Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Notes from a Postmodern Yogi...Bear
...always been a big guy...bit on the hairy side...kinda slow and lumbering...with a sweet tooth...and a grouchy temper....have been referred to as that big lumberjack guy...but, far more often, as a bear...uso, in Spanish....apparently, if I were gay, that’d make me part of a subculture...but, then, I’ve generally fit in with subcultures only slightly better than with the larger cultures they exist on the fringes of, so maybe it’s just as well...even if it was kinda cool for a while when the grunge look came along and I was suddenly fashionable...but those things never last...
I turn into a bear every so often. I feel myself becoming a bear, and that’s a struggle I have to face now and then.
N. Scott Momaday
...have seen seven bears in the wild...the first, in the Tuolumne Meadows campground in Yosemite, was huge...seemingly fearless as it ravaged campers’ picnic supplies...turning to show its teeth and moving as if to charge when people got too close...which was certainly all the message I needed...though, after a while, a ranger came along, picked up a few pebbles and got the bear running with a few well aimed throws at its gigantic furry ass....the other six were along the Appalachian Trail...mostly crashing through underbrush at great speeds to get away from apparent danger...me....and then, maybe a week after the last, in the wilds of New Jersey...really...saw a few in cages, also just along the trail, down below Bear Mountain in New York, near the Walt Whitman statue...where tourists from the city shot me ugly looks, assuming, apparently, by my backpack and dirty, hairy thru-hiker's appearance, that I wasn’t the kind of person they wanted anywhere near their picnics...
And the number one threat to America is... Bears.
...modern society wasn’t built with bears in mind...that much is clear...a culture of frenzied production and consumption looking ever askance at hibernations of any length, as well as the furry wildness of bears, in general...
“Well,” said Pooh, “we keep looking for Home and not finding it, so I thought that if we looked for this Pit, we’d be sure not to find it, which would be a Good Thing, because then we might find something that we weren’t looking for, which might be just what we were looking for, really.”
A. A. Milne
...haven’t been too productive lately...somewhat indolent...attempts at decisive action like swimming through viscous sludge...struggling a bit, and then sinking...down through the floor, into the earth...to hibernate, like postmodern bears do, with the i-pod, DVD player and cheap greasy food from the Chinese take-out place down the street...but also books, yoga mat, and meditation cushion...making me a postmodern yogi bear...and I’ll crawl out when I’m good and ready...
So meet a bear and take him out to lunch with you
And even though your friends may stop and stare
Just remember that's a bear there in the bunch with you
And they just don't come no better than a bear