Have you ever been out in the wild, miles away from anything created by man? have you ever seen the night sky with no light pollution from man? have you ever walked upon a scene so beautiful and remote, that you wish everyone could come see it? have you ever come face to face with the reality that the animals around you could end your life if they wanted? Ever been really hungry, thirsty, or completely lost? have you ever been alone in nature to simply realize how grand and magnificent creation is, and how small and fragile you are?
“wolf soll Hirsch bein schulhaus gerissen haben…”
each day, I make an attempt to learn more German by reading a Swiss agricultural newspaper. it is a sincere effort, as the world of hoch Deutch gets mushed into the dialect of Swiss German, of which, if you hear the two side by side, it sounds a bit like Spanish, Portuguese, and yet you are speaking Tagalog – the language of the Philippines. it is humbling to do this each day, as languages are not something I am very skilled with. in my German classes, it was like stepping back into the past with the outdated way of learning called to learn, memorize, regurgitate.
“but I want to be able to speak and use this language, not sit here with teachers that pick up a ball, throw it to someone in the immigrant language class and have them give an answer.” now that I think about it, I could have taken 30 years of babel or another language group for far less than the cost of the basic integration to Switzerland courses.
I digress. today’s lead story was how a wolf killed a deer with a little fawn near a schoolhouse. a bit sad for a tale and I try to imagine the shock of kids walking up and seeing nature and death in action. it is probably more alarming in Switzerland, as the idea of raising your voice to another can be considered violence. a wolf eating a deer for food? It is part of nature, but humans don’t want to acknowledge that – meanwhile humans destroy each other each day and few say anything.
the article had me search for more details, but there were few. in some respects it is why I do like European media over the USA, “here are the facts!” yet, this story was different. I think it was more about alarmism or something. “bad wolf ate a deer! by a school!”
in the USA, and please forgive the sarcasm, but I swear they would close the school down for a day or have a lockdown, add some crisis counselors and probably have some prescription scripts available for pills to numb and dumb minds down to the idea of the story of life and death.
why does this seem odd to me? I guess since walking across Switzerland twice on st Jakob’s weg and marveling how the country protects their timber and forests…I rarely saw any animals. it was like, ok, you simply have humans inhabiting the place for so long that it is all domesticated. you can’t find a more scenic and beautiful country than Switzerland. just stick up a camera anywhere and it probably will be a beautiful photo. the idea that the social consciousness has people (even myself) carry trash for miles to get a trash can, seemingly in the middle of nowhere is a really impressive thing…yet…for all the rules and controls in place, or when someone’s asked, “you slept in the wild?” (it was a bench on a farmers field on the first walk when it was so hot I had to walk in the night under the moon to stay cooler) I said, “wild? Switzerland is more like a giant domesticated backyard compared to parts of where I have been in the states.”
maybe this is why I am a bit sad for the wolf that somehow found deer in Switzerland. I wager his time on the earth is limited, as the farmers will value their land and animals more than allowing a wolf to live in a way it has lived for ages. this is not a crack at the farmers, as if the swiss subsidies for most were taken away, the industry would go the way of the USA with larger corporations scaling up and the farmer that does it because he truly is passionate and love sit – will be gone. in a sense, extinct – just like the idea of the wolf around that area where he killed a deer.
but when you walk down a street- you see all these dogs more and more in urban environments, little cute toy dogs, that are bred by man to have a certain size, look, and appeal to folks where some dress them up in fashionable outfits and might even get attached to them as if a human child or companion. it is what is happening inside the USA with the abuse of what was a good idea with service dogs for people that required or needed them…now, pretty much anyone can come up with any reason to have a service dog and take it anywhere. it really gets annoying when the service dog is untrained, unruly, and sort of resembles its owner that needs it.
what do all these dogs have in common? they all are descendants of the wolf. would all these purebred breeds happen if people did not breed, or genetically desire some attribute because they like it? (let’s not forget, coming soon, designer babies for the masses!) I am guessing the wolf would alter a bit, but you would have dogs that probably are more like a mongrel mutt than the purebred dainty dogs we breed today.
