Saturday, September 4, 2010
About a pocketknife, John Berber said, “[O]ne could gut a trout with it, peel a pear, cut wild sorrel, open a letter, remove a stone from a goat’s cleft hoof...”
Each of the knife’s functions connote a different quality. Both the cutting of sorrel and the gutting of trout lead to dinner. The pear being peeled sits sweetly beside opening a letter, and making the goat happy is a thing onto itself. I’ve never cut wild sorrel nor removed a stone from a goat’s hoof. Only once, as a kid, have I gutted a fish. And you?
What about your many uses? One use of myself is as a daughter. That was the very self I needed a little distance from when I went for a walk late yesterday afternoon. The trees hardly grow for my sake but in their tall steadiness I felt them being guardians offering protection. Walking back right many of the animals of the park were getting ready for night.
I needed to sweat my daughter hood out of me for just a bit. Though I took my father along on the walk, I paid more conscious attention to John Berber, thought of the multipurposeness of the elements of the natural world.
A leaf is a tree’s filigree, the bed for a bug, an umbrella for a lizard, a flute for the wind and, on some days, the whole forest of leaves make an orchestra’s entire string section.
A tree is an itching post for a bear, a claw-sharpener for a mountain lion, a chair back for someone in need of a rest.
A forest is a dense and circuitous maze in which to become lost, found or a little of both.
A mountain—even a small one—is something to look up and marvel at, a place from which to view the world below while gaining a bit of distance from it, a respite, a reminder of the larger story, a sanctuary away from the glut of busyness and responsibilities, a safe place for animals who don’t live in town.
Posted by Patrice Vecchione at 8:24 AM