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July 26th 2009

    Many years ago I walked on King Offa's dyke in the marches between England and Wales.  Distracted by the Welsh horizon, I missed the path and found myself lost amongst those folds in land were bracken and sheep compete.  There, by a rocky stream, I saw a Dipper searching the cold running water for delicious things to eat.  

    He was engrossed and mostly he ignored me.  I watched him for hours in the rain, as up and down the running water he went.  But sometimes he would glance in my direction, and our eyes would meet as he paused perhaps to wonder.

    I think probably it is unnatural to think in terms of man and beast sharing that established relational moment of 'eyes meeting'.  It is not an affair of boy and girl, there is no potential for acceptable copulation, there can be no offspring, no two-car garage, no future in that sense of future that has made hominoids so absurd.

 

    

    And yet I will argue this moment exists.  Between man and beast, 'eyes meet'.  An anticipatory reaction, ingrained into the codes of the isolated being that is me, which recognizes shape, form and movement as belonging to a universal in my world.  I interpret it as camaraderie.  And sometimes I can hear myself coo when I see the children of furry things.  This especially if they grow into cats.

    Whether I am right or wrong is of no importance, because too often the distinction between right and wrong is a constructed one.  A matter of book work.  As well, whether there is reciprocation, is of no importance, because I am an element in the whole.  I have status as a thing among many things.  

    I do know that sometimes in the vegetable garden I can look at an eggplant or a tomato vine and suffer this same interpretation of a relational moment.  And if by some queer chance this confluence in emotion strikes a spiritual note, better to think again.  Like lamb in spring, eggplant and tomato in July can also cause me to respond in that manner Pavlov turned notorious. 

tim candler

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(Dipper) (bracken)  (bracken)  (Ivan Pavlov)