the wolf started it all, and like many animals in nature with man’s tutelage of the planet – a lot will become extinct. I keep thinking the same for the man, but I wager he will do something really stupid to accelerate his demise, as his pride and arrogance will do more damage than any amazing tool he can invent.
if you haven’t had a taste of the experience of what I opened up this blog post with, I guess everything I wrote will come across as prideful or arrogant. it is ok, I get that all the time in Switzerland with a few folks because there is a clash of cultures where people judge you more about your possessions and stuff than the cumulative life experiences. just yesterday, I was talking about something I learned about by going to the library of congress every Friday through Sunday when I lived in Washington dc in the late 80’s to learn about licensing, merchandising and trademark/copyright law, while most of my friends were out having fun, getting a few drinks and enjoying the weekend.
“I didn’t want to become a lawyer, and I could not afford the variety of books about law, and I couldn’t sign out any books from the law library, so I would go camp out, and if I had a question, there was always a law student or aide there that was kind enough to answer the question.” that is how I got a base groundwork.
“but you don’t have a degree. you can’t know anything!”
I guess that is why I feel a bit like the wolf in the story this morning. I remember when I worked some soccer games in St. Gallen because one man was kind enough to realize that despite my language deficit, I worked hard. it turns out he hunted and was all excited about the fox/deer hunts. then he told me what It cost to hunt or fish in Switzerland and I sat incredulously…” you are kidding me…it cost how much to hunt a deer that is in a cherry field?”
then they asked if I hunted, “sure, I would go out back to my parent's hill, get a license for a few dollars and take two shells in my pocket. get a deer and then butcher it and not waste any of it.”
“huh? you were allowed to butcher it?”
“you could take it to a butcher, but they probably weren’t going to take the time to give you the best quality from the animal.”
I guess what this blog post is telling me, is that if you are an inventor, you are more like a wolf. you are constantly fascinated with new ideas, you don’t fit in the norm of the teacup domesticated miniature dog that the owner dresses up and parades around town, most likely feeding it food that would make a hungry human envious.
the one dog has all it could ever want, and life becomes a series of repeating the same thing each day. the wolf has no guarantees of anything the next day. some days it will be hungry, some days it will be full. by living in a state of constant change, the wolf will see and come up with more ways to be able to live and survive, and probably realize how small It is in the grand scheme of nature.
I am sure that analogy didn’t come out right, and some will read it and think ‘what an arrogant prick.” but that is ok. you can stick me most place on the planet, from a city to the middle of nowhere and I will be fine. but the only reason I can say that is a spent so much time learning, doing, trying and experiencing so many different things. it is the cumulative effect of cross-hybridization that allows me to say that.
what it all has taught me, is indeed, how human beings love and want to have the love – yet – we don’t want anything in our life to change or have to change when another comes into our lives.
anyone can do anything. it is simply a choice of how much time, effort, energy and resources you want to put into something. the reality is you can’t do it all unless you were blessed with trust-fund-ism of sorts. but that is the odd beauty of the USA, that I do hope doesn’t change, you can try and take a chance, follow a dream and try.
you don’t have to sit in a domesticated backyard with a privacy fence around it inside your heart, soul, and mind
woah, no clue where that brain flatulence came from…I guess seeing an image of a wolf and the human reaction to having nature come into their domestic space? what is odder is how badly humans can treat each other – yet no one blinks an eye anymore. just keep your mouth shut and if someone asks you what you really did, say, “just some stuff around the planet” and leave it at that.
I always loved the “call of the wild” by Jack London. it was better after going out and experiencing it. Eventually you have to come to a place where you have to ask yourself, “keep going? or quit?”
never quit on yourself. that's is about all the advise I have today. if you are normal, you will have many moments where you might doubt or question yourself...just keep walking forward.