59. Slay Dragon: Tackle Snake (01/2013)

by brettthevet

So 2012 has come and gone. Another year commences and we can all breathe a sigh of relief, rapture, or resignation that life will go on regardless in its messy, haphazard progression despite the presumed failure of a faux chattering class cataclysm. There is, however, a true feeling of renewal, tangible for those who refuse to give in to the realities of destruction of the world as we know it. We only have to look to the other animal species that demonstrate remarkable perseverance, whether they are living in green fields of heaven or hellish incarceration.

Those who have time and headspace to read this will rest assured that we still exist in a bounteous, productive and supportive place, reinforced by selective tuning of our deceptive senses. We are appeased by our ritualistic customs for facilitating the expression of emotion. Arranged celebration, jollity, reverence, protest, mourning, and relaxation, are essentially human habits compared to the spontaneity of similar responses in the rest of the animal kingdom.

You have just shopped at the local supermarket where almost everything your heart desires finds its way into one of the trolleys provided for big spending. The bulk is non-essentials such as toilet paper, cleaning products, fruit juice, coffee, magazines, biscuits,  stuff the majority of people in town wouldn’t even consider and therefore don’t even see, ignored much in the same way that some animals are left to suffer. Nevertheless, things many of us can’t live without, including the remains of dead animals, fill the bags, pack the car, and accumulate in the fridge and pantry. At the axis glimmers of the other side threaten to burst the fragile bubbles of perceived worlds in the gauntlet between cashier and private mobile oven that can whisk you quickly away to the cool oasis behind the walls (previously hedgerows), under the trees, comforted by a semblance of exclusivity.

Just as applicant number five hundred and eighty four has registered as unemployed in order to receive a meagre sum that barely feeds the family and a bad habit, a series of champagne corks pop marking an arbitrary date in the universe. Now a regulated starting point for new beginnings, inclusivity, community, abundance, enlightenment, progress, promises, vision, and hope, all embarrassingly short lived through an obligatory display of bravado and fake determination.  Transient solace settles when turning over the proverbial new leaf in a book of many pages. But long before the Ides of March the gym subscription gets shelved; the puppy is older, demanding, less cute, a nuisance;  salads have gained flesh, loaves, and gravy; and good intentions give in graciously to convenient collapse syndrome.

The shining concept of renewal sparkles like a jewel in murky quagmire status quo. While attempting to identify what truly transcends the barriers towards positive, inclusive and life affirming action, nature is our only inspiration. The water snake emerging from its old skin a bigger, bolder, more intense and focused being. Or even more radically, the butterfly that undergoes a complete transformation of body and mind, diet, movement style, sexuality, and defies all that it assumed to be true, notwithstanding the law of gravity. Like the moulting of feathers or fur in higher animals, sometimes the process is slower, but the shedding of the old, and the welcoming of the new provides vigour and expectation that we will triumph though the shift into a pristine paradigm of a brighter future for the residents of planet earth.

Our current Gregorian calendar year was later a unilateral decision designed to facilitate Northern Hemisphere behaviour patterns by officially ending at the lowest ebb of winter so that people could enjoy a momentary blip of elation during the prolonged period of natural slowing down that brings about retreat from worldly activities. This cold yet cosy contemplation time suited to refocusing becomes the embodiment of emerging spring. Whilst here in the south frustration from enforced disruption of searing summer enterprise midst the seasonal bounty recurs like a nightmare. And again, as the birds and wild creatures withdraw into the balmy shadows at midday, we cringe for doomed domestic animals languishing in the blazing sunshine because nobody has bothered to plant trees or rig up shade cloth.