated in a similar event.
When I was 16 I went to Southern Utah to "survive" for 30 days off the land, while hiking over 300 miles. Usually we were given a ration of 1/2 c. dry oatmeal, 2 tbl. brown sugar, and 1 cup of flour to eat for a week. But one particular week we ate completly off the land. We ate ant larvae, black snacks of some variety, a rattlesnack, and lots of greens, while hiking over 50 miles. When we reached our base camp, a ram was tied to a pole in a small haven surrounded by trees. We were informed that we would kill the ram, to experience a profound gratitude for the ram giving up his life, that we could eat. The deeper metaphors were left for us to discover on our own.

What I remember most vividly was that this ram KNEW what was going to happen. He started breathing so heavily that he labored to just take in a raspy breath. His entire body trembled with no control. His eyes darted from person to person.

The girl that volunteered to kill the ram, elected to use a knife to slit his throat. She was not strong enough and so after stabbing the knife in, was unable to slice to the other side. A man offered to help, but with no success. Finally one of the leaders loaded a gun to kill the ram, who had been crying with an eerily newborn baby sound. The shot sounded and it was finally over.
What did I learn from this macabre experiment? Well, right then I learned that no matter how hungry I was I would not eat the meat. (I was the only one out of 35 to do so). I learned that we all share a spirit of life, witnessed by the rams behavior of pre-knowledge. I learned that if they were trying to teach me about God sacrificing his son, it did not work. I just felt horrible, with no greater principle to hold onto. As the years have gone I can't say that I have progressed into any deeper metaphor. Did I equate God The Fathers sacrifice of His Son? Partly yes, but...the lesson seemed lacking and as much as I wanted to think of God's sacrifice, I just felt empty. Mostly, I just keep thinking whoever came up with this idea, must have thought it would profoundly affect young minds to a more spiritual bent. But what actually happened for me was a disgust that a group of humans could take part in such a needlessly painful way to slaughter a living animal. It was wrong. Wrongly conceived. Wrongly executed.

I think of that young muslim girl slaughtering her pet ram and I hope that with the sacred rites of her religion, her experience will have meaning that will strengthen her beliefs, instead of leaving her bereft and questioning.